Archive for camping

Feral Futures pt 2

Posted in activism, adventure, band, colorado, earth, ecology, hiking, travel with tags , , , , , , , on June 19, 2012 by tymora42

The Wild Roots blog had great information about itself and the Feral Futures campout. The directions were detailed with numbers rather than names, though. Being a literary person I like words. Being a logical person I can follow numbers. FYI: 602 is not on Google Maps nor the Latitude 40 topos. It is, however, on a small rectangular wood sign once you make the turn off 501. How’s that for numbers.

Once you get to Pine River Campground they have another sign provided by Wild Roots in a car window detailing trail directions to the main camp. If I didn’t see him on the way out I would assume that Tom was still there waiting for his deer cart to load equipment in for a water filtration exposition. The cart was about half a mile in, pushed off to the side, abandoned by the initial group struggling to get it up the rocky trail. I sent a bicyclist fisherman heading back with word of it’s situation for him. Poor Tom.

You will walk past 3 miles of barbed wire to the Weminuche Wilderness boundary. Main camp is about another mile and a half. They hung a green bandana from a tree, intuitively instructing those in the know their whereabouts. On my last pass someone constructed an arrow with rocks and an animal vertebrae.

I met the crew led by a guy named Nathan, who runs the Wild Roots blog. He said this was their fourth year doing this event. As it turned out I had met Nathan once before at a holy! holy! holy! show in Durango. He put me on the Rise Up email list under the name Dirty Hands. He claimed that holy! holy! holy! would probably play at their gathering on the solstice. “If you see a bus in the parking lot, they are here.” They put on a really great show. The Beehive Collective opened with a seminar on The True Cost of Coal. Then the lead singer gave a talk about activating against strip mining before taking the stage and convincing the audience to get naked. I like to walk by that building soon to be a parking lot and say, “I got naked there.” It is one of the few places in a Colorado city that I can say that compared to Houston.

I met other folks with names like Grasshopper and Kenney Eye and Juniper and Nettle. No Ben. Nobody knew the hitchhiker I picked up a day ago.

I ate lunch up the river and swam by myself. Coloradans don’t like to get wet. When I mentioned this to Nathan he said, “That’s not true. My friends and I live to go swimming.”

“Yeah,” I replied, “swimming isn’t the only way to get wet and it’s the only one Coloradians can think of offhand.” Texans in full business attire in the middle of the summer will thank you if you shoot them with a water gun. As Nathan finished filtering water into a large canteen, a girl pulled a bundle of plants she had soaking in the Pinos to the shore. I followed her out to a group that congregated to learn how to weave a net to catch fish. I wonder how well that worked. Grasshopper returned my map and we talked about Tuckerville, an old mining town turned ghost town up in the hills of Vallecito. I shook my hands, thanked them all by name and left.

Somewhere in the woods along the trail someone was playing guitar and a girl’s voice was singing. It was beautiful. Ten minutes up I saw Ben hiking in with a group of Australians freaked out by how many guns they saw openly displayed on the horseback trail. He told me that five minutes after I dropped him off he was picked up by a kayaker heading up to the lake. The kayaker bought him drinks all night at a local bar and offered to let him camp out in his back yard. Ben obliged and made a late start in the next day, the day I saw him. I told him I would try to make it in on the solstice for holy! holy! holy! After the show I would get people together for some night swimming in the buff. We will see. I have lots of work to do that day and it is a hike in.

Tom was waiting about thirty yards past the cart tha had moved maybe ten. It was repacked with medical supplies. He informed me that national parks at federal. Although they honor state laws concerning gun control they do not honor state laws concerning medical marijuana. I wished him and his glaucoma well on their way and made my own journey back to the car.

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Home on Vacation – the rest

Posted in blog, colorado, houston, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by tymora42

Day 6 and 7 –

We took it easy. That much adventure left us exhausted for a while. We drank margaritas and mojitos in town after Tara took us to the souvenir shops her and mom scouted. Robert was looking for a cowboy hat to mark his Colorado debut. They also wanted to get steaks to treat my family to dinner as a way of thanks. They even left a card that made my mom tear up a little. Robert found his hat on the last day. He wanted to be sure it was the right one so he checked out the non-tourist places also.

We were supposed to go to the Piedra Hot Springs along the Sheep Creek Trail on Day 6, but a photo slideshow kept us a little too late for hiking. Again, we were late on Day 7 with dinner and all. I was hell bent on going, though, so we made the twilight trek. The wild animal fear gripped us once more on the path down the mountainside lit only by small flashlights and the moon. When we got there it was worth it. We almost turned around once or twice. Little did we know it was literally right around the next bend. There was a single car in the parking lot at the trail head and a single tent in a campground at the bottom. We knock knocked for permission to travel through, a courtesy campers use to let the sleepers know it is harmless humans lurking about their tents.

We also asked if they knew where the hot springs were. “Straight down the hill,” they answered. You follow the Sheep Creek Trail until you first hit water. Don’t go down to the bank just yet. Walk to the right and you will pass a single fire ring campsite. You are almost there. The trail looks overgrown here and you might not be sure it is the real trail or not. It is. The very next grove head down to the banks. You will see the pools. I am guessing they have black sand in them. It was dark. We could not be completely sure. Tara took some in a cigarette pack wrapper. I will have to ask her. The biggest clue you can have is the steam coming out of the water near the frigid river. Some are too hot like that Eddie Murphy/James Brown spoof on vintage Saturday Night Live. Find the one you like and lay down. They smell, but immerse yourself fully anyway. You will not regret it. I used a rock as a pillow to keep my head above. There is also a shovel left there to make them deeper or to blend the river with the spring.

We laid out soaking, reminiscing on the past week, and confirming our lifelong friendship. It was a nice end to the adventure. It was enough to make me remember why I moved here in the first place. I needed that shot of memory. I miss the people in Houston, but I do not miss not being able to walk out my backdoor for some wholesome outdoor activity. I can do the outdoor part in Houston, unfortunately it is never all that wholesome – skinny dipping in the fountains or climbing Miller Theatre after dark and running from the law. Yeah, I miss it a little.

Now that they are gone I am kind of bored. The past few weeks have been trying to solidify a place to live and a job. Neither seem ideal to me yet. The apartment is too expensive and too small. The job doe snot pay enough. This does not mean I cannot still look. The best part is I have a roommate I trust and some burgeoning friends to reacquaint ourselves.

Next Spring I will bring my canoe.