If it’s my turn to propose a hike for the day, I most likely will suggest an established trail that’s a good workout. I won’t be too concerned if it’s a hike we’ve done before. Lee, on the other hand, is always looking to explore new territory. And chances are we won’t even be on a trail.
I can work up lots of energy when I know what to expect for elevation and distance. But when I’m tagging along behind Lee as he follows his desire to see what’s around the next corner or over the next hill, I feel totally exhausted after just a short distance. Usually, though, by the time we finally get back to the car I will end up agreeing that it was a fun hike.
Today he wanted to show me a “bushwhack” hike that he had explored on his own last spring. Twice this summer we had tried to do it but were stopped by a road closure sign on the Forest Service road leading up the canyon where we needed to go. On the first attempt we wandered around on some abandoned dirt roads near there as a substitute hike. A month later we assumed the road would be open. When we found it still closed we drove to nearby San Pedro Parks and did a regular (my style) hike.
I wasn’t too happy when Lee proposed trying his bushwhack hike a third time. Especially when he said that if the road was still closed we would explore somewhere else in the area. But the weather was absolutely perfect today and if we were going to be outdoors then that was all I really needed to enjoy the day.
The road was open but we were surprised to find it snow-covered on the first stretch that was on the shady side of the canyon. The snow was long gone everywhere else, though, so it didn’t present a problem. After we parked the car Lee pointed to a ridge up towards the mountains and said that was the goal for the hike. Since there are no signs in the area and some of the roads aren’t even on maps, I’ve decided that this hike will now be called Lee’s Ridge. We made it to the top and back down and still had time to walk up another road that Lee wanted to check out.
I think I have solved one of my issues when it comes to “bushwhack” hikes. The shoes that I hike in are not high tops and I can’t find hiking pants with legs long enough to cover the tops of my shoes. As we walk through brush and brambles my socks get filled with stickers and it totally annoys me to have things poking and itching in my shoes as I hike. This time of year when everything is dried up is especially bad. So today before we left on the hike I asked Lee if he could find his old pair of gaiters that we had stashed away somewhere. It wasn’t that easy to figure out how to get them attached to my shoes and pant legs, but I think we got it figured out. I didn’t get any stickers in my socks today. The pair of gaiters is now in my backpack ready for our next bushwhack hike.