This was a fun/nerve-racking trip. I hiked in Saturday mid-morning and arrived at the main falls just past noon. There were two other people there with a cool dog that really liked me. During the rest of my afternoon there, I believe 3 other groups went through. One group, a family of maybe 5 people, decided they wanted a fire. Rather than building one in the existing fire pit next to the plunge pool, they used the same rocks and built another fire pit right next to it.
I still don't understand. After keeping a good distance from everyone else for a few hours the last group finally left and I had the place to myself. I wandered and took some pictures, then eventually retreated to my tent on a platform above the lower set of falls. I set my alarm for 4AM the following morning to pack up and make it down to a small waterfall I had seen on the way in by sunrise.
The next morning I was up at 4:10 (snooze twice) and packed up by headlamp. The hike downstream was EERIE. I have hiked at night several times, but this was by far the creepiest experience. Scrambling down the lower falls in the dark was the most exciting. Remembering past years' news reports of crazy mountain lions in the Sabino area, I decided singing loudly while I hiked would keep any of the less friendly critters away. Soon I rounded a corner to see a couple people bundled up in their sleeping bags next to the creek. I quickly stopped singing, although I'm sure they both heard me. They were probably scared for their lives
Anyhow, I arrived at my destination with an hour of darkness to go, so I kicked back and listened to podcasts as the eastern sky began to turn from black to blue. When the landscape finally gained a bit of visibility, I set up my tripod and snapped some super long exposures. The sky started to get a bit of a pink hue, and I got more excited. I got a couple with a faintly pink sky. Then it started to really go off and I got super excited. I went to the base of the falls and started to set up another shot. As I reached down to adjust a tripod leg, my tripod decided to unlock itself and sent my camera plunging into the creek.
I snatched it out of the creek and quickly turned it off and pulled out the battery, then let out a string of STRONG four letter words. I don't know how Suz stayed so well composed when she dropped her camera on the group Garfias Wash hike. Feeling dejected, I packed up and hiked out early. Everyonce in a while I forced myself to glance up at the brilliant sunrise. It was an amazing sight.
Anyhow, I turned on my camera today after about 36 hours of drying. It works!!!!!! Now, to get insurance on it...