Fossil Springs is a beautiful wilderness area in central Arizona, just outside the town of Strawberry. The fast running springs are located deep within a canyon and surrounded by a lush riparian habitat. As we drove north in the early evening, ominous clouds gathered and sputtered rain. Looking back, I should have realized this was a sign of things to come…
We reached the trailhead about an hour before sunset. The hike into the canyon would take about two hours, so we knew the last half would have to be done in the dark. At least the rain had stopped though, and the cool weather was perfect for hiking. I was loaded down with a LOT of climbing gear – probably about a 55 pound pack – much heavier than I’m used to, but feeling great and striding well.
The heavy clouds were creating a spectacular sunset and I guess I must have been distracted because in the blink of an eye, I lost my footing, heard two loud “POP”s, and landed face down in the trail! I thought for sure I had broken my ankle and gingerly gathered myself up and tested a bit of weight on it. I was able to support my self fine and continue walking for a short distance where we made camp – about two miles from our intended destination, but it would have to do.
Within thirty minutes my ankle had swollen massively – it looked like a tennis ball had been inserted under my skin, and I could no longer put any weight on it.
For the next TWO DAYS, the only thing I could do was lie there, while the rest of the group dayhiked out. Of course this was the one trip where I had decided not to bring a book – so I spent the days watching nature, relaxing, napping and perfecting some of my camp recipes.
I made a nice batch of “Hobo Potatoes” – a foil pack of potatoes, onions, salami, olive oil, and “Kev Spice” (Cayenne, pepper, salt, paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder)
I also perfected one of my favorite pasta dishes: Pesto filled tortellini with wild mushrooms, walnuts and gorgonzola cream sauce – YUM!
We also put together a geocache (my first one!) and stashed it near the campsite. I’ll post the coordinates later. The geocache was made by filling an old ammunition canister with the following objects (we all donated one object each):
Saguaro carved from ironwood
And a small notebook with our names, and a place for all those who find it to sign in.
On Sunday morning, I packed up my gear as early as possible and made the long journey out of there, stepping very carefully and slowly, vowing the entire way to be much more careful the next time out!