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Lower First Water Creek, AZ
mini location map2014-07-07
40 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Lower First Water Creek, AZ 
Lower First Water Creek, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2014
Hiking2.50 Miles 656 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   2 Hrs   9 Mns   1.21 mph
656 ft AEG      5 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After spending a few lazy days recovering from our sweat-bath hike on Friday I was getting restless so humidity and ailing knee or not, I had to get out for at least a few hours, but what to do?

Tracey, about to head off to work, said You have a pass, just go to Usery and hike one of the trails there but no, I wanted something different, something new-to-me. I got to thinking about the Jeep tours I lead along Apache Trail so I fired up Route Manager, started scanning for ideas and quickly came up with the idea of exploring along Lower First Water Creek down to Canyon Lake.

Knowing it would be even more humid than our early morning hike on Friday, I decided to go with my lightweight convertible pants and Tevas. I waited just a little bit for the sun to burn some of the humidity off and hit the trail from the last wide turn-out on Apache Trail before the Canyon Lake Overlook.

Taking a look across the canyon it didn't take a moment after noticing a number of vehicles sprinkled down the slope below a sharp turn on Apache Trail before I already began a detour from my plan, which is par for the course.

As I wandered up the slope past each wreck I tried to identify as many of the vehicles and parts as I could. The latest-model items were just the front bumpers of a Dodge Durango and a Nissan Frontier pickup, so I'm guessing those vehicles were winched back up. Of the vehicles still resting on the slope the newest was an 80's Dodge Omni, with the oldest probably from the late 30's. After a quick perusal of the remains I set off on the descent to First Water Creek.

On the way down the trail was reasonably easy-to-follow and it wasn't long before I was at the creek. On the way down I spotted something shiny across the creek so I set off to find it a short distance on the other side of the creek... it was a Mylar balloon, the second one in two hikes. This one was a TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from those of you not familiar with the term) while the previous was a new Congratulations Grad! balloon. Off to a great start... littering already!
Ok, I'm in the creek, which way do I go? Southward to locate the point where Tracey and I were stopped by a deep pool back in March, or northward toward Canyon Lake. I knew it wouldn't be very far south so I opted to head toward Canyon Lake first. I had some great views along the short distance to where water was backed up into the creek from Canyon Lake. With the sip-off pant-legs and Tevas I could have gone a little farther but it was slimy and appeared to drop over waist-deep so I just turned around.

I went the other direction until I climbed the pour-off and took a quick energy-bar break where I thought we had turned around in March. I thought of continuing but again being thoroughly drenched in sweat from head-to-ankles (the Tevas allowed my feet to be semi-dry) and the knee throbbing again I headed back.

When I got home and compared GPS tracks I realized we had been stopped maybe a few hundred feet farther up-stream. But at the time the creek appeared to continue pretty open and flat, so I guess I'll have to check it out again.

The return leg was uneventful but not fun with the heat and humidity... I must be getting old fast or something. Lately even these short hikes with high humidity are taking a lot more out of me than a year or two ago. Back then I was bagging three separate peaks in a day, the first in oppressive humidity and 80°, the second with slightly lower humidity in the 90's and the last with low humidity (the sun having burned it off by then) and around 105° and never got dehydrated so fat. In fact back then I never lost more than a pound on a hike, but even on this barely two-hour hike when I was drinking almost constantly I lost almost 3 pounds.
At this rate maybe I should check into getting a goat to carry extra water for me. Either that or wait for cooler/drier days or drive to cooler climes.

I took a bunch of photos, posting most here on HAZ and as usual, the full set on my web site, but again no video... I really didn't feel like having something strapped on my chest today.
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First Water Creek
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