Last week, I had a couple of days available to go backpacking, so I decided to head back to Aravaipa. Six weeks after my first trip,(see http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=52416
) it was now summer and the forecast was for highs of 100. My plan was to hike early, hike wet, use my umbrella, and camp at the site across from Horse Camp Canyon that I had admired last trip. On this trip, I used the paths on the benches to speed my progress to my campsite and made it to Horse Camp in about three hours. Unlike my last trip, this time I was the only person around. In fact, for the second day I was there, mine was the only permit issued for the whole canyon
! I lounged around in the shade of a giant cottonwood and splashed in the creek from time to time to cool off. The book for this trip was Sandstone Spine
by David Roberts- a perfect backpacking read and worth every ounce.
The second day I was there, I explored Horse Camp Canyon- what a delight! Just a five-minute walk away from Aravaipa Creek is a beautiful waterfall with a deep plunge pool, perfect for the bright green inner tube that I'd packed in for just an occasion. I hiked out starting at 4:30 pm, and was shaded by the canyon walls for 75% of the time. I was supposed to hike out the next morning, but decided to cut my trip a little short to surprise my husband Brian. Besides, as pretty as the canyon was, I was tired of the biting gnats and mosquitoes. (I ended up with over 50 bites!) I snuck in the house and even though I scared the crap out of him, he was really happy to see me.