Our camp at Iron Creek is wonderful. We are surrounded by huge Ponderosa Pine trees in a cool, cool forest. If you place your nose in the crevices of the bark of a Ponderosa Pine and sniff, you will smell vanilla. Some folks say they smell like a butterscotch lifesaver, but they smell strongly of vanilla to me. Makes me want to go for ice cream.
In setting up my tent yesterday I saw a Grey Fox come boldly into camp in broad daylight. See this link for a BLM picture and article - scroll down to see the information about the Gray Fox http://www.blm.gov/education/sonoran/animal.htm
He was obviously looking for leftovers from the previous campers, some delightful people from El Paso that we got to chat with for a while. But the Texans had cleaned up all traces of their camp like good campers do, and the fox left with nothing from the humans. He had a very glossy, reddish brown coat with gray legs and belly, and had a huge black stripe running down the length of his tail, unlike the Gray Fox that I am familiar with back home in South Carolina. He also had a 'foxier' face than the one in the picture, with a tiny, sharp muzzle and huge ears. Very delicate looking, but he must be strong to live in this environment. The "creek" next to us was dry and looked like it had been so for quite some time, so water is always a challenge, even here in the forest.
Well, a laundry-run to Silver City while the trekkers are off in the woods and leftover spaghetti tonight for Bob, Ron, Amanda, and I, so dinner will be simple but good. Amanda and I have had great fun today with the tech-trailer. While she worked getting updated maps to Bob and Ron for the trekkers, I learned how to post my journal entries and played with getting photos online. And we laughed and did techno-geek stuff and had a great time. I will miss her when she leaves on Tuesday. All of our techie help are volunteers, just like we are. And they have been fantastic.
I am still working on the ins and outs of the technical stuff like journaling and pictures, but it will all fall into place as we go along. I have a digital camera and I am taking a lot of pictures, they should be up soon.
Bad news, Bob and Ron are having trouble getting to the trekkers in the backcountry...something about the trail being gone/disappeared and the map being wrong. They have taken the motorbike and satellite phones to look for them. I am sure that they are okay, but we still worry.
It is getting dark; I hope that Bob and Ron get back soon. Amanda asked me "So when do we send out the Forest Service to rescue the rescuers?" My reply was, "If Bob and Ron are not back by 8 am, we call in the Forest Service".
Ron just came back, the trekkers have been met and Bob is bringing Cathie in to go to the doctor, seems she had a close encounter with a tree branch in her leg. Nothing serious, and the others have now seemed to found their way. Seems that the trail just disappeared on them. More on this tomorrow.