Day 16. Marina Magic

Mile 322 to 346. 24 miles.
Heard some crazy ass noises again in the middle of the night. I think it was some kind of deer screaming? Really raspy voice and pretty creepy.
Woke up and hit the trail around 6:45. Had a fair climb in the morning and then the trail leveled out into flat ponderosa pine forest for a few miles. Saw a big bunny, not sure what kind but not a jackrabbit. Also saw a big squirrel with funny ear tufts.
Made it to the Reavis Ranch remains. Just the foundation of an old ranch, but some of the plants that the occupants planted are still there and living! There was a few apple or pear trees blooming and there was a vinca plant growing and blooming all around the foundation! It outlived this old western building! I’ve seen this before too in West Virginia and ohio. I used to metal detect for fun and you can find old homesites by looking for the non native plants the long gone occupants planted. Daffodils say, or boxwood.
Much of the scenery today wasn’t very exciting compared to what I have seen and the rocks are just brutal. Twisting my ankles and stubbing my toes all freaking day. I had expected more from the superstition wilderness!  
I did run into another almost thru hiker today! Going from Tucson to the Grand Canyon. An old man named Woodchuck. He’s got a long white beard and is in his 60s but he doesn’t talk or really seem that old. He’s a retired potato farmer from Maine trying to escape the cold like me. He’s thru hiked the AT, parts of the PCT and then does trips to national parks where he sets up a base camp hidden in the woods and then just hikes every trail anywhere close. Pretty badass! We chatted about an hour and a half and the I headed towards Roosevelt Lake hoping the marina would in fact be open as I had heard from other people.
Walked down into cottonwood canyon and the trail instantly became a deciduous forest. Ash, cottonwood, sycamore, elderberry and arizona walnut! All leafing out! I ran across a lone calf and it ran away from me and bleated out. A minute later I looked behind me to see momma cow running full speed toward me. Uhhh, I’m just gunna get off trail for a bit. I hid behind some bushes and she gave me the evil eye and then went past me and met up with her babe. Then I walked behind the two of them for awhile.  

Deciduous forest! Notice the saguaros on the hillside in the background. Cray.

Arizona walnut leafing out.

I run into a group of 6 or 7 people backpacking in the forest and say hi to them. They say. “You’re Woody Sheriff!!!” Close enough! More instagram followers! Awesome! I’m glad so many people like the pictures.  I chat with them a bit and get on my way. I also notice many of them are wearing Brooks Cascadia shoes! First others I’ve seen. I’ve been following a pair for a long time but never caught the wearer.

I finally made it to Roosevelt Lake Marina around 5:15 and asked the guy who worked there if they had my mailed box. He had just closed a few minutes ago but said hmmmm okay! YES!!! I got my resupply a day early! There was also an outdoor bar there and people were looking at me. I’m smelly, salt lines are on my shirt and I’m tan as hell in my american flag short shorts. A few minutes go by a this girl walks up to me and says I gotta have a picture with you. Okay? Haha I smell bad just fyi! I talk to her and her group of friends for a bit and they are all astonished such a trail exists from Mexico to Utah.
As I’m unpacking my food resupply another couple at the bar talk to me for a bit about the trail. They love it! The man, Ty Goodman offers me a bass he just caught. Well being a sort of yes man I say, “Hell yea I’ll take a bass!” I can cook it over a campfire tonight for dinner. We go over to his boat and he guts a bass for me! But then accidentally drops it in the lake and it sinks to the bottom… Oops. “It’s okay I’ve got 4 of them!” He says. He grabs another and as he is about to cut it open it jumps out of his hands and into the lake and swims away! Luckiest fish in town that’s for sure. The third bass, a big one, he guts for me and I take it! I thank Ty for the fish and wish him and his family well. I finish my beer and get another for the road in my water bottle. The bartender also fills up my water for me.  

Ty Goodman gutting me a fish!
I hike back up to where the trail is and make a small campfire. Gee I wonder what kind of wood I can use to cook the fish. Oh yea! I’m in a scrub desert filled with mesquite trees! How convenient! I cook the fish right on an open fire, mesquite smoked. Super legit. I eat the tender white flesh off the bass like corn on the cob, holding his head and tail and munching away at it. I spit out the sharp bones and eat all his meat. That is some fresh protein folks! I pee the fire out and head to bed. I’m cowboy camping near the trail looking at the stars and listening to coyotes. THIS is camping.
   Walking through town with a bass

  Cooked right on the fire skin peeled right off to give me the nice tender meat! Cooked on an open mesquite fire!

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