Crispy Catalina

It is the final day of 2021, so Happy New Year everyone. It has been an interesting and adventurous year for us. We went to so many hot springs I lost count, and still would have liked more. Yes, I am a hot water slut. I hiked three significant peaks; Mount Townsend, Superstition, and Sauk. We were trapped on the wrong side of a mudslide and took a treacherous backroad through the mountains of Colorado at dusk to get home, thank you Steve. We vacationed with friends who do even more adventuring than us even though their house doesn’t have wheels. We visited so many national parks and monuments and took many amazing photos. We managed to not get sick, or if we did we got that lucky 25% chance of neither of us having symptoms. I managed to get back to Ohio to visit my parents, whom I miss a ton while on the road. We all learned whom of our friends and family are truly crazy. The cult of ignorance is proudly flying its flag through the pandemic.

All things considered, I’m going to call it a pretty good year. Yes, I know the pandemic is still upon us and the world is still taking a regular crap on people. But, compared to 2020, it was a good year. Hopefully, we are on an upward trend now.

This is our first stay at Catalina since it nearly burned to the ground two years ago. It has changed a lot. Before it was a sea of grass sprinkled with trees and cactus, and now the grass is mostly gone. Some sort of vining plant must have had a mega bloom post-fire and its dead vines now dangle from the trees. It is still a gorgeous park with amazing hiking, but riddled with burn scars and has very different vegetation covering than before. Also more coyotes, far more coyotes. Didn’t see a single roadrunner— hmm. The unusual rainy weather made it a different kind of stay than last time, but I loved it. I like rain.

There were louder events, but this is the only one I caught on video.

Telephone Line Trail

With all the rain we planned to hike to seven falls. We chartered a shuttle ride and geared up for an eight-and-a-half-mile hike. When we arrived we were refunded the shuttle as the driver came down with Covid. Instead, we hiked up the canyon, saw a sign for telephone line trail, did some math, and thought we would get in a total of seven to eight miles. Our math was off as we were past the seven-mile point when a sign told us we had two-point-two more miles to go. It was a great hike, but more hills and distance than we expected. It kind of kicked our ass.

Roger Bucklesby

I wanted to take a moment to admire Roger and his loved ones for inspiring me to read every bench placard I pass. Read and judge harshly for the most part, but read I do. The picture of Rogers bench below is not mine and I honestly do not know where it is, but it is memorable. I shall always read every bench in the hopes of finding more of interest. The second bench sign is the most interesting one I found this year.

Sisters

May peace find you in the new year.

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