|Bulldog Meander/Tortoise Rescue, AZ|
|Bulldog Meander/Tortoise Rescue, AZ|| |
Bulldog Meander/Tortoise Rescue, AZ
|Hiking||5.30 Miles|| 3 Hrs 4 Mns ||1.73 mph|
|933 ft AEG||15 LBS Pack|
||no linked trail guides|
|Although we really wanted to do another get-out-of-town hike today, the time to plan was yesterday but due to a full day of helping Tracey with her honey-do list I never got around to it. (We are embarking on a full-house make-over, starting with repainting and replacing all the hardware on the doors... cabinetry, floors and such are soon to follow)|
Ok, no plan, but what better time than now to take a quick trip out to see if the tortoise is still alive-and-kicking, so-to-speak.
This time I parked on the east side of Bush Highway where it was unlikely anyone else would park close by. And it worked...
After the step-on-rattlesnake drama of two days ago, Tracey was adamant we stick-to-the-wash! Not that being in a dry-wash would be totally rattler-free. Besides, it's barely 58 degrees, mostly overcast with a cool breeze, what's the worry?
Keeping within Tracey's dictates I chose to straightest route I knew and we were soon where I left the tortoise 3 days ago. Based on the pressed-down vegetation nearby, it appeared to have moved about twenty-five feet in one direction, circled back into a patch of thick dead vegetation and was jammed between two thick branches... in direct sun again.
Dang! I did everything I could to save you and you go and try to commit suicide again?
Hmmm, could it be that was its intent when it got rolled upside-down before?
Well no matter, we'll give you another shot at living... or dying should you so choose that path. I'd like to say it was a simple as picking it up to release it from its prison, but it wasn't so easy. In fact it took breaking off part of the branches and using two hiking poles to bend them out and another to pry its shell up and out. Only then did see scan about a bit further to find a more suitable spot to leave it. I located a spot about a hundred feet away with thick succulent (at least if I were a tortoise I may have thought so) green leaves yet not something which would hamper movement... and if the sun stayed out it would have shade for at 3-4 hours anyway.
Although we brought water for it and I dripped a bit on its snout, it made no attempt to open its mouth so we figured on leaving some water just in case.
Oops! I forgot to bring a low container to hold the water.
But no matter, from previous hikes I knew of a nearby rusty old paint can lid, quickly located it, and proceeded to tear it while attempting to straighten it so it would hold as much water as it could.
So, I bent it more carefully then set it at just enough angle to hold at least half as much water as it would if not torn. Again, the best we could think of to help it, and again who knows if it will survive... it only moved one leg an inch or so but never moved its head or even opened its eyes so only time will tell.
But since it's just a 4-mile a direct round-trip from Bush, I'll probably be back a time or two each week until I lose track of it... or it has expired.
Back at the car no one had parked anywhere close, but just close to being clipped by a snowbird headed north in their monster motorhome pulling their car. The driver was texting as he approached and seemed totally oblivious he was driving with one tire off the edge of the pavement, well over the bike lane line... good thing a road biker who passed a few minutes before wasn't there. Also good I didn't have my door open as it flashed by. I was standing behind the 4Runner waving my arms to no effect. Both the driver and passenger were looking at their phones so who knows if they were texting each other while not looking at the road.
Stats for the day:
Number of tortoises encountered = One (Still alive)
Number of rattlesnakes encountered = One (Managed to see this one before stepping on it)
Rattlesnake Encounter (0:49 video)
Number of skunks smelled = One (Nothing new here)
Number of Homo-sapiens encountered today = ZERO
Number of idiot drivers observed today = FOUR (Two in each direction within a 5-mile stretch along Bush Highway, three were obviously texting, one drove through the stop sign at Coon Bluff Road, possibly due to his Saint Bernard which appeared to be licking his face)