We are winding up Fall Break! I took advantage of this week to go hiking with some friends from the parish. Now, they are experts at hiking as they hike down into the Grand Canyon every year. I learned alot the 2.5 hours I was with them. We went hiking at Coronado National Park and in particular Montezuma Point. As we hiked the mountain that overlooks Mexico we chatted. They told me the noise alerts the animals that we are here and also any undocumented that might be passing through.
We have alot of international soldiers at the Army Fort here-Fort Huachuca. They are being trained to fight as NATO soldiers. My friends often take these soldiers hiking as it is one way for them to get off the Fort and to see part of AZ and these soldiers love hiking.
We saw the black fence that the U.S. put up between Mexico and U.S to keep undocumented out and when the fence hits the mountains it turns into a barb wire fence. The international soldiers laugh at this fence because " you are the most powerful nation on earth, and you have to put up a fence to keep out people?"
I learned that before the fence was put up 1,000 people a day came across the Mexican border but now it is only about 600. Also, it isn't just Mexicans coming across the border now but Chinese, Somalians and many other countries.
They pointed out to me the "legal" hiking trail, that we stayed on and the "illegal" trails that those who cross the border take.
Many volunteers take time to pick up all the trash in the mountains left behind by hikers and the undocumented coming through.
When hiking at these high elevations-we were at 6, 755 feet, and with the very dry air, one needs to stop and hydrate every 15 minutes.
I saw where the summer fires burned and new life is beginning to come. They told me the fire moved like a "fire devil". It spun like a tornado and that is why some houses got burnt and the one across the road didn't.
I saw four deer traveling down to the water hole and I finally asked, "What are these animal droppings I keep seeing?" They told me "bear", but not to worry because he had bear spray and as long as we keep talking the bear will hear us and stay away.