The original plan was that this last, long 10 day stint coming up would be back on Langstroth Mesa, the same place we went for the first trip with about 9 people and as many bottles of wine. This trip would be with many of the same people, who would be driving or flying down from up north. The trip would end on July 25th, whereupon Tyler and I would bid them adios, and head back up to Los Alamos for a few days before departing for Australia. After Tyler and I left, Zack and CJ would pick up one or two more people that were coming to replace us, and finish out the rest of the summer doing research in the Rincons, near Tucson.
That’s all off now.
The Moonshine fire, which burned us out of Iron Creek/Gila River on one trip, is out in that part of the wilderness, but continues to burn south, directly approaching our planned camp for the Langstroth trip. Additionally, the much stronger Dry Lake fire is burning up from the south. In essence, our proposed camp is sandwiched between two fires. The fire crews are letting nobody into the area. And so the trip is canceled, nobody’s coming down from Moscow and Missoula, and our little crew leaves for the Rincons two weeks early…which means that Tyler and I have to go.
We’re in Los Alamos now, for the second day. We have to leave early tomorrow morning to be in Silver City by 2:00 pm. Then we’ll get in Der Truck and drive to Tucson that afternoon, and arrive that evening. The next morning (15th), we head to an FS helipad and drop all our gear, which will be airlifted up to our base camp (a fire crew camp right now, actually). Then we’ll spend the rest of the day sleeping in Tucson, because on the morning of the 16th, we need to be on the trail by at least 3:00 am. The trail is 9 miles of steep uphill, and in sunlight, the heat is not only agony, but dangerous. Zack refers to it as “purification by hiking.” After reaching base camp, we will work in the Rincons until July 25th, whereupon Tyler and I will pack out.
I am NOT happy.