Monday, May 06, 2013
It rained. ‘Welcome!’ says the Colorado Plateau in a chipper tone. Yeah, well, I can make rude gestures too. My weather report hadn’t forecast rain, but when in Pine I overheard someone in a restaurant talking about potential rain today and tomorrow. Do you ever find yourself wishing that your weather report is more reliable than a random restaurant patron? After drying my tent, I began walking beneath behemoth clouds that wheeled dizzily across the sky in the crazy wind. I think that Arizona has an all-or-nothing deal with the atmosphere.
The remainder of the canyon was scenic, but then the trail transitioned into forest-ish country that resembled a combination of a golf course and the area between a campground and a highway that people step on until there’s nothing left but dirt and pine needles and scraggy grass.
Plants, bushes and flowers were outnumbered by piles of cow and elk dung, though I did see a beautiful iris. A few sections were more interesting and reminiscent of my AZT experience thus far, mainly because they were rocky. The rocks were tinged blue and the surrounding grass was almost white, creating an otherwordly colour scheme.
Ultimately, there was drizzle during the day but no hard rain. I had trouble finding a tolerable campsite. As I was arranging my gear in my tent, I heard a noise from directly outside like a whining dog. It fit a trend: yesterday I heard howling, and the day before that I heard barking coming from uphill (at the time, I assumed there was another trail up there and someone was walking their dog). What is it? Coyote? Feral dog? Go away, dingo! There are no babies for you here!!!