Como estan ustedes?
The six pack of (Lorenzo, Dan, Hannu, Lobo, Drew and Wilson returned from the Gila Wilderness New Mexico late last night, tired but still in awe of the wild, steep rugged mountains, deep canyons, mesas, and mountain streams that characterize America’s first Wilderness. It was a pilgrimage to the Mecca. Thanks to the vision and leadership of Aldo Leopold, Forrest ranger, writer, and pioneer of wildlife ecology, that 755,000 acres in the headwaters of the Gila River were set aside in 1924. The Gila Wilderness is a blend of the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Madre Mountains from Mexico and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts. Together this combination is unbeatable. It was gorgeous!
We car camped for four days. My strong preference is to back pack into a remote area, but the seduction of comfy camp chairs, four cases of fifteen different beers, and meals of steak, fajitas, and tortelini made the car camping very acceptable. This was our first visit to the Wilderness and we covered a lot of ground, scoping and planning for future back packs.
Highlights of this trip included:
-Iron Creek day hike through lush Forrest to one of the many permanent streams in the Gila
-Liberty Ale, Guinness, Flying Dog, Guyama, Sierra Nevada, Lowenbrau, Bud light, Stone IPA, Pacifico, Nimbus Pale Ale, Pilsner Urqull, Eureka Honey Wheat by the fire
-Day Hike on the Crest trail-18 miles of high mountain forest and isolation in the heart of the Wilderness
-Day hiking the WORLD famous “CATWALK” suspended from the walls of a narrow rocky gorge with the rushing Whitewater Creek below
-Visiting the ancient Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and scoring a patch
-Hiking the Gila West Fork through fields of sunflowers to cliff dwellings
Wildlife sightings included many varmints, deer, and a blacktailed rattlesnake. Three Mexican Wolves are presently roaming this Wilderness.
Overall, rating for this trip is a 9.6. This was a great group of guys and I thoroughly enjoyed the time we shared. However, there were a few ugly incidents.
Men Behaving Badly:
Incident # 1
After Hannu drug us eighteen miles at 10,000’ up and down 6,000’ of elevation gain/loss on a death march at a three mile an hour clip, Lorenzo and I were chewed out for not going faster. “We were slow,” yelled Hannu, “four hours would have been an acceptable time.”
We were allowed to stop for five seconds on the saddle to look at the view.
“But Hannu, wasn’t this a recreational hike?”
I think Hannu is not a Fin but a Tarahuamara Indian!
Incident # 2
On the seven hour drive to the Wilderness, Drew offered El Lobo a bottle of Beano.
Now why would any guy ever use that type of product? It could ruin you for life.
Late one night around the campfire after much firewater, Hannu went ballistic and screamed at El Lobo “I have been to 36 countries, I know such things, you do not know
S*&t” This climaxed an important philosophical discussion on whether or not you could get aroused if you were in a 220 degree Swedish sauna with a nude Pam Anderson.
Hannu also challenged El Lobo’s Alpha male authority, specifically regarding some demerits that he had received. Perhaps fearful of being banished from the pack to wander alone in the Gila Wilderness he later made amends and admitted that he was ticked off that nobody wanted to trail run 30 miles with him to the Gila Cliff Dwellings.
The group was quite jealous of El Lobo’s relationship with Wilson. Wilson is a wood massager equipped with four strong legs and a happy face. There was much vicious gossip that El Lobo had frequently slipped away to his tent with Wilson.