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DWTH Day 15: OMFG We Saw 2 Crested Caracaras!

DWTH Day 15: OMFG We Saw 2 Crested Caracaras!

Stats

👣 Miles: 16.55

📈 Elevation Gain: 1,148 ft

📉 Elevation Loss: 256 ft

Overall Weather: Sunny, Hot

The Wake Up

I awoke first and waited until Karma awoke to make him say “rabbit rabbit” with me as one does on the first of the month for good luck. 

He hesitated. He doesn’t believe me that it works. However, eventually after saying nothing, Karma sighed and said, “rabbit rabbit.” 😁

This bodes well for the month now. 

The Last Few Canal Miles

We walked those last few canal miles without much happening other than our conversations. We saw some mourning doves and our first white crowned sparrows of the trip. 

The Crested Caracaras

Right as we were going to hop off the canal, Karma says, “Two hawks off in the distance on that saguaro.”

I pull out the camera and look. NOT hawks. They were CRESTED CARACARAS. I was beyond excited. 

We dropped packs for this one and I slunk further up the canal staying by the palo verdes and mesquites. 

Then, I got to a gap and took as many photos as possible. 

Crested Caracaras only live in a small area in Arizona. They’re falcons that often hop around on the ground, but they’ll nest in saguaro cacti. 

Eventually, they saw something on the ground and flew down. As I had too much cover from the palo verdes, I went back to the backpacks. 

Off the Canal

Right at the junction to blm land, we saw a full on squatter. He didn’t talk to us and we didn’t talk to him. He had a van and a makeshift “gazebo” made out of recycled materials. 

After about a quarter mile, we looked over and the pair of CRESTED CARACARAS flew to a closer saguaro!

We crept closer at a diagonal, trying not to look at them until we got to a large desert ironwood tree. 

Again, I took as many photos as I could. They were the COOLEST. 

After a time, they both flew off together toward the ground further away. 

And, we continued into the heat.

Most of the day, we walked on various OHV roads. Only a few looked actually used. 

Our Goal for Today

Our main goal was to get to water and at least 1/4 mile after it.  Since we didn’t drink the agricultural runoff, it was a 29.5 mile carry. Yikes! That was heavy. 

Right before the water, we saw an OHV dude with an 80s style mustache. 

The 80s mustache asked us a few questions and then left. 

Then, at the water, we saw someone (maybe the 80s mustache) had chopped the shit out of a palo verde tree to make a hunting blind facing the water. 🤦🏼‍♀️

But it got better…the dude industrial handcuffed his chair to the tree. The whole image screamed “overpriced Cabelas” to me. 🙄

We got water and moved on. 

Camp & The Atmospheric River

We saw the weather forecast and knew that an atmospheric river was coming straight across from California. 

We use Open Snow for weather and saw that in our location they predicted 0.83” of rain overnight. 

Needless to say, we took 30 minutes to select our campsite tonight. 

We chose a spot well above two washes, however, not the highest spot because of wind. Our spot purposely has a slight slant so water doesn’t pool under us. And, we have two palo verde trees helping with (some) wind block. 

Also, we chose a spot with plenty of large rocks in the vicinity and each tent stakes has 2-3 holding them down. 

As I write this, it began pouring, right between 7-8 pm…just as the forecast radar suggested. 

🤞 Here’s to hoping we stay dry inside 🤞

Loral Ann

Saturday 23rd of March 2024

Mandy,

This is wonderful, I hope you kept dry that night. I thought it was time I travel with you so am so happy to have found this although it is almost a month ago. Hope all is well. Take good care of yourselves.

Loral Ann

mandyredpath

Sunday 24th of March 2024

Hi Loral Ann!

Thanks for reading!!! I guess I bit off more than I could chew with daily blog posts. I did manage to write them all, just not upload them or sort the photos. More will be uploaded shortly.

Mandy

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