Woke up at the Twilight Campground to another beautiful morning. Messed around in camp for awhile, Deer Watching, airing out my Car and Camping Gear and taking a wonderful, overdue shower!
Finally got on the road in the early afternoon for a light Hike today. Hadn't done this Hike yet, and after 4 days of pretty good Hiking, wanted to do something a little less strenuous and more relaxing today. On the way up to the TH, I stopped at an Overlook for a shot. The Clouds were thickening up again, as has happened everyday that I've been up here, and they were playing Shadow Games with the Greasewood Range below. Everyday, the weather has started out with gorgeous Blue skies with a few Clouds in the morning, but by afternoon, it has turned gray and has threatened to rain. At this point, however, I had yet to get rained on, on the Mountain.
Today, the weather was no different.
Got to the TH and as it was Sunday afternoon, the crowds were packing up and leaving...
I started out on the Trail and enjoyed a nice descent to a small Meadow. I was almost to the Meadow when I jumped a Doe, who must have been lying right next to the Trail. I froze, and did not move. She ran up the Hill just a short ways and then stopped. I stayed motionless and she walked back down the Hill and did a circle around me, finally crossing the Trail behind me before disappearing into the Woods below. I managed to get one good Camera shot without spooking her, so it was very cool!!!
I continued on, past the Meadow and hit a small series of switchbacks climbing up the next hill, which took me to the Junction of the Grant Creek and Moonshine Creek Trails. I took the Moonshine Creek Trail and descended slightly once again, crossing Moonshine Creek at the bottom. It has been so dry up here in the Pinalenos, that the Creek was just barely flowing. Continued to follow the Trail through some nice Pine and Aspen stands before arriving at a Campsite that was really nice. From that Campsite, I climbed up a small Hill to another Campsite that was absolutely awesome, with an Overlook that shows you the whole Valley south of the Pinalenos. Would definitely consider Camping here!!!
I knew from the Description that to the right of this Campsite, there was a rocky point that served as an Overlook to Grant Creek Falls, so I dropped my pack at the Campsite and did the Scramble up to that Overlook. The views were tremendous. Grant Creek Falls was barely running, but I'm sure when it's flowing well, it is very impressive. The panoramic views to the South were phenomenal, made even better by the ever building Clouds and the isolated Rainstorms that I could see hitting the Valley. I stayed on the Overlook for quite awhile watching the Storms roll in, and only left when the Lightning started getting a little too close. I didn't want to be a Lightning Rod out there on the Point.
I returned to the Campsite, but didn't leave. I pulled up a rock at the edge of the Campsite, ate lunch, and continued to watch the Storms. It was awesome. I finally decided that I was wearing out my welcome when the Lightning started hitting, behind me....
Time to go. Somehow, I had the feeling that my luck for staying dry on this Trip, was getting ready to run out, and I was right. About halfway back to the TH, it started raining and I absolutely loved it. Nothing better than walking in a nice Monsoon Storm!!! The Lightning was a little disconcerting, as it became very close, to where all you saw was a Flash in front of your eyes, but I was in the Forest and I knew my odds of getting hit were pretty slim. I figured if I was gonna get hit, well, then I was just fated to be one of those unlucky few. I was enjoying the Rain too much to let it bother me....
The Rain reduced to a light sprinkle and then just as I got to the Car, the skies opened up and it poured for the next 7 hours.
I still needed to decide where I was going to camp that night, so I drove down the Swift Trail with a couple of places in mind. I stopped once, at the Shannon Campground, not because I was going to try to Camp there, but because it looked like it had snowed!!!
Turns out, they must have had a really good Hailstorm just before I got there. Took a few pics and was on my way again.
I stopped at Treasure Park with the thought of trying to find a Campsite, but it was still full!!!
I think alot of people were waiting out the Storm before leaving. Even though it was still Raining pretty good, I had to take a few pictures here. The large Meadow at Treasure Park was a solid blanket of Flowers.
Probably the densest population of Blooms I've seen on the Mountain to date and it was too good to pass by.
After getting some pictures, I continued on to Snow Flat, where Chad and I had camped previously on this Trip. There was only 1 other party there, so I set up Camp. Probably the smartest thing I packed for this Trip was a huge Tarp and it worked wonders as a canopy, using my Car's back Hatch and some logs. I was able to put out my Reclining Chair, eat some dinner and sleep in the Car with the Hatch up, all without even the slightest fear of getting wet. It finally quit raining about midnight and in the morning, again, Blue Skies and just a few clouds....
What an awesome day!!! What a Great Hike!!! Woke up feeling good, refreshed and ready to go again!!!!