I wake up in the pitch black darkness, fumbling around the tent trying to find my phone to see what time it is.
I need a bathroom. Did it snow last night? Are the nocturnal creatures just outside?
I do love camping and all of the quirks and challenges that come with spending time outdoors.
No snow came yet, but the temperature certainly dropped at least 25 degrees from last night. It was 33 degrees as the sun started to rise over the mountains and light up the desert. No fire could be made due to the ban, and I couldn’t find my coffee pot to start brewing a cup, so I decide to go for a bike ride on a section of the Arizona Trail that cuts through this park.
At least the movement will keep me warm, or that is what I tell myself as I ride to the trailhead in the morning mist.
It’s been five years now that I’ve lived in Arizona, and still the special light that we get down here in the golden hours of morning and dusk takes my breath away. It’s indescribable, and must be personally witnessed. That light is showcasing deep colors of purple and orange as I weave along the dirt trail.
The old mountain bike creaks and squeaks as I go. I’ve never been one to need the latest gear, in fact I prefer no shocks or fancy gadgets. I really just need two wheels, a seat, and some motivation flowing through my legs.
I climb, descend, then climb again as I complete the circuit and make my way back to the ole’ campsite. I pack up the tent just as the clock strikes 8 a.m.
The park gates have re-opened, so I hit the road.