|Hiking||3.80 Miles|| 2 Hrs 39 Mns ||1.53 mph|
|552 ft AEG|| 10 Mns Break||2 LBS Pack|
||no linked trail guides|
|After all the rain we wanted to go somewhere close to home yet not too warm, where we would want to ramble about with neither time nor route of importance and hopefully at least s midgen of solitude. Oh, but how can we forget? We must be able to get our feet wet!
Ok, so let's just drive up along Apache Trail until something lured us in.
Willow Creek or Lower First Water?
No... too much work for a day of leisure.
Canyon Lake area?
No... Solitude? No way!
Tortilla Creek near Tortilla Flat?
Nope, we aren't hearing our name being called yet.
But then as we drove through Mesquite Creek where it was flowing across Apache Trail we thought, hmmmm... let's check this out. It showed enough promise to get us out of the Jeep and go check it out. Nice flow, a place to get our feet wet but for one thing... two people and their two dogs, one a yappy little thing that simply couldn't shut up!
So much for solitude.
With less than a mile traveled it was time to move on.
Ok, back in the Jeep to drive just a little farther up The Trail where we pulled off the other side of the road and drove down through a mud hole where at least no car was apt to follow.
Aha! Solitude AND water to play in!
Being so close to the road we were very surprised there weren't more people about, but we'll take it when we can. We spent more time wandering in, around and through the creek in both directions until yup, we came across another person. Hey, it's not that we're anti-social, it's that... well, now that I think about it, yup that's exactly what we wanted to be, anti-social.
So again, back to the Jeep and set off again. Yup, we left some of the mud from the tires on the pavement. But not for long... we drove off the other side along an ancient part of the original wagon trail until we hit the dead-end where a bridge used to be long ago, before it was washed out and the current route was created, cutting off a few miles of winding road. (The current route was created by cutting through the high points and using the excavated rock to fill in the low points, leaving us with a nice smooth straight section.)
From there we dropped down, crossed the creek and then on the spur-of-the-moment decided to re-trace the original route. Of course I had shed the lower pant-legs to play in the water, so I would pay for it along the way... getting pretty well scratched up due to the overgrowth of brush along the old route. Ah yes, the wonders of pure aloe to heal the microscopic wounds.
We continued until it just felt like the right time to turn back. By now realizing the growth along the road was of thicker and thornier nature than the surrounding terrain, we would stay off the road on the return trip and reap the benefits of game trails and more open terrain.
Back to the last crossing of the creek at the washed-out bridge site, Tracey looked at this large pool of water and thought it looked so inviting that she felt she had to check it out. But before she dropped in, I mentioned she might want to think about being in wet clothes on the drive back home.
So she took off her shirt and pants and started wading in. She began by rinsing her face and arms off and was just about for actual skinny-dipping when we heard this loud roaring noise seemingly from everywhere and here come three low-flying military (Blackhawks?) helicopters with Red Cross markings followed by a straggler.
Now unless someone on the first three was scanning in the right place at the right time, they wouldn't have gotten a good view, however if they managed to let the straggler know, they might have had their eyes peeled and looking in the right direction.
We got a real laugh out of that because the last time I was stripped to the same degree (drying my clothes after falling into Mineral Creek) we were buzzed by a VERY low-flying C-130. That one was so low Tracey thought it was about to crash. And of course the echoing in the canyon made it sound even worse.
Ok, that's enough getting-wet for today and we set out for the leisurely drive back along Apache Trail. Of course it HAD to be leisurely with the Sunday afternoon traffic returning from Tortilla Flat and Canyon Lake. The usual crazies...
* A couple parking their car ON THE ROAD taking 2/3rds of the lane of traffic where they got out to take photos, barely a few hundred feet from a nice pull-out with actually a better view.
* A road biker wandering all over the road with seemingly no care whether he was causing a hazard or would be the victim of an accident.
Those were just a few...
Video medley of our wandering along Mesquite Creek is here: