|Backpack||9.00 Miles||2 Days 4 Hrs 45 Mns || |
|5,200 ft AEG|| || || |
After deciding against hiking from the top to the bottom of Ash Creek Trail, due to the extremely hot weather we'd encounter along the bottom end, John and I decided to backpack down to Oak Flat and back. Arriving at the trailhead, I was surprised by the cool temps.
Hiking in, we passed a family and a couple other guys on our way to the Mt. Graham mill site (I thought there used to be a plaque there, but didn't see one). There were sunflowers, columbines, and skyrockets in flower everywhere, and everything was a lush green color. We had lunch next to a small swimming hole near Slick Rock, then continued down past Ash Creek Falls. The trail passed through the Nuttall Fire's burn area (nothing too bad) for a little ways below the falls, then rejoined Ash Creek at the base of some switchbacks. While John took a break, I headed down Ash Creek, looking for a campsite. Camp spots were few, and the bugs were horrible, so I turned around just before Oak Flat. It was alot warmer down here, and with the millions of bugs trying to get into every opening on my head, we decided to camp above Ash Creek Falls. After a tiring hike back up the switchbacks, we rounded the corner at Ash Creek Falls, where the air turned cool, and the bugs disappeared. We found a small campspot near the turnoff for the Ash Creek Trail bypass, and set up our tents. Just before sunset, I decided to hike back down to the swimming hole I'd seen earlier, and cool off. I slid down into the icy cold pool; my extremities went numb, but it felt awesome! On the way back, I ate some ripe raspberries growing along the trail. After dinner that night, we watched what appeared to be a star high in the southwest sky dance around for about 15 minutes. The light slowly moved in all directions, then eventually disappeared (a U.F.O. ?). Very strange! After sleeping in this morning, we relaxed in the cool forest, not really wanting to leave. We left about 1:30 PM, and made it out in an hour. The temperature at the trailhead? 74 degrees
What a great weekend!
|"I don't believe I'm where I'm going, not by many a mile." -Tom T. Hall|