After spending seven of the last ten days in the car on our Minnesota trip, even though the weather was not very promising, we felt we had to get out for a hike even if it wasn't a short one.
Since Tracey wasn't able to hike Adams Mesa with me at the beginning of the month and I had not graced the summit of the eastern peak that seemed like a good choice... until we got out of the car and saw the rain front coming in and plenty of lightning strikes. But with the expectation of a clearing later in the day we decided to do some 4x4 recon seeking out other interesting spots in the Sycamore Creek area.
While it was raining off-and-on we drove around until we ended up on FR 1096 at the Reservation boundary. Spotting some interesting canyon walls along a deep drainage below us we decided since the rain had stopped we would find a way down and check it out. We found a very steep trail of sorts heading down and had barely reached the floor of the drainage and it started to rain again. We headed for the cover of a rock outcrop on the northern wall, making it under the overhang just as the rain came down in torrents. Within a few minutes a small rock falls down from above us and all we could think of was everything we were doing wrong...
1. Standing under a soft sedimentary rock formation with evidence of recent rock falls.
2. Oh yes, we were standing there during a heavy rainfall.
3. Being in a narrow wash with narrow slots during a heavy rainfall.
4. Hiking during a thundershower. (At least we were at the bottom of the wash)
But it was pure enjoyment!
The sounds and smell of a fresh hard rain was intoxicating. Now maybe I can get Tracey to hike in the rain more often. Probably not
When the rain let up we began exploring upstream a short distance before heading downstream to check out the walls that first caught our attention from above. Continuing downstream we passed Agua Chiquita Spring, which had one concrete tank, a steel tank and a large holding tank tipped on its side.
After that the area started to get quite interesting with successive shelves dropping down to the next. To begin with it was quite easy to drop down but when we reached a successive group of narrowing and deepening slots we had to be more careful. Unfortunately we reached one with a 10-12 foot drop that in dry conditions we might have been able to climb back up but in these conditions with no rope we weren't about to try it. Rats! Our objective was tantalizingly close... within a few hundred feet around the corner but it was not to be today. Oh well... another time.
I'm posting 25 photos here on HAZ, the full set of 40 are here: