Tuesday, August 24, 2010

San Juan Wilderness Area

Day 5 - Ben's uncle Kirk suggested that I spend some time in the San Juan Wilderness Area and get into accessible exclusive fishing and hiking.  I promised to keep the location a secret so the vagueness is intentional.  I drove thirteen miles into the wild in 4-wheel drive, averaging 10 mph, up and down steep hills with cliff edges that were casually too close.  Where the road ended the 3 mile trail began.  I knew it was wild because within 15 minutes of hiking I spotted numerous black bear tracks, some that were cub others that were adult, a small snake, an elk leg that was some beast's dinner, and a brewing thunderstorm that was terrifying.  

This furry creature has the most interesting call. 

Due to the relative nearness to the clouds (because of the altitude) and the echoing effect of the canyon; the thunder literally shook the mountain, even pine cones fell.  The rain poured on me for two hours, which made me feel small.  Since it had rained almost every day last week, the river was blown out (too muddy and too high), but I could tell it was fishy.  

Where I parked and slept helps put the area in perspective.  Since no one was around, I peed from a bridge forty feet off the ground, form where I took the picture of the 4Runner.  I ended up cooking rice and beans (you need so much more water and cooking time in higher altitude) and watched Saving Private Ryan in my car.  I was contemplating sleeping with my windows cracked for circulation, but also to be able to hear if a bear would come.  I got lucky not to hear anything.  

1 comment:

  1. Ansel, thanks for keeping the location sekrit (wink-wink). Too bad the weather didn't cooperate more - you'll just have to come back, and I'll fish it with you!
    That creature is fondly known locally as a whistle pig - more commonly called a marmot.