Met the Fraley boys in Globe, and we were off to the Sierra Ancha. Aborting our plan for a shuttle hike due to time constraints, we opted to hike to Aztec Peak from Reynolds Creek. The falls were flowing, the maples had leafed out, and the air was rich with the smell of conifers. An unexpected rattler buzzed his disapproval as we passed near him. Definitely woke us up!
The last little road stretch to the top of Aztec was a bit toasty. "If it's hot here at almost 8000 feet, Phoenix must be a lake of lava. Glad I'm up here", I thought. On top, we met the legendary Ranger Red, who invited us up in the tower, where we were greeted by Red's friendly dog. Afterwards we retired to the edge of the peak near the Flintstone's furniture: http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=137872
, where we ate lunch before a world class view.
On the hike back we cooled off in the shady paradise that is Reynolds Creek Falls. Cascading water, yellow columbines, red claret cups, green maples, blue diamonds, and purple horseshoes delighted the senses. I dunked my shirt in the creek. Sweet, cool water! We made the rough journey down Reynolds Creek Road, back to Globe, had dinner at Wenchys, and parted ways. A perfect day. Thanks guys!