Taunting Tonto

I guess I missed a week in this blog. I’ll try to get it down here because a lot of cool things happened. Last Friday, after work, I decided to hike to the top of Kendrick and camp, so I hurriedly packed my tent, food, and water, and set off. I reached the peak just as it was getting dark, set up camp, stargazed, and read a Kindle book that I had packed. I had a bit of excitement on the way up when I came across a black bear with two cubs on the trail. They soon disappeared into the woods and I continued on my merry way. The next morning I hiked down to a little spring, lazed about camp, and eventually hiked back to the car. 100_2270

The bear with a cub partially visible in the grass

On Wednesday, I hiked up to the top of Mt. Humphreys with a friend from Kuwait who is studying at NAU. We rescheduled several times due to work and Ramadan conflicts, and finally found a day where we could both go. We had a good hike and conversation, and the weather cooperated as well as can be expected. We hiked through a few showers, gusty winds, and near-freezing temperatures at the summit. Everything was green due to recent rainfall, and we saw lots of deer on the hike back. The last hour was spent hiking in the dark, but we made it back into town before 10PM.

Friday I biked to work after several failed attempts and a prolonged period of deliberation with self on the morning of the ride. There are several hills/canyons between here and there that I must ride through, and the road is not very direct. Riding up steep hills is not very pleasant, and the fact that my house is on the edge of a mountain means I must ride uphill to get back home in the evening. But my mind was made up and the deed was done. Biking the five miles to work actually took ten minutes less than driving due to the convoluted traffic patterns and parking contortions at the university. Being able to bike right through campus and park at the door was freedom. However, the return trip took almost as long as the car, perhaps because my ego was deflated by a woman on a mountain bike pulling her child in a bike trailer. She passed me on one of the uphills. This was a tragedy indeed, but my lungs were burning and I had no choice but to fall behind. I’m still arguing about next week, but I really should do more biking and less driving.

Today I hiked up to the top of nearby crater that has the remains of an Indian settlement. There were foundations of 70-80 dwellings, a ball court, and potsherds everywhere. The ruins were not in very good condition but it was interesting to me nonetheless. Packrats had claimed the granaries and filled them with weeds and trinkets. The real mystery is what happened to these people; they were here not very long ago, yet nobody seems to know where they came from or where they went. The Sinagua, the Puebloan, and the Anasazi all inhabited this area as can be seen from their different dwellings in caves, cliffs, and on plateaus.

I’m tired and it’s been a slow weekend… ‘til next time.