Renegade Ramble: Day 19

By July 20, 2017Uncategorized

RENEGADE RAMBLE. Day 19: 10.2 Miles
Total Mileage Thus Far: 128.4

I’m seeking $20 donations for each mile, but will accept any amount.
We only need another $760 to meet our goal of $25,000 by the end of July.

Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. Marcus Landslide Trail. Rock Knob Trail. Pemberton Trail (I know it’s in the Regional Park, but I figured it made for a more interesting hike than doing Gooseneck again. I paid the $2 fee). Delsie Trail. County Park Connector SW to Saguaro Nest Trail around to Trail marker SN1. Service Road #1. Saguaro Nest Trail to GN15 {oops} back to SN11 and County Park Connector SE to Gooseneck Trail. Caballo Trail. Tom’s Thumb Trailhead.

A spectacular sunrise on the way to the Trailhead punctuated by the [non-native] red bird of paradise blooming brightly in the median was easily eclipsed in the first five minutes of my hike.

I met MaryJo and Ken in the parking lot; they made a generous donation right then and there. I could likely have spent hours handing out flyers and speaking to hikers; staying for 15 minutes, I handed out over a dozen flyers.

Headed out on Rock Knob Trail, MaryJo stopped me to point out several blooming penoicereus gregii (night blooming cereus/queen of the desert). This elusive desert plant is difficult to find when not in bloom. Its scrawny, prickly stem belies an enormous tuber below ground prized by native peoples, javelinas, rodents, and jackrabbits. I was able to gather photographs of insects gorging on the lovely bloom and later its cursory departure; please enjoy. Learn more about this fabulous flower from the National Park Service:…/…/nature/upload/Queen-of-the-Night.pdf

Let’s talk about dirt. Rolling out of bed each morning, after I stretch and rub my eyes, one of my first tasks is to empty the sand and gravel accumulated in my shoes from the previous day’s hike. I start out relatively clean most mornings with my hair braided, teeth brushed, and face washed. Dust, sand, granules of miscellaneous animal turd, slime, grime, and grit attach themselves to my sweaty self in microscopic layers. By the time I arrive back at the Trailhead, I am positively filthy, and I can most always smell myself. A shower is always in order. I wonder how native people and early settlers of this harsh terrain dealt with personal hygiene? Any historians out there who care to weigh in on this one?

The big news?!
I have officially completed the Central Area of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Thank you all so very much for your kind support.

If you’d like to hike a leg with me, or do you have ideas of how might raise additional funds or awareness, message me today.

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