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Peterson Loop, AZ
mini location map2014-06-04
16 by photographer avatarrwstorm
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Peterson Loop, AZ 
Peterson Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2014
rwstorm
Hiking1.79 Miles 311 AEG
Hiking1.79 Miles   1 Hour   32 Mns   1.65 mph
311 ft AEG      27 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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Had not been up to the Sierra Anchas since 2012, so I was overdue. By going during a weekday, I was pretty much guaranteed getting the camp spot of my choice (mind you there aren't too many above Workman Creek Falls). As it turned out, the fire lookout and me were the only two up there Tuesday night. Picked the camp site nearest the falls and Peterson Meadow, since that was to be the focus of this trip. :D

Anytime I go up there it is a sentimental journey to be sure. It is a great place to absorb the energy of the natural surroundings and let the emotional memories of life's experiences flood over me, both good and bad. Sometimes you need to go alone. That is the only way to get in tune. Afraid of sitting alone in the dark? Not a chance.

Wednesday morning before even having coffee or breakfast, I wandered out and did part of this loop for early photos. Then back at camp, had breakfast and coffee, broke down some of the gear, and headed out to do the loop again with the gps in tow. Obligatory for me was to have a visit with Mom, so I threw a beer in the fanny pack and was off. :)

Each time I come up here I try to learn a little bit more about the surroundings. For years I thought the road to Dewey Peterson's Ranch was the old track along the north fork of Workman Creek. Some maps indicated otherwise. When I came up in here for the first time in 1970 to check on that rain gauge up in the meadow, I thought we drove in that way. Turns out that was not the case. My memory from so long ago was not to be trusted. In fact, some of this has been vexing me for ages. I couldn't find my way to the meadow when I returned in 1987. Finally found my way to it in 2000 (post Coon Fire). I didn't realize that in those many years between visits, the Abbey Way Trail 151 was built and the old road left to return to nature.

Since I decided that the Peterson place was going to be be where I left Mom, I had tried to find out more about those folks who homesteaded there so long ago. A stop at the Gila County Historical Society in Globe didn't help, as at the time I stopped there in about 2005, they said their collections were in boxes and not organized. A visit with old man Mercer at the store at Rockhouse didn't yield much information either. A few years later I stopped in the Pleasant Valley Ranger Station up in Young and enjoyed going through thier book of historic photos. Did see one of Dewey and friends standing on the porch of his place, but no other information was forthcoming. One of the reasons I purchased a copy of "Echoes in the Canyons" was to find out more about Dewey Peterson, knowing that he had been a guide to sites for Haury. Didn't find out too much there either.

Anyway, in my numerous visits since 2000, it has been fun to snoop around and try to find pieces of the puzzle. I did find the Peterson's garbage dump not too far away from the road along the north fork (tried to relocate it this time, but so much overgrowth made it an unsuccessful endeavour).

The weather station at Peterson Meadow has been operated by the Rocky Mountain Research Station office in Flagstaff for years. This is also true of the many other weather stations and stream gauges that have existed in the area since the late 1930's as part of the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest (most built by the CCC...what a surprise). It looked like it was in bad shape this trip, so not sure if it is in use anymore. The nearby Snotel station gives real time temperature and (somewhat questionable) precipitation readings. A few years back I discovered a newly fenced off plot to the south of FR487 not too far from the Moody Point Trailhead. I found out it is a new study plot run by RMRS, with more sophisticated equipment to study the effects of air pollution on the forest, among other things. So I'm guessing that the weather data collected there takes the place of the readings from the Peterson site (Workman #2). It is interesting that some of the stream flow studies in the Workman Creek watershed associated with the early days were concluded in 1980, but following the Coon Fire in 2000 were re-activated to study effects of runoff in the burn area.

This area never gets old for me! :D

https://youtube.com ... J-EU
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Carr Peak Peterson Ranch
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