|Hiking||6.00 Miles|| 7 Hrs || ||0.86 mph|
|500 ft AEG|| || || |
This trip was planned as a photography outing, not a hike to the spring. I left Flagstaff at 6:15 am, a little later than I had planned, but I "slept in"-getting another hour's worth of sleep than normal for me. The drive down Lake Mary Road was, as usual, beautiful with the exception of all the smoke above Clints Well. A big mule deer buck jumped across the road near Lake Mary--awesome!
Saw a elk herd in the grass/water in Mormon Lake and 2 cattle egrets, but too far away for pics, even with the long lens and the extender.
I parked along the road to avoid the $6 charge to park in the picnic/trailhead parking lot. I think $6 is excessive for using a toilet, so I walked an extra 50 yards to the trailhead. A group of researchers were using nets to catch bugs but I didn't ask what that was all about.
I headed up the trail by 8:30. The temperature was fine for me but I could tell it would be hot by midafternoon. I'm having real problems with the heat this year and have to be aware of the early signs of heatstroke. I knew that Horton would allow lots of time in the water to cool off. Anything above 85 degrees I've started getting light-headed and I don't sweat enough. Enough of my woes--Horton is amazing.
No crowds, but this was a Friday. The majority of the wildflowers are past their prime, but some columbine, cutleaf coneflowers, purple daisies (I need to research what kind), shamrocks and red cinquefoil are still blooming. Fritillaries and AZ sisters were flitting around.
The water felt nice and cold as I set up my tripod in the stream. Some pumpkin idiot(s) had dammed up one of the most photographic falls to make the pool above a little deeper, while damaging the slopes around and setting it up for increased erosion and fouling the water with dirt the next time it rains hard. Upstream a little ways, one of the campsites has constructed a significant log teepee--another eyesore along the trail.
I figure I worked my way about 3 miles upstream by 2:00 in the afternoon. I turned around, changed lenses and headed down, shooting along the way and eating some blackberries. Another great hike, and I will return when the leaves start to change.
||Wildflowers Observation Light