And Today’s Forecast…
The above is a shot taken at 8AM, temperature about 38 degrees. Welcome to Flagstaff in late May. It was a cold one last night, with the temperature 30 degrees at 10 PM. That’s right when the furnace ran out of propane, so I got shoes on and stepped outside to swap the Grandby’s twin 10# tanks. The 2″ of snow on the ground was a surprise, as was the 26-degree low for the night at 4 AM. I had the fabric-area window covers and extra-layer Arctic Pack buttoned up to slightly slow the cascade of cold air from the fabric. It worked pretty well, what with the furnace set to 58 and the batteries reasonably happy to power it for a lot of On Time. (You can subtract about 10 degrees on the bed platform.) Today is forecast to reach a high of 60, and a low of 30. I’m at a little higher elevation than Flagstaff, so I might be a couple of degrees colder than that. Warmer air should be moving in tomorrow. That’s good, as a tank of propane that lasts me a couple of weeks at “normal” temperatures cuts down to 3-4 days in this kind of weather. Tomorrow is resupply day, just to avoid any chance of draining the “spare” tank before Monday noon.
Yesterday, I went on a stroll down a marked trail that’s not on any map I have. FS9123G. Since it’s not on my MVUM map, it’s not for motor travel. It was once, but is doing its best to recover now. Like a similar trail I walked on Mingus Mountain, there’s something about the changing surfaces of these that makes them alluring. This one seems like it’s been many years since a vehicle has traversed it. Trails like these disappear in spots here and there, along the way. This one was a half-mile connector, cutting short an elbow in roads going toward a hill made of cinders. It’s longer trails like this that beckon me to explore them in the Mighty Furd, precisely since no one has been down them in a very long time. Why are they here? Where do they lead to? But these days, taking non-approved trails in a motor vehicle is just as illegal as cutting across pristine turf. No can do. Anyway, take a look at the snaps below.
Pretty much the same view as the first photo, but yesterday. And no snow.
I know, you’ve seen this before. I’m just reminding you how tough my life is. 🙂
This is simply the road I’m officially camped off of. You’re allowed to go 300′ away, but I’m 450′ and hoping I don’t get called out for it – it’s for the solar exposure.
Looking near or looking far, it’s a beautiful area. It’s a bit harsh for windstorms and cold this time of year, but camping is camping.
Near the start of the trail 9123G.
Looking to my left as I trudge along.
The far end of the trail, its marker just right of center. The road it connects to is regularly graded for traffic and erosion control.
Just a short distance further is an entrance to a privately-owned shooting range. If an entrance gate can be high-class, this one is.
Sweeping the camera left at the gate shows a nice view.
The main graded trail officially runs out at the gate. I kept going on an extension that wanders toward Route 89, and it had numerous recent tire tracks on it. Come to find out later that the MVUM-approved section ends at the gate area, so I can’t drive this one either. I didn’t walk down it far enough to figure out where it goes or why.
Similar shot, close-up. Cinder hill in front, a taller hill/mountain far behind it, and the ridge of a snow-capped mountain miles behind that. Since my vantage point is low, each crest is notably higher than the next.
The walk back. By narrowing the trail, these young trees show that no sizable vehicle has passed by for years, as there is no drive-around diversion here, either.
A sizable wash is on the left, with a finger extending past the low bush at center. The trail jogs around this finger but also shows practically no presence, making me think that the jog around is an area that had to keep changing as the finger of erosion grew. Thus the trail never really took a set here. This short cut may have made sense when all trails were similar, but stark improvements to the main roads make their longer distance smoother and quicker. At some point, this short cut became the hardship way to get there.
Trails cause change, and here, it’s erosion that makes one track deeper than the other before it pops level again in the shaded area. The acres and acres of this entire area are actually one gentle, vast slope in one direction. If you want a level rig here, you’re gonna hafta bust out some ramps or boards. I didn’t bother, of course. Offsetting my vice of cheapness is my virtue of laziness.