Immediately I started thinking. For GC backcountry permits, you can start applying four months in advance of your hike. Woe be to the fool who waits a longer time than that. The permits go fast. They are now working on May. Since nobody with an ounce of sanity really should be hiking in the inner canyon, especially the Tonto, in the summer months, that leaves October, November and December.
Hmm, I thought. Clear Creek? The Gems? Then: whoa there, partner! You just got back from a trip! What's the matter with you? Then I realized...it's Adventure Mania. This happens when I get back from one trip and am not quite ready to give in to the inevitable of real life. I want to always be on vacation!
The only way to prevent adventure mania when you really can't give in to it is to do smaller, local trips. They aren't as fulfilling, because at the end of the day you come home to chores and work. But it's better than nothing. I have never been one to not go on a trip, even if it's expensive, even if it means time off work, even if. Who knows how much longer we all have on this revolving sphere? You need to do what "melts your butter," as my former fire management officer would say (another saying is "whatever blows up your skirt"). For me, there are many reasons to stay home, but I know that won't make me a very happy person.
With that in mind, we ventured down to the Imnaha for a day hike. The hike is one I have done many times but it never fails to impress. The two rivers--the Snake and the Imnaha--flow together as they have done for centuries. It is a magical place.
|The sweet 12 year old. He has recovered from his cancer surgery well!|
Reluctantly we had to head back immediately, since the forecast called for rain. On these clay roads, if it rains, you can be stuck for days until it dries out. Since we didn't have any snacks, that didn't seem like a good idea.
The next day we geared up for the unknown. Up at Salt Creek, the snow might be OK or it might not (spoiler alert: it wasn't). "Why can't we be people who like to sit on the couch, watch TV, and eat chips?" I groused as I packed in snowshoe, ski, and hiking paraphrenalia. "Well, we like eating chips," J said. (Truth be told: some of these winter nights I have thought a TV might be nice. But I always talk myself out of it)
The snow was a miserable crust. Skiing was out of the question. I struggled with snowshoes, sinking in with each step; not sinking in to powder, but through a crunchy crust that required a slow motion pace. After an hour and a half, I gave up. Adventure isn't always fun. I'm never sorry I went outside though. It "melts my butter".