mile 64, Santa Rita Mountains

A leisurely morning in Patagonia before I moseyed out of town at the crack of 10AM. The trail leaves town as it entered it, on a road, but this was at least a dirt road and lightly used at that. Did cross paths with some ATVers and rec shooters at Temporal Gulch.

Last night at the bar I was talking to Coy, a well-driller who – like so many townies – asked whether I carry a gun on the trail. He seemed a bit surprised at my answer but had to concede my point that it is not the mountain lions you see that are the threat, but the ones that you never see, and therefore a gun is no protection against them.

Mt Wrightson and the Santa Rita Mountains

He also is a food dehydrating enthusiast but has not progressed beyond jerky and fruit, so he stood me a beer as we discussed the finer points of food preservation science. He also regaled me with a tale of having a Gila Monster clamp on to his foot while out in a drilling job and refuse to let go. Fortunately he was wearing OSHA-compliant steel toed boots and no harm was done to man or reptile.

Called it a day after only a dozen miles. I’m in a lovely oak-shaded campsite at 5500 feet with a spring-fed grotto nearby. The next plausible campsite is several miles and a 1500 foot climb away, so I didn’t have to think too long about whether I wanted to stay or to keep hiking. The trail will still be there in the morning.