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Cornucopia via E. Fork Sycamore Creek
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mini location map2014-04-23
9 by photographer avatarSredfield
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Cornucopia via E. Fork Sycamore CreekPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2014
Sredfield
Hiking9.00 Miles 2,300 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles
2,300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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Partners none no partners
Three of us walked up the Cornucopia Trail to FT 260 to lay out realignments around the worst washed out sections. Beautiful day on the trail!

On the way in we saw a good sized track hoe at the 201/25 junction, but thought little of it other than not to park one of the vehicles too close. We made our way in to FR 25, and noticed it had been recently graded--much improved. The gate was damaged and open, so we went on through. The road was great so we kept going all the way down to the creek. Pulled over and hiked from there.

The lay out went well, thanks to the folks from American Conservation Experience; I learn a ton every time I go out on a job with them. We hiked in to McFarland Canyon for lunch, then back out and retraced the new route, moved only a few flags, and headed back out towards the car.

Lots of wildflowers, and many different kinds. Post-fire soil changes I guess.

At about the bridge we began hearing an odd noise, very loud and growing louder as we continued. We came around the last corner and saw the track hoe breaking up the rock "road bed" or what had lain under the road bed before it was washed away exposing only rock. It was hooking on to a piece of rock and breaking it up, and adding gravel from the stream bed when it was available.

The operator shut it down as we approached because there was no way to get around. He explained they're re rehabbing the old mine sites; they will close off several shafts, adits, etc. and have to get machines and materials in.

So this will open that country up to a gazillion ATV's till it all washes out again. As it is there are a great many; we saw tracks almost to the 260 trail. Not much riparian vegetation in the steam bed after it has been used as road.

Going back tomorrow with the para-arch's so they can look for cultural sites along the route we laid out today. But I really want to see if the track hoe has made it across the bridge. The operator seemed confident the bridge would hold it--I will have to be convinced. Don't think I'd try it but who knows. Will report back.

UPDATE: Hiked it again today (4/24/14) with the para-archaeologists, low and behold, they didn't find anything.

The machine was at the bridge as we entered, the operator and project leader were there and getting ready to take it across. My doubts were strong but not strong enough to stay and watch and hold us up. Obviously the bridge held, on our way back it was way past the bridge and up the road towards the mine. No excitement. The road is smoothed out and passable, I'd take my pickup in now, at least till the rains come and wash it all out again.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Lots of different kinds of flowers, penstimon especially, and some that was very big in comparison.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Upper McFarland @ #88/95 Light flow Light flow
Nice flow just downstream from the big camp spot near the junction in McFarland. Light flow in the wash along the trail as it heads northeast out of the canyon.
_____________________
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
HAZ Member
Sredfield's
179 Photosets

  2015-02-24
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  2014-12-18
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