We have had the itch to do a camping trip since we moved to Tucson 2 months ago. We decided to try Madera Canyon as we had hiked there a few times and some of the camp sites are up pretty high in elevation and offer great views. Most importantly, we could bring our dog with us! I also wanted to try to get up to Mt. Wrightson again while we still had some snow on the ground. I knew it was going to be a bit chilly at around 8000' where we were going to camp. Chilly was an understatement, more like absolutely freezing!
We stopped and at Josephine Saddle for about 30 minutes. It was a busy day and there were quite a few groups of people in the area and passing through. Our dog had to make sure that he greeted everyone as they came through the area! After lunch we made the decision to head towards Baldy Saddle and see if it was suitable for camp.
The wind seemed to just come out of no where. You would hear the gusts start coming through the trees and eventually just blowing like hell over us. The tent held up for about an hour but eventually the gusts, which had to be 40 mph, pulled out stakes out and it collapsed. So there I am, in the freezing cold, half asleep, trying to put it back together in the dark. Some how I was able to get the tent back up. I tried to reinforce it with some big stones but within 15 minutes of trying to get back in and comfortable it collapsed again. We basically said screw it and just slept in the collapsed tent while the wind whipped it around like a loose sail all night long. The worst part was that the flap/cover of the tent blew off and the vent was right above us open all night with the freezing cold air coming in. Long story short, we didn't sleep. It was freezing cold and sucked! At first light we packed up and headed for the car which we made at about 8am.
What an adventure! I can't wait to get up there and camp again but this time it will be much closer to the summer!
A couple of additional pictures:
Max was freezing!
Looking up towards Baldy Saddle at sunset