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Charlebois from Peralta TH
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mini location map2014-01-25
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Charlebois from Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2014
Hiking14.95 Miles 2,516 AEG
Hiking14.95 Miles   9 Hrs   23 Mns   1.93 mph
2,516 ft AEG   1 Hour   39 Mns Break
1st trip
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Threw out a couple choices for this Saturday's hike; Jack picked this one. He also found us a guide. :thanx: Larry for making sure we saw all the high points; doubt we would have found the Master Map without you.

We got started around 7:40 on one of the more longer hikes Jack or me normally do. I was a bit apprehensive but I knew most of the trail well and there's not much elevation change. I actually like tackling Cardiac Hill and filmed some of it. I put music to that part to help cover over my heavy breathing though :lol: .

It was a glorious morning :y: and the sky would add incredible depth and beauty to our photos as we hiked the Bluff Springs Trail. We were even lucky enough to have the sun light up the Needle too. And of course we got reflections in the ponds on the Barks Canyon crossover both coming and going. Plus I finally saw the Peralta engraving which I've never noticed before. We put some water on it so it would show better in the pictures. Interestingly enough, when we came thru in the afternoon, the inscription was much more evident and easy to see.

As you pass the Terrapin Junction I think I spotted Williams Camp up on Bluff Springs Mtn (I was reading about in the Supes book). In about 1/2 mile or so we even got to see some cardinals though quite a distance away. The clouds would dissipate significantly as we reached the Dutchman Trail Junction. We continued hiking at a good pace. I did happen to turn around at just the right time to spy the arch up on Bluff Springs Mountain. I had spotted it a couple years ago when we were doing another hike. I told Ambika others had been up there:

Next we were looking forward to paying homage to the 50 arms cactus that is seemingly on its last arms so to speak :( . Along the way after climbing a small hill we spotted a hawk and watched as he flew. I did get some video. Next stop was the saguaro. It really is magnificent and we are glad to have seen it as Ambika and I missed it during our hike going south on the trail a couple years ago.

Finally :) we hit the Red Tanks Junction and it's all new territory for me. We figure we had another mile and 1/2 or so to go. You cross the mostly dry creek a couple times but also you hike through a heavily shaded area that is nice and cooling. It was really a lovely area. Eventually you end up following and rising above the creek, passing by Peter's Trail junction (glad to know where that is now) and then arriving at Charlebois Springs area not far before the creek bends to the NW.

Larry took us by the main pond and then up the canyon to his favorite spot where it more or less dead ends. This was a sweet spot for us to sit back and enjoy our lunch. And I for one was starved and a bit tired as we didn't take any breaks on the way. I was glad to finally be at a spot I had heard so much about.

Next, the MASTER MAP. Larry took us a bit of a different route as we went up the dry creek bed. Within a short time we were there, staring at the map many people miss on their first trip out here. I don't know that we would have found it without some assistance. We goofed around here (see the last video as I think you'll like what Ambika directed and Larry's acting was superb!) before heading back to the trail.

It was starting to warm up now. Plus somewhere along here I had stepped on some rocks wrong and ended up hurting a couple of my toes on my left foot :stretch: . It was pretty painful actually but I tried to adjust my walking to compensate for it and after about 3/4 mile, the pain seemed to have dissipated, thank goodness. Sunday morning I woke up to a bruised and swollen big toe so who knows what I stepped on to cause that; it brot back memories of my pine cone squashing injury.

As we made our way back to the Dutchman Junction, I asked ahead to see if we could stop in about 1/2 hour for a few minutes which we did. As we rounded the corner we said goodbye to the 50 arm saguaro and continued our trek to the Bluff Springs Junction where I once again asked for a 10 minute rest before we finished off our hiking. Jack's wife Pat had baked some cookies too so I thot this would be an opportune time to enjoy those as well.

From here we got a bit of a breeze as we made our way to the Terrapin Junction and up to Bluff Saddle where Larry had scampered up on a boulder and surprised us. Good one Larry! As we headed down into Barks the shade came into play. We stopped again at the crossover for some reflection pictures :DANCE: . As we came up Lower Barks Hill, I spotted Miner's Needle again. When we had come thru in the morning, I also spotted it but didn't realize it was the Needle thinking it was a new arch I had found :doh: . Guess I had just never looked over that way before.

And of course, hiking toward Barkley Basin later in the afternoon is always a treat as the whole valley is sun-kissed with a touch of gold. It makes that long rocky haul back to the TH more tolerable. We finished off the day with pumpkin spice beer talking about some of our journey. It was long but well worth it for me to finally see some new territory.

All of the video was shot on the way to Charlebois Springs including the 50 arm saguaro and the Master Map:
Video 1 up the Bluff Springs Trail to descent in Lower Barks Canyon:
Video 2 continuing into Barks Canyon and on over to the Terrapin Junction:
Video 3 past Terrapin Junction onto Dutchman Trail ending at the hawk flying:
Video 4 Dutchman Trail to Red Tanks Trail with stop at 50 arms saguaro:
Video 5 continuing on Dutchman Trail to Red Tanks trail and on the Red Tanks Trail toward Charlebois Spring
Video 6 Red Tanks to Charlebois trough
Video 7 Charlebois Upper pool, Master Map (the last few minutes are worth watching IMHO)
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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