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Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness - GET #7
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mini location map2018-06-11
8 by photographer avatarnathanbrisk
photographer avatar
 
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness - GET #7Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 11 2018
nathanbrisk
Backpack10.33 Miles 1,309 AEG
Backpack10.33 Miles3 Days         
1,309 ft AEG   12 Hrs    Break45 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Amateur Aur At Aravaipa: Insult and Injury

This was one of my most humbling trips in a while. It seemed like everything went wrong!

A friend of mine invited me to join her for a 2-night backpack to Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness. She had a pass for 10 people, but as the trip date approached, her attendees were flaking like Tony the Tiger. The night before the trip, the trip organizer herself even backed out. She told me she'd do a day hike to meet me on Tuesday or Wednesday. But me--being a stubborn [insert ancestral stereotype here]--decided to go anyway. She emailed me a copy of her permit, and I saw it at about 3 in the morning--about an hour before I planned to drive out. Turns out I wasn't even allowed to go there without her; the permits are "un-transferrable." I decided to give it a shot anyway. Worst case scenario--someone tells me to go home.

During the drive in, I saw some wild javelinas (i think).

Day 1:

The highs for the day were in the low 100's, so I got an early start at 6am from the trailhead. The heat was completely bearable at that hour. The hike in was alright. I'd never done a wet hike before, so I didn't really know what to expect. I brought some pruners and was able to cut back some thorny branches from off the trail at a few points. I saw a coatimundi. I rolled in to Horse Camp and got my camp set up. i was surprised to find the fire pit dismantled. So of course--I made one. I know I had read somewhere on the permit to "use existing fire rings," but I didn't find any of those. I played in the creek some, lounged in the hammock, chatted with some other hikers. I saw about 4 other people at Horse Camp. I spent the evening playing my ukelele (feebly) around the campfire but was eventually driven into my tent by the bugs. They were unbearable.

Day 2:

I wake up in the morning to find my food bag completely molested by some wild animal. I felt so ashamed. I thought I had done it all! I hanged if from a branch about 8 feet off of the ground and 3 feet from the upper branch. What was peculiar to me was that the animal(s) didn't tear or bite through my stuff sack--THEY OPENED IT. As in--squeezed the button release and freakin' opened the stuff sack. I'm not altogether sure what I did wrong. But I know there are a few possible probs 1) the branch I hanged it from was too thick . . . critters were able to scale it easily and/or 2) I didn't store my food in thick freezer bags. Of course using a bear canister or ratsack would have resolved the issue, too, but I've never had to do that before. Of all the food I packed, the animals left me two tuna packets, 3 cheese packets, and few a hot drink mixes. That really took the wind out of my sails. Due to my newfound lack of nutrients, I opted to stay around camp until it was time to hike out on Wednesday. I ate my final food for breakfast and lunch. Spent all day reading Ian Fleming novels on my Nook. In the evening, I decided to not fight the bugs and instead spent a few hours in my tent listening to the pitter patter of all God's insects assaulting my plastic walls. Heard the sounds of a large animal poking around outside, so I kept my bowie and bear spray close. I saw about 6 people that day.

Day 3

Waited until 11am for the trip organizer to show up. She didn't. I decided to wait until dusk to hike out. By that time I hadn't eaten for 24 hours. Fortunately, I brought some salt tablets to replenish my electrolytes/sodium levels/anti-exhaustion-units. Hiking out went by a good deal faster. I was surprised at the preponderance of dead-and-down wood; that will certainly be a problem in the future. When I came to the trailhead, I looked more closely at the bulletin board. NO CAMPFIRES ALLOWED. What the heckenstein? No friggin' wonder there weren't any fire rings. I was ashamed of myself. I put my fire out completely, but I had still inadvertently broken the law. Sucks. I might be fined--we'll see. The bulletin board also said that bear-resistant food containers were advised.

During the drive out, I saw some white-tailed deer (I think).

This has been my most embarrassing trip for a while. Hopefully I learned some life lessons. I've certainly learned that real bug spray is necessary (my tea tree oil solution didn't cut it), and I won't go camping again without better food protection. I'll read over the dang trail bulletin board before beginning.

Here's my trip vlog: [ youtube video ]

UPDATE 6/26/2018:
I made an honest mistake, and I've made no attempt to hide it. Really I posted this trip log in hopes someone might learn from it. My conscience is clear, and I had learned my lessons before driving away from the wilderness area. One further thing I could have learned: hide my sins, and find safety in a lie. But not today.

I've been reported to the BLM. Perhaps I struck someone as the type who needed to learn his lesson in the wallet. And if a HAZ member saw fit to alert an authority about my candid trip log, I wonder how far my ~$500 will go to maintain their self-righteous smirk? And frankly--judging from the over-abundance of dead-and-down fuel in this wilderness--my quarantined, controlled, tended and summarily-snuffed campfire did more to decrease the risk of wildfire in the area than had been done prior; so, you're welcome.

As you sicc the authoritarian bulldog of our nanny-state on my finances for ignorant appreciation of yesteryear's freedoms, our founding fathers turn over in their graves, and you inch yet closer to the karmic destiny of a miserable louse.
Culture
Culture
Camp-fire
_____________________
leaving no trace of liberty-confining voices in my ears
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