Archive for Feral futures

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.

Feral Futures pt 1

Posted in activism, adventure, colorado, ecology, hiking, hitchhiking, travel with tags , , , , on June 18, 2012 by tymora42

I picked up a hitchhiker named Ben. I like picking up hitchhikers. I’ve been there. On the side of the road. Waiting. Walking. Taking rests. A break from the weary road. Running low on water. Hoping for someone. Anyone. Some kind soul to save you from the beauty of the road that has turned desolate. He was a “friendly.” I could tell from his labels. He had a nice pack that he was sitting on top of at the time of the extraction. That meant he actually walked most of the time. Unlike those yahoos with shit strewn about all over them. Or a duffle bag. Those guys aren’t adventurers. They aren’t ready for anything. They aren’t moving. They are just waiting to get to the next place. He wasn’t. He had a pack. The head of the pack had a hand drawn robot character. He wore a Phishing hat. I picked him up.

Ben told me he was heading for Vallecito Reservoir, a lake with three rivers flowing into it. From there he was heading up the Pinos to Pine River campground. He didn’t know all these names, of course. I knew them from the road and trail numbers he spouted off from a list. My brother and I tried to drop a canoe in from that campground, but there was no river access from it. Everything along the banks was privately owned by horse ranches, who probably strung up barbed wire over the stream even though all waterways in Colorado are public use. The nearest put in to run the Pinos is three miles up from the trailhead. This happened to be where Ben was going.

He was heading to an Eco Activist meet up for the next 10 days. “Like a Rainbow Gathering, if you know what that is.”

“Yeah, I was with the family at a National in Arizona a long time ago.”

“Cool, then, so, yeah, you know. This will be more like Regionals size-wise, but there should be people from all over. I’m coming from Texas.”

We talked about that for a minute. He had a bad time in Houston on that section of the trail and swore to never go back. By the end of the ride I learned enough about Feral Futures and Wild Roots to want to see what this camp out was all about. He invited me to join them when I could and ultimately admitted that I softened the whole Texas experience for him just a little.

The next day I scheduled my hike into the forest. I wanted to see where that trail went anyway.