Wendy was in town and wanted to do a quick hike so I came up with: Spur Cross - Metate - Spur Cross/Tortuga - Tortuga - Dragonfly/Jewel of the Creek.
It is still very green and the brittle bush is just starting to bloom in spots. Along this side (east) of the Spur Cross, there was light wildflowers, mostly lupine. From the intersection with the Metate, you can see the great amount of water in Cave Creek Creek. You can also see some of the debris from the torrent of water that must have come through there earlier in the year. As you looked down stream you could also see lots of water and hear it; such a wonderful sound!
As you make your way down in the Metate Trail, the grasses are very tall but that still doesn't diminish the size and width of some those nearly 50 ft saguaros. And as we walked a little further we could see massive amounts of wild cucumber vining over, around and through other vegetation. If I would have had some clippers, I think we could have created some great recognizable topiaries in no time
. Now the area where you cross the creek has sure changed since I was last here. It's almost unrecognizable to me. Lilo was with us though and she didn't care as she jumped right in the water. We passed by some of the old foundations and corral of the ranch; I also showed Wendy the outline of the pool and the cement outcrop over Cave Creek Creek.
When we headed south and slightly east on the Tortuga, I was amazed at the grass. In fact, I could have easily missed the turn the grass was so tall (oh but there was a sign). When I was here in December, it was just dirt tracks. These tracks are now covered in lush grass. We took lots of pictures of the various flora scattered about this area; has kind of a meadow vibe to it. We also saw a Christmas Cholla vining in and around a tree along with other common and not so common flora.
The big surprise would await us as we headed down on the Dragonfly and up the Jewel of the Creek as the devastation caused by the high water was simply incredible. There was a lot of work done to open up this trail. In one area it looks like they came upon a debris field and had to completely slice a way through (this is by the little cave on the west bank). There were several downed cottonwoods too as well as a sliced up saguaro. Boy some of our saguaros have sure had a tough year
. As we crossed the bank, there were a dozen or so natural debris stacks.
All in all a wonderful day to be hiking with Wendy and Lilo. We saw maybe a dozen or so people on these trails once we turned on the Metate (after outpacing a bunch of 10 year old and under boys that eventually got distracted by the water on the Spur Cross trail down at the creek), ha!