|Trail to Seven Falls|
|Catalina State Park|
|Phoneline Trail, Sabino Canyon|
|Black Bear Trail.|
The second to last week I twisted my ankle and stupidly kept running. Why do I never learn? Why can't I accept the fact that when something hurts, it's probably time to stop running and start walking to the trailhead?
|View from Blackett's Ridge.|
|Top of Blackett's Ridge|
One of the most memorable times was running up Phoneline Trail at dusk and then down to upper Sabino Canyon Road. We crossed the creek and lay in the sand, staring up at the sky. Then we ran to the top of the canyon and back in the moonlight, no on else around, the canyon gleaming white in the moonlight. It's something I'll never forget.
Two days later, we returned. It had become hotter in that short amount of time, with temps rising from the 70s to the high 80s, and we started off right before dusk, to escape the worst of the heat. A half mile up the trail we heard a rattle and both jumped back. "Rattlesnake," I yelled, but I wasn't too worried. The snake was off the trail in the brush and basically saying, "Hey, I'm here, just let me be, okay?"
|Our friend, the snake|
Halfway down, in the dark, we heard it again, another rattlesnake (what are the chances of coming across two different snakes in one evening?), this one louder, more persistent. We jumped back and rummaged in our packs for our headlamps. We didn't see the snake in the trail but we could hear it, and it was close. I led, since I knew the trail, with MM close behind me. We had to walk past where we knew the rattlesnake was, and we had to do so in the dark, with the puny glow of our headlamps. There was no other way, since directly to our right the trail dropped down to the canyon and to our left was the ridge.
So we moved forward and really, it wasn't that bad. Right when I rounded the bend, right when I thought we had made it, there was the rattle again, and it was loud and fierce and angry sounding. MM pushed me and I ran like hell, stumbling through the dark until the rattle died down.
We had to walk the rest of the way (about two miles) down to the bottom of the canyon in the dark, with every step wondering if we'd encounter another snake. We sang dumb songs and laughed, the way you always laugh when you're on edge and trying to distract yourself from your own precarious vulnerabilities.
When we reached the creek we lay in the sand again and stared up at the sky. There was a large ring circling the moon and it felt like such an undeniably perfect moment, the warm darkness and the sound of the creek and memory of the rattlesnakes leading us in and out of danger.