Zen On Dirt

Two weeks in a Scamp

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We’ve been living in the Scamp full-time for over a month now. I’ve been gone for two of those weeks, but that still means that there’s no documentation of the three weeks that I have been living in this fiberglass egg. Since I desperately want to have a written record of this period in life, regardless of how long it ends up being, I’m sorta kinda screwing up.

No time like the present, Scamping under a giant oak tree in Patagonia, to change this habit of non-writing.

We moved into the Scamp on February 26th, rolling out of the Mission Road house late in the afternoon, heading to our known and trusted spot south east of town. We had no plan, we just knew that we wanted to get out of the little white house that day, and we’d figure out the next step later.

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Our little Scamp Spot was just off of the AZT, which meant fantabulous trail access.

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Scott even joined me for a run.

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I joined him for an evening ride. The sunsets were spectacular.

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Scott needed reliable internet access for tracking for another day or two and we needed a few more things from town, so we combined a coffee-shop date with town errands with a run-each-others’-shuttles date on Mt Lemmon. I ran up Bugs, Scott rode down. I picked him up at the bottom of Prison Camp.

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Having enough of Tucson, we headed south, to Patagonia, to the birds.

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Again, we set up our Scamp Site just off of the AZT on Harshaw Road. The Canelo Hills are pretty amazing at sunset.

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Desperately needing a shower and being in possession of a State Park Pass, we tooted down the road to Patagonia State Park. The first order of business was to wander the birding path, joking that maybe we’d see an Elegant Trogon.

We did! What an amazing bird!

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We felt pretty lucky, I ended up talking to a birder in Patagonia the next day who had birded the area for 20 years before he saw one.

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Our Scamp Site outside of Patagonia also happened to be at the base of Red Mountain, and Red Mountain has a steep service road that rises 2,000 feet in just a handful of miles. I ran. Scott rode. I was faster up. Scott was faster down. Either way, it’s a steep-ass hill with amazing views straight into Mexico.

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Our neighbors consisted of Coatis and Javalinas.

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A few months ago, I signed on to one of those terribly awesome ideas that scares the shit out of me. An idea that requires a lot of running over a lot of elevation. I figured I’d test my running progress out on the 15 miles of Canelo West on the AZT. Scott could drive to Canelo Pass and ride home, I could start from home and run to the pass.

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It very nearly killed me. But hey, 15 miles over rough terrain is 15 miles. Now I only need to triple it…

I got to play trail angel and give some thru-hikers some much needed water. It seemed like high-season on the AZT, lots of thru-hikers on the trail and in town. It made me miss the trail community that we saw on the CDT.

With a storm moving in, we headed back to Tucson. First to Gilbert Ray to charge batteries.

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And to run Wasson, naturally. I was able to run the entire thing for the first time in my life. Progress on the running front!

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In Colorado, we worry about Grey Jays getting into camp food. Around Gilbert Ray, it’s Cactus Wrens and Curved Bill Thrashers. The Gila Woodpeckers also check out pots and pans.

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Shannon and I went out for a little Hidden Canyon run.

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Scott and I did a lap of Brown Mountain the next morning…

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Before moving the Scamp to Snyder Hill and going on an evening Starr Pass ride from there.

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A pair of Great Horned Owls woke me up the next morning. This one had a nice bunny for breakfast and ate it on the cliffs overlooking our campsite.

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Alexis and Denny came to town for Camp Tucson, and we headed out for our Prologue ride. Rubbly Hill was the first order of business. If I had a penny for every time I’ve ridden/attempted to ride that hill…

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And then after a dinner and a short nights sleep, I found myself in a metal tube watching the sun rise over the Arizona landscape.

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Why? Dogs needed watching. Yeah. This dog.

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And, of course, this one too.

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2 thoughts on “Two weeks in a Scamp

  1. Awesome post. Love the bird pictures. I visited Tanzania a few years ago and, yea, the lions, elephants, etc. were great but what I ended up loving the most were the birds. Our guide had a particularly good eye and I ended up getting many good shots. Anyway, well played.

  2. So jealous of your birds! An Elegant Trogon, rad.

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