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Tule Canyon - Queen Valley, AZ
mini location map2015-04-20
50 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Tule Canyon - Queen Valley, AZ 
Tule Canyon - Queen Valley, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2015
CannondaleKid
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,306 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   1.67 mph
1,306 ft AEG      15 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It had been over two years since I was last out this way (except last time from the north) so I figured it was time again. Being four months later in the year, I wasn't lucky enough to have plenty of water flow. In fact other than a few pools of stagnant water it was bone dry this trip.

Driving in from the south it was a good thing I had my State Trust Land permit otherwise it would have been a LONG walk. But no matter, I drove as far as the last gate, which being locked meant it's time for boots-on-the-ground.

It was a quick downhill jaunt to the corral, where I made the mistake of going through a gate in the center of the corral area. Which meant going through another two gates before I could head into the canyon proper. Only on the return trip will I find a route through without the need to open any gates or climb over any fences. In my defense, it was not obvious it would take me where I wished to go.
:whistle:
Ok, into the canyon... actually one must travel a few hundred yards in Whitlow Canyon before turning left into Tule Canyon. Immediately into Tule Canyon and I was greeted with one of three choices:
a. boulder-hopping
b. trudging through soft gravel
c. following the cow paths on the side of the canyon.
I began with a, quickly changed to b, and almost as quickly to c. And back, and forth, and back, and forth... you get the picture.
:-({|=
Although I WAS interested in the various types of rock in the creek bed, from my previous trips out this way I knew I'd have to spend time out of the wash if I hoped to encounter at least one or more of the following:
Bighorn sheep, deer, javelina, Gila monster and rattlesnake. And as it turned out, I only missed out on the bighorn sheep.
:DANCE:
First up, while passing through brush between some large boulders, I heard heavy breathing, like I had surprised another person. But when I heard the huffing typical of javelina I had to decided, which direction will provide the best opportunity for photos and video? Before I could make that choice, the herd of seven javelina took off in two directions. Rats! The closest opportunity was also the thickest brush, so it meant crashing through brush as fast as I could to catch a halfway decent photo. I was lucky enough that one small javelina stopped and turned, staring at me long enough for a good photo.
:y:
Ok, photo done, time for video... but if I wanted any action, I needed it to move. So I began to move closer. And wouldn't you know it, the moment I stepped onto a wobbly large rock, it's time for action.
](*,)
So, apologies for the shaky video, it was close, but at least I didn't fall and break anything, camera or bones.
: app :
Next it was a pair of white-tailed deer, and a few minutes later a single white-tailed deer, seemingly following the pair until I got in between.

Next up I had to make a quick choice between a Gila monster and a rattlesnake... Now I have no idea if the Gila Monster and the rattler knew each other was within 10 feet of each other but when the rattler set off rattling noisily, the Gila Monster zipped across in front of me into some thick brush. At that point the choice was to try to dig out the Gila Monster, or simply to get photos and video of the for-now static rattler.
:-k
Having shot a nice Gila Monster video three days prior, the easy choice was the rattler. Unfortunately the first 4-5 photos and first minute of video were wasted... even though I got the camera lens within 12-18" of the rattler, it kept focusing on the blades of dried grass between us. So I gave up on that angle and circled around to the other side were I had a clearer view.

Yes! With a good view it was time for action... and the rattler obliged me, moving right along while I shot video.
:y:
As good an opportunity as I had for great video, I missed the best... Just when it appeared the rattler had tired of the game, I turned off the camera and zipped it in the case, the rattler shot out into an wide open flat area next to me and set off a wild pace.
:tt:
Fumbling to get out of the way while attempting to pull the camera out again... well it was too late and the rattler was well into deep cover now.
:-({|=
Oh well, by now what I thought might turn out to be a bone-dry bust of a hike had paid off with enough action I was content to call it a day.

I'm posting 50 photos here on HAZ, all 90 :o ! are on my website.

I condensed all the action into two videos:
1. A juvenile javelina, a pair of deer and a single deer
2. Lots of sound-and-fury from this Western Diamondback Rattlesnake!
Flora
Flora
Buckhorn cholla
Named place
Named place
Tule Canyon
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CannondaleKid
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