ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Into the mouth of Hell: MS and the Arizona summer

Updated on July 2, 2016

20th Hub

A quiet night scene with the temps below 100*
A quiet night scene with the temps below 100* | Source

20th hub

Some weeks ago, I wrote my 19th hub. I'd thought I could blast off from there and become, finally, prolific. This did not happen. The Arizona monsoon season happened. It really isn't that hot; a temp over 105* is unusual at this time of year but temps ranging within the zone of 101-105* from mid morning to midnight are seen commonly...Today, having awakened early (for me), I am embarking on my 20th hub and about time, too. With my Vornado floor fan aimed at my legs and my morning meds/vitamins taken, I'm as ready as I can be...I've decided today that after covering several topics of wide-ranging scope, I will copy into the blog paragraphs from my journal which tell of an imagined trip I take in the wild. This is not a story, a tale with a point or end. Like many of Checkov's stories, it is more a glimpse into a life existing in my mind and real only as I make it real.

MS comments

My daughter brought one of these home from her travels.
My daughter brought one of these home from her travels. | Source

More MS comments

The above hub should have had a different title but I have decided to change as little as possible in these hub paragraphs.

I wish I could say I see improvement and maybe I do but it isn't obvious. Does the Tysabri work? I think so but its' effects are tidal in their development and my attention span, I suspect, has been affected by my markedly increased use of the Internet. So the long term effects of anything are only obvious if pictures or journal notes can help define me at a given moment. The Ampyra I take to help me walk better may help but I'm waiting for my yearly trip to the Northwest to see how I look to my objective family after a six-month's absence.

I may have to drive up there myself, which is OK.Maybe I can stop over in Shasta, CA and see if the Lemurians are out and about.

Anticipating Travel

Driving a Nevada highway, en route to Tonopah.
Driving a Nevada highway, en route to Tonopah. | Source

An American Addiction

Seventy-five MPH, alone on a congenial straight road through the deserts of the Great American West. I do love it, though my travels this year may be up the spines of California and Oregon along I-5. I've said before that I am a cyborg in my car, with everything I need and never getting out except at bathroom stops and at day's end. There is plenty of music in my little world and radio conversation as well as fluid and scheduled meals, all so paleolithic.

Travel in the Mind

It is a crisp early morning- an hour before sunrise. There is little wind.I am warm in the coccoon which is my sleeping bag. It is warm, yes but is only a kernel of warmth surrounded by cold, frosty air. I lie on my back in the bivy sack and look out at a deep blue sky and the ridges of cloud rimmed with crimson which is the promise of a coming dawn.

I slide out of the sleeping and bivy bags both onto the ground sheet they lie upon.

I stand, allow a minute for the intense contraction of all my muscles, then look around at my makeshift camp, off an easy bit from the trail, where I'd realized my three-mile's journey of yesterday had run out of gas. My support group, made of three old friends, is camped half a mile up the trail at the lake which was our goal.

After a morning micturition and a drink of cold tea I dress in my cargo pants and a work shirt. I put on cotton socks and my walking shoes. I pull my rip-stop nylon shell out from the bivy bag- this shell, which I call my Sleeping Bag, is part of my many-layer clothing regimen. it is 71/2 feet long and four feet wide with a buttoned pocket to hold my phone and a pen light. It is folded lengthwise then rolled tightly into a surprisingly compact parcel easily fitting into my daypack. The bivy bag similarly ends up as a small one-pound lump.

I carry three protein bars and a liter of water. I have a small spiral notebook and a felt-tip pen. I have a book of crossword puzzles.

I put my pack on, then my cap (a brown baseball cap of cotton with a discreet 'winged M' logo in black, the sign of the Multnomah Club in Portland.

I pick up my trekking poles, take one last look for detritis of the night before, then off up the Trail to Breakfast.


I walk into camp about forty-five minutes later. I have stopped three times to sit, catch my breath and enjoy the early morning stillness.On the first stop I ate a protein bar, which has whetted my appetite for the more substantial breakfast of egg-and-ham with oatmeal and coffee. There is, after all, an advantage to walking with a group.

They have kindly left me a canvas camp chair and the makings of morning coffee: the gas stove with matches (MSR Misquito), the coffee pot with pre-measured coffee in a baggie and a bottle of water.

Skipping the details for a moment, I am soon seen contentedly sitting back in the chair and sipping my morning cup.

Amidst and among the Redwoods, on a cool Summer morning in an even-cooler Grove.
Amidst and among the Redwoods, on a cool Summer morning in an even-cooler Grove. | Source

A Walking Photo!

Anasazi Ruin, West Phoenix (base of the trail)
Anasazi Ruin, West Phoenix (base of the trail) | Source

Read Me!

This blog is worth glancing at. Suggested dietary tips for the handicapped walker are touched upon.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.