Love is Black and Blue

The river flows, it flows to the sea
Wherever that river goes that's where I want to be"

Ballad of Easy Rider

MY friend and fellow adventure guide Josh spent four fabulous days hiking, fishing and exploring various wildernesses in the White Mountains of Arizona, as well as the Blue Range Primitive area.

We were treated to several exciting wildlife sightings, including a black bear and cub, wild turkeys, deer, and a lone coyote in a brilliant meadow.

The first day we explored the Little Colorado in the pristine Mt. Baldy Wilderness. From headwaters near 12,000' this river flows through forests of Colorado blue spruce, white fir, ponderosa pine, white pine, and my favorite - quaking aspen, and cuts through hundreds of feet of volcanic rock formations. Near Sheep Crossing where the river leaves the wilderness area and flows through lush meadows many varieties of wildflowers laced the meadows.
The Black River forms a major tributary to the Salt River. The headwaters are in the White Mountains and it flows in a tortuous channel through a number of narrow gorges marked by magnificent rock formations and cliffs. It is a highly scenic and pristine river corridor.
We camped at Horse Springs next to the Black River. In the hot coals of the campfire. Josh prepared delicious meals of bratwurst/beans and 2 nights of steaks/potatoes. Lobo ate heartily. Cervezas flowed like the river.
Lobo elected to sleep in his Hennessy Hamock and each evening was an adventure in survival. Josh opted out of the hammock (borrowed from Zo) for his tent and slept safe and warm.

The "BLUE" is one of the most prized backcountry resources in the Southwest.
It remains one of Arizona's untouched and little known jewels. This is a land of rugged mountains, steep canyons, and stark ridges.
The Mexican Wolf was reintroduced here in 1997, Currently there are 10 packs and 4 single wolves roaming the Blue.
My son Jake and I used to camp frequently at KP CIenega and hike the extensive trail system here. I absolutely love wandering where my brothers and sisters live.

Josh and I enjoyed a fabulous hike in the Bear Wallow Wilderness. We were chased out by an afternoon thunder storm. This is a wet boggy place
where black bears probably wallow in mud to fend off insects. This wildland may very well harbor the largest concentration of black bears within Arizona and is truly some of the most wild terrain in our state. The wilderness contains some of the most extensive acreage of virgin ponderosa pine in the Southwest.
The centerpiece for this wilderness is the creek itself, that flows year round and provides habitat for the native Apache trout. You can follow the creek for 8 miles down to the border of the Apache reservation.
Thank God for the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the passage of the Arizona Wilderness Act of 1984,setting aside 42 new wilderness areas for protection, most on National Forest lands.
NOTE: Arizona has 92 total wilderness areas.
Men Behaving Badly
-Lobo and Josh for telling lie after lie around the campfire.
-The red neck dude (as%h#le) at Hannegan Meadows Lodge who complained to Lobo that "the wolves around here have more constitutional rights than I have"
-Josh in Bear Wallow for asking Lobo if he brought his Tennessee Toothpick, followed by "who should fight the bear?" These questions came after Lobo advised Josh "If black, fight back. If brown get down"
-Josh for suggesting that Lobo should fight the bear since Lobo already had much more life than Josh.
-Lobo for doing less than his share of camp chores.
-Lobo and Josh for not catching any fish. (Josh had one crawdad bite)

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