I had a couple places in mind for a Saturday hike and maybe a pre-camp, but after waiting too late to hear back on some things I was w/o the camp option and more looking like a just me trip. Either way I was looking for some more water involved hikes before it was too late, so I chose Eric's logged hike near Oak Spring.
I drove up in the morning and hit the dirt for the drive in. It really has become a high clearance trail and at least in a couple step spots I'd say 4x4. The road is washed out in one section to and you have to drive in the creek for a bit.
I was worried at first because the creek was only a trickle down the hill from the trailhead. A few more small pools and then a long dry section where the creek lay underground didn't help. Past this, when the canyon got more canyony I started enjoying myself more. Larger pools and the sound of running water started making it worth it. Nothing was too tricky on the canyoneering side as long as you planned ahead of time. It wasn't until I sneezed that I realized how echoey it had become inside the slot. I (we) had fun with that as we continued on up. You could hear the main falls quite easily before spotting them. While it wasn't boomingly rushing like on Eric's trip
, it was still flowing more than I had hoped. I was pleasantly surprised for sure. I ate lunch and snapped some non wildflower pics with a couple of stacked CPL's to keep the F's lower (higher) for an attempt on the falls.
On the way back down I stopped at the larger 5ft deep pool for a dip. I may or may not have brought my clothes in with me.
Kept hiking back, spotting lots of lizards and frogs and three fast long snakes that wanted nothing to do with me.
When I got back to the up and out, my legs said they wanted to keep going and maybe look for the ruins downstream. I went up the other side and poked around for a while admiring the views. It was more meadowy up there so going wasn't too tangled like down around the creek. I wasn't able to find anything that resembled structures, just a lot of rocks strewn about. I did find what I believe was a broken Metate, so that was cool. On my meandering way back down to refollow the creek, I almost stepped on another gopher snake. I've come to accept the girly shriek I make when I find out that my next step is going to be all snake unless I roll my weight. This is my third in less than a month. I refreaked out when I pet my new friend and he fake rattled. Pretty convincing at first.
With my animal spotting complete, I headed back. The creek down from the trailhead was actually quite pretty too.
While driving out a saw a deer chilling in the shade.