Great weekend for a backpack. Hadn't been in the Galiuros in a while so decided to go in at High Creek, down to Holdout and then onto the cabin and mine area. The road in built by the forest service is washing out in a spot or two, nothing bad. I parked short of my backing up area from several months ago. Probably ten minutes later some pretty good sized trees across the road so glad I parked where I did. Coming in saw some hunters in the meadow before the turn off but no one after that.
Up the road, the canyon very like Ash Creek, oak and juniper with some good sized boulders. A few pools of water. What appeared to be a water hose line was stretched some 50 feet overhead on a guywire. Next time I go I want to check that out.
Soon to the wilderness boundary. I started to notice poison ivy as I climbed on the trail, and sure enough lots of huge maple trees. Guess where I'll be in a month. The trail steepens as it turns up the main canyon, some nice rockbound pools here but in a very steep part of the canyon off the trail. There's been a fair amount of trail maintenance which ends at the East Divide intersection.
The one and only time I was on this section of the East Divide was after it had snowed and I was having a hairy time of it trying to get to Bassett Peak and my car down at Jackson cabin.
It got cold and windy on top and a few snow squalls. I wasn't worried as it was due to warm up and I knew this was passing through. The trail into upper Rattlesnake to Holdout was very brushy and in spots hard to keep track of. I had forgotten the nice maple stands in here and even a few Aspen coming up out of the maples in a narrow rocky spot. Soon I arrived at Holdout Spring, a few bushes growing in front of the sign, the trail goes right by the turn off so it would be hard to miss. The spring area was neat and clean, with nice clear water in the spring box. I have always wanted to stay in the "Cave" --a hollowed out boulder with a sleeping platform--- and did so. It was amazing how much warmer it was in there, and of course you are out of the wind. I was worried about critters so put up my bivy but I was not troubled, a few bats came and went, and a lizard stayed on one place on the wall all night.
The next day I took my camp out of the "Cave" and left it on a rise above the spring out of sight. I went to Power Cabin, enjoying the lovely morning in the canyon. At a place I call the pools, water was soon running down the canyon, as it seems to do here, although I have seen this area dry also. I didn't bother to take a map or GPS with me, this land is imprinted on my soul, as I walk in the beautiful morning sun in the woods with the big pines and the lovely oak/juniper. Up and over into the manzanita on the old road over the divide, down the catclaw run to the cabin. Normally you can't see it from the trail but one spot you can see a corner of the roof and stone fireplace; I left the trail here and slid down the hill to behind the cabin. There was some trash in the cabin which I cleaned up, I raked the floor and left it as clean as the old decaying skeleton can be. I poked around the area a bit, seeing old trails and evidence of a trash pile. I went on to the mine, a spooky place, where Jeff Power supposedly died after the shoot out, and was interred in a prospectors pit near the entrance for a little while.
I walked back, looking into a couple of mine adits along the way, to see some of the rock and take pictures of many solitary bats in one mine. There are a lot of interesting things along the way, old stone work, etc. These mountains have secrets, how little I know.
I moved camp a little higher in the canyon so I would not have so much uphill the next day and have some time to check out a possible old trail out of a saddle overlooking the head of Paddy Creek. Much of the trek was in the shade, and the wonderful views from the topout at the East Divide---all of the Catalinas, Rincons, San Manuel area, over to Tucson, parts of the big mine by Sahuarita, the Sierritas behind that, the Santa Ritas. I did my trail finding---it certainly looks as if an old road/ trail went through the saddle and down to the head--- then moseyed on down. My knees thanked me when it was finally over. Except for the manicuring on the High Creek portion this is what the Galiuros are about, obscure trails, no cairns or blazes, rough beautiful country. I am glad to be back.