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It has been a fun trip to the bottom of Arizona. I’m not sure why but I had visions of this land as flat barren desert. It’s not like that at all. There are mountains, canyons, rolling hills of grasslands, and trees of all varieties. Some of the landscape is so rugged that border patrol has to go on foot to catch smugglers and illegals. It is what makes this area so popular for border crossing.

Two days ago I drove to Patagonia, AZ, to check on a camping area I had heard about. I spent the night at Patagonia Lake State Park. State parks are usually avoided because they are expensive, but this one had a shower and drinking water, which both I needed. I also washed some clothes in the shower so that was another savings.

The next morning I hiked a short trail around the lake. There are cattle pastured beside the lake where you sometimes will walk through the herd. Once, while coming close to a cow, I put out my hand in a friendly gesture, and she lowered her head and started to charge me! I think it was one of those false charges but it unsettled me anyway.

I met some nice people on the hike. One couple had done a bit of hiking on the AT so we kind of had a starting point of commonality. We talked about travel and the pros and cons of hauling around a giant home or living in a ‘go anywhere adventure vehicle’s, and eventually came to the conclusion that there is no conclusion.

I left Patagonia and followed the Harshaw road east. The road is paved part way but then turns dirt for 15 miles until it hits route 83 outside of Canelo. There were many beautiful places to camp along the road, but the area seemed to desolate – no cell signal or TV signal or people – to stop and camp there. Every once in a while I would pass a ranch but saw no campers and met no vehicles except a border patrol 4×4.

I eventually made it back to the same area I camped in before. The nights have been very cold, and I don’t run my propane heater while I am asleep, so I have been bundled up in my down sleeping bag wearing a knit hat until morning. All the cold has forced me to remain inside a majority of time, so I have been using more media than normal. Yesterday I raised my solar panel with two metal legs, tipping it towards the low, winter sun, gaining a tremendous amount of charge.

Each day I go for a hike. I can hear drones flying overhead and boarder patrol drives by several times a day. I have to admit that I am sometimes concerned about walking into an uncomfortable situation. I really don’t know how the early settlers could live in this area. They didn’t have to worry about the Mexican Cartel, but can you imagine seeing an Apache War party riding your way?

I will be heading back to Mesa soon. Next week Karen and Noah are coming to spend Christmas with me. I’m really looking forward to that!

Did anyone hear the booms last night? I thought someone was setting off explosions, but apparently it had something to do with meteorites entering the atmosphere.