ARIZONA CHALLENGE DAY 3: Scotia Pass

After waking up I decided to take a short hike, with 3 cumulative hours of sleep under my belt.  30 minutes of walking at a brisk pace helped me restore the feeling in my hands and feet.  When I returned to camp I put some coffee on to boil, and met back up with Tom.  He hadn't slept any better than I did.  We decided It might be a good day to move farther down in elevation to warmer nights, and more water sources.



We packed up camp early and headed down a nearby wash on our way over Scotia Pass.  Scotia Pass, as Tom soon pointed out, got its name when two men from Nova Scotia decided to build a cabin there.  One day one of the men returned home with supplies to find his friend (or was it his brother Tom?) dead, with an Apache arrow in his chest.  We hoped to enjoy the amazing beauty of the area as the Nova Scotians did, but without the epic dying part...
The hike was more grueling than I expected.  After filling up some water bottles from a puddle our packs weighed nearly 80lbs.  I finally realized just how heavy water is.  Water weighs around 8.35lbs per gallon, and on the hike over we felt every ounce of that.  

By the middle of the hike we were both running on fumes.  After no sleep, and very little to eat we arrived at our destination, Peterson Pond.  The water was a bit mossy, but it was nice and cold.  We were hoping to find some watercress in a creek near the pond, but after investigating we found only a few dandelions.  They don't taste as fresh and pure as watercress, but after the night and rough start to our day we were thankful for what we had.  
Tom gets water from an old water tank near Peterson Pond
We then set out to search the area for a good spot to set up camp.  There were a lot of nice places, and after 5 minutes of searching we found a spot where Tom could set up his hammock, and I could bivy out on the ground.  I was done with hammocks...

The area where we set up was obviously frequented by javelina.  Javelina is another name for Peccary.  These animals that many describe as half rodent, and half hog, are known to attack in large groups if they spot a dog.  Not the nicest neighbors to have, but they sure beat the crazies from the Motel 6.  
After setting up camp I decided to forego a short nap and explore the area a bit more.  I was exhausted, but I knew that I had a limited amount of time in this wilderness, and I wanted to get the most out of these couple of weeks.  After packing a water bottle, knife, and matches into a butt pack (known as "fanny pack" by Napoleon Dynamite followers, but I'm not that cool) I headed up the mountain.  

It wasn't long before I got my first taste of the good old illegal aliens.  When I reached the saddle between two mountains I discovered a backpack and 50 to 100 water bottles scattered, and empty.  These were old, as much illegal immigration has stopped in the great state of Arizona due to some "racist" laws that make it hard for illegals to get a job.  Maybe the laws are made because they're, well, illegal.  
During the hike back to camp I half expected an illegal alien to jump out of the bushes and attack me, or simply throw rocks from their hiding place, but this was unlikely.  They're not necessarily all violent, they're just illegal.  Have I made it clear that illegal aliens are illegal?  It's not that obvious to some people.  

After returning to camp Tom and I cooked up some food, and relaxed as the sun set.  Day two had been a full, enjoyable day.  We only hoped that the night would spare us some mercy.