Escape from Tucson: Day 12 – Sunday
Last night was a rough night. I’m not hurt but the stress was unreal and I am more nervous than ever. I figured that at some point people would move from the “cooperative stage” to the “survival stage.” I didn’t expect it to start last night. Well, actually it started with me finding Dragon and Cochise burned to the ground. Last night might have been related. I know in my gut it is related to Wilcox. Either way…society is in survival mode now and I am not sure who, if anyone, is safe. Certainly I’m not.
Let me back up start from the beginning…
Last night was no different than most of my nights. I got all organized, watered-up really well, checked Beans wound (which is almost completely healed), and headed east on the tracks. Nothing spectacular, nothing unusual, just walking. That all changed about an hour and half into the walk. Beans normally walks in front of me, occasionally she will drift off to one side or another, and then appears out in front no more than twenty yards or so. Only once has she reappeared to the side of me that was a couple nights ago. She hasn’t done that since.
So at about the hour and halfway mark -half way to Bowie- she darts off straight down the tracks. I didn’t really mind, didn’t really even notice at first if the truth be told. The moon was bright enough, I could see her, and I figured she was after a rabbit or some other little critter for a snack. I wasn’t worried, it was just another night of walking. But she kept right on going until I couldn’t see her at all. At that point I was a little concerned but there was no way I was going to call out to her or whistle for her. I want to be as low profile as I can. Kevin calls it being a “Grey Man” meaning not being seen by blending into the surrounding environment, whatever that environment is at the timothy, don’t laugh about grey man…it worked getting through Wilcox! So I just kept on walking figuring she would be back whenever she wanted to.
About ten minutes later Beans came running full speed down the tracks right at me. I knelt down to give her some loving but she pulled up just short of me and sat down. That was really strange. She was panting really hard, tongue hanging out, looking me straight in the eye. I talked to her a little but I could tell she was completely ignoring me. I stood up to start walking again, she moved in front of me and sat down staring at me. I tried to give her some water. She didn’t drink any. I tried to ask her what was wrong but she just sat there looking at me. I petted her for a minute and tried walking on. Again, she moved in front of me and sat down…staring right at me.
OK, so then I was freaked out. I had no idea why I was freaked out, but I was. This dog is somehow trained for something and this was part of that training. I had no idea what it meant for sure but I just felt she didn’t want me walking down the tracks any further. Good enough for me. Besides, as Jim would say, “that still small voice was telling me to hold up.”
I walked well off to the side of the tracks, found a small grouping of mesquite bushes, and sat down. I got a snack out, offered Beans my last piece of beef jerky. She was my new best friend all over again. Beans laid down beside me while I ate and drank a little. I gave her a handful of water. She drank it and four more. She laid her head back down. It was then I noticed that she wasn’t laying there looking at me like she always does, she was looking in the direction that she had run back from when she had come running down the tracks. I was thinking that as odd and I was trying to figure out what the deal was when I heard the first shots.
The shots weren’t real close, not for sure how far away, maybe a couple miles. But they were definitely rifle shots. Then a whole bunch of shooting, mostly rifle. A lot of rounds going downrange. Every once in a while I could hear what might have been a shotgun. After about ten minutes they sounded closer. Another ten minutes closer yet and Beans was standing up staring down the tracks so intently it was scaring me. Everything died down for a few minutes and I was just starting to think that whatever was going on might be over. I was wrong.
It started back up and it was close, not sure how close but I am guessing maybe within a mile, maybe less, maybe a lot less than that. I was scared silly. I moved further away from the tracks. I had no idea where it was safe, but I was thinking that anywhere near the tracks wasn’t safe at all. I found a brushed up spot in a shallow arroyo about hundred yards from the tracks. I backed into the brush, pulled some brush in behind me to try and conceal myself as much as possible. Beans wasn’t crazy about me pulling her in with me. I guess she wanted to be able to walk around or run off if needed. Why was I thinking I was protecting her?
By now the shooting was way less than it was when it all started. It seemed to be mostly one sided. There would be a whole lot of shooting, a lot of shots in succession. Then a shot or two spaced about a second apart, then repeat the whole thing. I am guessing it was multiple people against one person. About five minutes later a flurry of shots, then quiet. A couple of minutes later a single shot. Then nothing more the rest of the night.
I stayed in my brush hideout until it was just starting to get light. I slowly and quietly crawled out, Beans went about five feet and peed for an hour. Of course then I had to pee as well, not for a whole hour but I would have filled a milk jug.
We started moving. All I knew is I wanted to parallel the train tracks and keep heading towards the east. I didn’t get close to the tracks and I was looking for some place to really hide before it got too late in the morning. I finally found a spot that was fairly well dense with brush, made another hut, backed into it, and just sat there with Beans.
Now I think about it…I never even thought about running into snakes. And out here they would be serious rattle snakes to deal with. Never even entered my mind. It should have.
Now I am catching up on my diary. What a night!
I couldn’t come up with a plan for tonight. Couldn’t think of anything specific to do to deal with what happened. Since I am not getting any closer to home just sitting here I will start walking again tonight. I sure hope that isn’t a mistake. But, I also just can’t sit here forever.
One thing that does have me concerned, when I was taking care of some toilette needs I saw some buzzards flying over an area about a mile or so to the northeast. The general direction I am heading. I am not sure if I want to see what is there, but I…I have to.
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