Monday, February 20, 2023

A Zero Day

As is the coyote-nature of these things, (The Navajo people consider the coyote a trickster, and usually not nice tricks either.) yesterday when I came down off the White Rock Cave Trail after yet another visibility-related failed attempt at Old Baldy, things had cleared up a bit. (as the following video shows) But unless I was willing to claw my way back up what I had just come down, it is what it is and coyote wins again.

For now the trail threw me out right onto the Pecan Grove camping area.

In the video I speculate that maybe the campground is empty because it's been closed for the season, but that night I checked and the reservation system said I could have any one of those campsites I wanted.

so I don't really know why this camping area, which the park calls one of its most sought after, probably because it's adjacent to this paddle-boating pool (middle distance) on the river as well as several other family-type amenities, was empty.

Maybe it was the weather.

Nope, not me.

At any rate - through-hikers call a day off, a day spent recovering in camp with no miles hiked, a zero day. (Get it? Zero miles?)

While not exactly a zero day in that sense of the word, I'm calling the day after my second attempt at Old Baldy my kind of zero day.

As I looked out at the cloud-heavy sky from under my canopy that morning shivering while cuddling my oatmeal and hot tea close, I made an executive decision to give attempting a view from up on top of Old Baldy a pass for the day and basically just hang out instead. Which for me means a little lounging around but first, maybe a bit of strolling because - well - itchy feet and all.

But in my typical, slow, easily distracted way, I managed to make a 4 mile, pretty much flat-ground stroll around the Frio Canyon Trail last a good portion of the daylight hours.

Of course, in typical coyote-fashion, after a less than promising start the day brightened up and I actually saw shadows for the first time in several days.

Yes, that means I missed out on a good opportunity to look around from up on top of Old Baldy, but no worries. When you live in a place where sun, rather than clouds, is the norm, finally seeing your shadow again after an extended cloudy period is a big deal! And that makes it a day to be glad to be alive.

Just after traversing that dead-straight section of trail that follows the power-line easement I came to this marked nature trail.

In addition to gobbling like a turkey and flapping like a bat, I was also instructed to jump like a rabbit, yip like a coyote, and scamper like a squirrel. It was pretty embarrassing, but, well, I have been taught to follow instructions - - - 

Later I wandered down to the river for sunset and things are looking promising for summiting Old Baldy tomorrow.

Which is good because that's my last chance for this trip.


  1. Okay, I'll bite.

    WHEN do we get to see the vid of you flapping, yipping & balancing?

    1. Sorry, don't own a selfi-stick so no video of me cavorting. - yeah - no selfi-stick, THAT'S why there are never any videos with me in them!

  2. I love the sound of the running water at the end, but I think there's something wrong with my browser. There seems to be a missing video...

    1. There should be two videos John. One of the empty campground and the other of the river at sunset. I don't know much about this video crap but seem to get both when using my phone, laptop, and The Wife's laptop. Don't know what to tell you other than you may be defective!

      I ended up staying down by the water there too long and having to pick my way back to camp through the scrub in the dark.

  3. MY phone shows two vids. But then, it's a Pixel 6. (Never, EVER buy a Pixel 6!!)

    1. Isn't Pixar some sort of Disney thing. No wonder you're having issues! You're cavorting with some dude or dudett in a fluffy mouse costume! (Unless you're into that sort of thing of course.)

  4. as you call it a zero day, which to me it is not. But it gives me the liberty to be pessimistic. Do you think you will ever make up? I love looking back on failed attempts, when i finally reach a certain goal i had set out years back, but now my age, any goals not reached yet..., well that is more and more my reality.,

    1. I hear what you're saying Jozien. When falling short of a goal I used to be - ehh, there will be another day. But any more I'm quite aware that this, right here, right now, may be the very last time I'm ever going to be here. And it's not like I'm going to be any younger, nimbler, stronger tomorrow! I think that thought has spurred me on lately to push through the fatigue, the pain, the common-sense, and keep going because this might be my last chance - ever.

      Not sure that's always a good thing, (Ask when I'm standing on top of a cliff picking out a route down its face that I've never done before and I'll tell you it definitely isn't a good thing!) but it is what it is.

      Oh, as for Old Baldy, I guess we'll have to wait and see if body and weather ever let me make it.