username
X
password
register help
show related photosets
DESTINATION
Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
35 Photosets

2020-10-17  
2020-10-17  
2020-10-15  
2020-10-11  
2020-10-03  
2020-08-26  
2019-10-13  
2019-10-04  
2016-10-08  
2013-10-01  
2013-07-21  
2013-07-21  
2012-10-20  
2012-08-12  
2012-08-11  
2012-08-11  
2012-08-11  
2012-08-10  
2012-08-10  
2012-08-10  
1,  2  
mini location map2012-08-12
15 by photographer avatarchumley
photographer avatar
 
Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2012
chumley
Hiking4.65 Miles 285 AEG
Hiking4.65 Miles   2 Hrs      2.33 mph
285 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Whenever I am in the high-country during summer in Arizona, I always spend the entire day Sunday before heading home. There's just no logic for me to be home and endure an afternoon in the heat. So I had a lazy morning while others packed up and left. After my 1/2 cabin loop the day before, I didn't want to do anything crazy, but decided that 5 miles in UBSC would be a perfect stroll. (Since we were at the cabins, I hiked it in the reverse direction from how the hike description is written.)

When I started, it had begun to rain a little bit, and I donned my rain jacket and a hat. The drizzle became more nuisance than anything else, and I decided to pack the rain gear away.

After passing the pipe at Upper Buck Spring, and about 1.5 miles from camp at the cabins, I encountered the highlight of my weekend (with all respect to the great company around the campfire) ... about 100 yards ahead of me I saw three bears crossing the meadow. One cub was leading the way, with a very healthy, large, cinnamon-colored mom lumbering behind, followed by a second cub.

My heart raced with excitement and a little apprehension, but it was very clear that they were unaware of my presence. Somehow, I remembered to get the camera out, but at that distance, and with a very bright, cloudy sky above me, I was hardly able to focus and get any kind of shot at all. But I didn't really know that at the time.

Since the bears slowly walked into the woods along the meadow adjacent to where I was headed, I decided to approach quietly and see if they were still nearby when I had closed the distance between us. Hiking in short, wet grass made it very easy for me to approach without making any noise.

When I reached their crossing point, I could see that they were moving in the woods, now only about 20 yards away. I tried to get some pictures here, but they weren't standing still, and would pop in and out of view behind the trees. I couldn't get my camera to focus on a point in the trees, instead focusing on the trees closer to me.

I must have been downwind, because there was no indication that I had been spotted yet. I was just about to try to get a little closer ... I really wanted a good photo! ... and began to turn into the woods to follow them when an alarm bell went off in my head. Since getting to this point 30-seconds or a minute earlier, I had been watching and trying to take photos. I had spotted the two cubs. But not the mother! :o

I instantly figured that she had caught my scent and was probably now in a defensive posture. After all, there's no way to perceive my actions other than I was stalking her cubs. It might have been just for a photo, but she wouldn't know that!

So I immediately decided to back off and head away from the bears. Not getting a satisfactory photo is not worth confronting a very healthy mamma bear!

Yada yada, so the rest of the hike was nice, my heart still pumping with excitement of what I had just seen. Didn't find Cindy's lost camera case. Saw a strange branch of fully-autumn red maple leaves, and picked up a weird convex mirror on a telescoping pole. Presumably used by researchers to look into birdhouses?

On the return trip, I cautiously approached the area the bears had been but saw no sign of them. Too bad :(

I had previously seen bears in Sequoia NP, but that doesn't really count in my book because they are so common there it's almost hard NOT to see one. After all, we were in a car and they crossed a road. But this is my first sighting in Arizona, and to be in a wide open, grassy meadow like they were, in the middle of the day... magical! :)
Flora
Flora
Bigtooth Maple
Culture
Culture
Trash Hauled Out
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

dry Upper Buck Spring Dry Dry
No water flowing out of the pipe, but some puddling in the seep that the pipe is tapped from. Also other pools and unnamed springs in the area have filterable water.
_____________________
Championing breakfast since 1994.
HAZ Member
chumley's
971 Photosets

  2012-10-18
  2012-10-06
  2012-10-05
  2012-10-05
  2012-09-29
  2012-09-22
  2012-09-21
  2012-09-13
  2012-09-10
  2012-09-07
  2012-09-02
  2012-08-25
  2012-08-23
  2012-08-19
  2012-08-12
  2012-08-11
  2012-08-10
  2012-08-04
  2012-07-28
  2012-07-22
1 ... 39,  40,  41,  42,  43,  44,  45 ... 49  
help comment issue

end of page marker