The temperatures have finally cooled down enough to enjoy desert hiking around Tortilla Flats. This morning as I hiked Joe's route I noted that the creek which at some points flows alongside the trail some 75 feet below was dry and coated with dessicated algae. I figured that would make an interesting alternate return route; and so, on the trek back to the trailhead I diverted course at the point where the "jeep trail" becomes faint and hopped over the small dam structure slighty northeast of that point. This put me right into the winding curves and steep canyon walls of a creek which ultimately dumped me out at the flats. Of course, it took considerably longer time to complete the route but was well worth the detour. My hiking buddy wouldn't agree since creeping along canyon walls makes him nervous, unlike his sister who will try anything. The whole area is worthy of future "off trail" exploration.