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Aravaipa Canyon
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mini location map2014-12-03
60 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Dec 03 2014
Backpack9.00 Miles 150 AEG
Backpack9.00 Miles3 Days         
150 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
I'm not even sure how to tell you all about this Trip...It was just shy of Brilliant... :y:
It didn't matter where I was or what was happening, Fate was Smiling at me the whole Time...Between Luck, Good Decisions and Excellent Timing, I just couldn't go wrong... :y:

Day 1
I had left Town about 10:00 P.M. the Night before to get the Drive out of the Way. I was going in the East Side, but I knew I really didn't want to do the Water Crossings in the Dark. I knew of an Overlook about halfway in to Klondike. I had taken a Nap there before after driving a lot of the Night as well. So I stopped there, crawled in the Back Seat and took another Nap... :D

Woke up at Sunrise and started Shooting...It wasn't a Barn Burning type Sunrise by any means, but it was good enough and I had Compositions in every Direction...It was Sweet and a great way to start off the Trip.

I had decided to Park at the Main TH and Hike in to the TH at Turkey Creek. After a Pucker Moment crossing Cherry Creek some time ago, I didn't want to Risk it. And with a Chance of Rain in the Forecast, I didn't want to leave the Escape parked in Turkey Creek either... :sweat: I got to the Main TH, changed Clothes and got ready to go...Three very nice Gentlemen Birder/Photographers pulled up and generously offered me a Ride to Turkey Creek, which I accepted gladly... :DANCE: We hit it off right away and had a great time just driving to Turkey Creek, stopping occasionally for some good and some excellent Photo Ops...They were just going in for the Day, but we had so much fun, that we Hiked together in Aravaipa for awhile, enjoying more Photo Ops, before they turned around to go out. The Color was Peaking and there were a lot of Photo Ops to be had! :D

My Goal was to Hike in to Hell Hole Canyon, Camp at the Entrance and then do the Canyon the next day...I was basing my Campsite and my Plans on the Weather Report. Just before I left Tuesday Night, I checked and it was a 20% Chance of Rain, with MAYBE .5 Inches of Precipitation, all on Thursday, with clearing Friday and another chance on Saturday. So I was prepared for some Rain...If I had known how much I would really get, I would have Base Camped way back towards the Beginning in an elevated Alcove... :sweat: Anyway, I set up Camp and then went Downstream a bit more to check out the Entrance to Hell Hole and take some more Photos...

Day 2
The Rain started about 3 A.M. and didn't stop until almost 4 P.M. with over 1"+ of Precipitation... :sweat: I only had a Tarp large enough to cover the Bivy so to stay Dry, I either had to stay laying down, or put my Rain Gear on and sit in the Rain...I was prepared for SOME Rain, but not this... ](*,) By Noon, I realized that my Plans for Hell Hole Canyon were out. I was still completely socked in with no idea if it was going to clear up at all. Finally, I got about a 20 minute Window where it quit Raining entirely and I packed up, deciding that I was going back to the Alcove near the Beginning and Camp there that Night. That Way I could Cook and move around and stay completely Dry. It started Raining again as soon as I got underway... :sweat:

I packed the good Camera away in my Pack and just had my Waterproof one out for the Hike back. It was a good Decision to bring it...The Hike back had some great Photo Ops including Waterfalls coming down the Cliffs from above... :D The Creek had risen about 2 Inches, was running Brown and had more Current going by mid afternoon...I eventually got to the Alcove, set up Camp, and finally ate something before settling in for the Evening...The Alcove was in a Large Divot in the Canyon and the Divot Area had a small Waterfall going as well so I fell asleep to that nice Sound... :)

Day 3
Woke up to some Blue Skies overhead and a really nice Day...Took my Time packing up, explored the Divot a little bit since it went back a couple of hundred feet and then started back towards the TH. I was really surprised. All of the Waterfalls had stopped, the Creek had not only gone back down and cleared up, but the Level was actually lower than when I went in on Wednesday...Interesting.

I had thought about Hiking up Turkey Creek, spending Friday Night there and doing the Ruins and Oak Grove on Saturday before Hiking out. But with another Chance of Rain on Saturday and the Fact that my current Permit wouldn't cover the extra Day, I decided against it. But I did drop my Pack and wandered up Turkey Creek Road for a ways. The Rain had made a lot of Leaves Drop and everything was just carpeted with Fresh, undisturbed Leaves...It was awesome and the Photo Ops continued. The Clouds actually started building again and I finally turned around, picked up my Pack and headed for the Vehicle.

One the Drive out, I ran into some more Photo Ops :y: and then stayed in the Area to capture Sunset and...a Moonrise...Very Cool... :D Then I headed for the Barn, stopping in Superior for Mexican Food...

Amazing Trip...Peak Color, Wildlife, (3 Herds of Javelina, 2 Rafters of Wild Turkey and a lone Coatimundi not in a Pear Tree...), Waterfalls, and New Friends...Even with all that Weather, the Rain provided it's own set of Photo Ops that wouldn't have happened, so it was all very good and I was ecstatic with this Trip...

I will tell more with the Photos, but don't hold your Breath, it may be another couple of Days before I Post them. I wanted to get the Log posted though so the Foliage and Water Reports would go in...
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Probably hit it pretty much at Peak. The Rain on the 2nd Day and a Breeze the 3rd Day knocked some of it down, but there was still quite a bit of Color on the Trees in Spots when I left on 12/5

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Aravaipa Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
See Notes for Aravaipa Creek for this Date.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Aravaipa Creek Medium flow Medium flow
12/3 Creek Crossings driving into the East Side of Aravaipa Canyon were slightly Deeper than Normal. 12/4 Creek in Aravaipa Canyon rose about 2 Inches due to Rain for 13 Hours that Day. 12/5 Surprisingly, the Creek Level had not only gone down overnight, but was significantly lower than the Level was on 12/3....Creek Crossings driving out were also significantly shallower...

dry Deer Creek Dry Dry
Dry on 12/3, but after a lot of Rain on 12/4 that certainly would have changed, at least temporarily...

dry Parsons Canyon Dry Dry
Dry on 12/3, but after a lot of Rain on 12/4, that may have changed temporarily...

dry Turkey Creek Dry Dry
Dry on 12/3, Large Puddles on 12/5

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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