Reynolds Creek Off-Trail - Sierra Ancha Ruins 162]
An opportunity to meet Professor Preston Sands in the flesh was reason enough to visit an obscure set of Sierra Anchan ruins. Throw in a Hank Luke, Esquire, as your navigator, and you have an exceptional mix of hiking ingredients!
Professor Sands has been an astute student of Dr. Richard Lange, piecing together clues to ancient cliff dwellings in the Sierra Anchas as documented in one of Lange's definative academic works - http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Echoes-in-the-Canyons/Richard-Lange/e/9781889747804
Through some trial and error, Prof. Sands hit paydirt - http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=8946
Through some email exchanges, Prof. Sands offered to guide us to this off-trail treasure. A Sunday morning rendezvous at Hwy 60/Hwy 87 Holiday Inn where Hank parks the "GRASSHOPPER" and we're off in my F-150 with "Desert Puppy" (aka Skippy) to meet up with Prof. Sands at the Miami/Globe Wal-Mart parking lot. We spot his sand coloured (was that intentional Preston?) Chevy pick-up, gas up at the nearby Arco and are on our way to the Reynold's Creek TH. Check out Hank's GPS route - http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?GPS=7136&M=6
Encounter a couple camping at the TH with their two dogs in the same spot I've put up camp in the past - http://hikearizona.com/phoZOOM.php?ZIP=43609
Once on the trail, it's some steady elevation gain up to the falls. You can hear the water and Preston takes a side trek to snap some images.
Off-trail Prof. Sands leads us up to the site - WOW! Best find of the day - a fully intact pot base! After much lingering and exploring the main ruin plus a nearby alcove with evidence of occupation, we zip back to the TH.
Bugling elk heard on the return trek. Skippy feighned some interest that he may yet have some hunting dog DNA in him...
Also, many wild turkeys crossing FR410 on way out...
Shameless plug for Prof. Sands and the many photo-documented Sierra Anchan ruins - http://prestonsands.com/
Another shameless plug for Dr. Richard Lange's upcoming talk on December 10th at Pueblo Grande as sponsored by the Arizona Archeological Society - http://www.azarchsoc.org/phoenixchapter.html#section3
Thanks again Prof. Sands for sharing this special "find". Photo yet to come (still have Poncho House Ruins images to sort through)...
Preston's images http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=9177&start=0
Hank's images http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=9140