Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bitter Springs Trail

I have an excellent reason why I have not a single picture of anything along Bitter Springs Trail. This 4x4 trail outside of the Valley of Fire is rated as easy and trail guides said it took approximately 2.5 hours to travel its length – almost 30 miles. First, if that is an easy trail, I don’t want to know about difficult trails. We had a flat not even ten miles into our adventure. (Here's a picture of the truck from its very first, flat tire-free outing to the Grand Canyon.)

“This is an easy trail?” I asked my hubby.

“Definitely. There’s nothing technical.”

“Technical? What would technical entail?”

“Winches, rock climbing, stuff like that.”

Well, thank God for small favors.

The bumping, jostling ride wouldn’t allow photos. And even though we stopped several times, every time we stopped I had something else on my mind that crowded out thoughts of photographs. First, of course, there was the flat tire. All my traveling companions with Y chromosomes were on that one like white on rice, leaving me and my friend Merina to begin hiking to a distant cave. Later, when we stopped to admire barrel cacti, I was too busy pouring over maps to think about pictures. We were in the middle of the desert without any indication of a road ahead. Just to our right were wilderness boundary markers. When we got back in the truck and started back down the trail, my hubby began questioning me.

“Are you sure this is the right trail?” (Let me just interject that it wasn’t as if we had many options out there.)

“Has to be,” I said, although at that moment I wasn’t 100% sure.

“But we’re supposed to be going southeast.”

“Maybe the road switches direction after that hill.”

“I would think the person with the map would know this.”

“My map isn’t that detailed.”

“Surely a person such as yourself would have a map with better details.”

At this point, I wanted to stuff the map up his nose, but when the road turned southeasterly, we were both relieved.

Five hours later – yes, twice as long as the guides indicated – we were pulling onto the Northshore Road. By the time we stopped for a picnic dinner at the Seven Sisters in the Valley of Fire, not enough light remained for me to take pictures. Besides, I was enjoying watching my son climb over the same rocks I scaled as a child. In Las Vegas, we don’t often get the opportunity to show our children the things we saw as kids. As we ate chicken and watched the stars start to come out, I really wasn’t too concerned about the lack of photos.

No comments: