Day 1 - 10% chance of rains, most likely thunderstorms
Day 2 - 80% chance of rains, windy and much cooler
Wally and I met up with Letty and Brian for this outback loop. The drive in has one steep section that will leave you praying that you don't have to descend it wet! Which is followed by a very cool ridge that the road just "hugs".
Brian choose an alternative parking spot due to the forecast. He led us down an off-trail ridge to what is dubbed Holdout Canyon Trail? that follows Holdout Creek
. Which is part of the Santa Teresa Wilderness - Grand Enchantment Trail #8
. It starts off like a descent trail but soon turns into a red ribbon hunt with bushwhacking to boot. Pinnacle Ridge to the south is truly a sight to see. The creek that started off as a trickle picked up into a nice flow the further we hiked.
At the confluence with Black Rock Canyon we waited a couple hours for Letty. She diverged straight down the creek instead of playing red-tag flag-find with the boys. I'm willing to bet she got some outstanding photos!
Heading up Black Rock Canyon
was a constant creek crisscross that Wally said reminded him of Aravaipa. In lieu of the surrounding darkening skies Wally and I decided to turn the overnighter into a day hike. Maybe a third of the way up canyon we kicked it into gear and set a good pace up. The flow in this creek never let up. It still boggles my mind where it originates. Holdout Creek made sense as the snow was melting down from Pinnacle Ridge but here it's just mystified. As we progressed the easy gravel travel gave in to some boulders and such, nothing extreme. When the GPS showed we were close to our starting point we picked a route straight up and out of the canyon. With three hours of sleep in three days it seemed like I was climbing Jacob's ladder for a week! (note to self: don't take a backpack on a day hike, leave the endurance building crap to imike...lol)
The rains seemed to be in our favor letting us get down the questionable road without issue. Going down the steep section isn't a gut wrencher since you can see over the hood too.
It was good to see Letty again (this time for more than two minutes) and meet Brian. Brian is a hoot, he should really consider being a talk show host!