All photos from cell phone
As I hiked up the saddle to the left I found a faint trail. It made me think of all the people who felt the need to leave Mexico for a better life (or pass off drugs). I can see why it is popular with so much foliage and shade. You could hide and rest well. The mt. is a visual land mark for them from far away.the hardship for the 40 mile hike must be great. 2 day hike, hot,lack of water,cold near freezing nights, rough cross country terrain and countless needle bearing plants. Worrying about the daily patrols is constant. You would have to be fairly desperate I would think.
I see a Jack Rabbit near the saddle, he makes eye contact, and leads the way. I choose another way and end up with Chola cactus I have to pull from dogs leg and tounge. They were stoic with much flinching. After the view of another smaller valley and mt I turn to retreat the jacks path. It was needle free. Must listen to creatures more. The Verdi trees are super green everything is fresh from recent rains. Mud in the washes. I see a covey of gambles quail and hold back the dogs. They quiver wanting to chase. There are even Organ Pipe cactus in this area.. Only to been seen in this zone of Arizona. The Gila Woodpeckers, sqeeking like a dogs toy, moving from Saguaro to Saguaro is the only sound. I am looking for Elf owls only later to learn they have left for mexico for the winter.
This was a rather short hike really from my camp but was so quiet, I could hear every little sound, and the water evaporated from my body quickly. How do these people walk with limited water? Many are found delerious or dead.
I see the patrols daily. They unload atv’s or horses near me and are gone all day. Today a border helicopter was hovered over the peak for quite some time. My camp entertainment for the morning.
Honestly it is a nice area, with a few interesting birds. A few other campers. My neighbor down the dirt lane aways, turns out to be a biologist birding photographer!
Evenings are lovely. Quiet. I leave out a gallon of water incase of a thirsty traveler going by and to reduce the risk of a knock on the door. I am thankful to have such a good simple life.