Monday, December 22 – Maricopa, AZ

Today we played scouts – guides – pilots. Let me explain.

Later this week we will be hosting an extended family and others who are coming to hike. Ages will range from 4 years to nearly 80 years old. We will be in some of the more remote locations with limited vehicular access. Our commissary must be stocked sufficiently to get us all across the Forty Mile Desert, then through another remote region of the Gila Valley.

The planning weighs heavily upon Denny – she is very good about details and organizing the minute-to-minute aspects of these times. I’m less inclined to sweat the details, so we make a good pair – even if we don’t always agree on things.

We rode the trail to the west checking access roads and probing along the route we intend to hike. We did not drive the actual route in a Wilderness Area. It’s been closed to vehicles by the BLM because some of the off-roaders have chewed the desert up. BLM hopes that with intensive restoration work, some long-term facility development and better monitoring, this area can be restored and maintained.

In our case, we had to pull an extra “special use” permit so we could take the vehicles with us this week. More paperwork. Yuck.

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