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White Box & Hanging Gardens of WCC
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mini location map2015-06-08
27 by photographer avatarBarrett
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White Box & Hanging Gardens of WCCCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jun 08 2015
Barrett
Canyoneering3.60 Miles 540 AEG
Canyoneering3.60 Miles   6 Hrs      0.60 mph
540 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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outdoor_lover
Having been on my bucket list for some time, I jumped at the chance to do this with someone more experienced than myself in both canyoneering and photography. Pam arrived 5 am sharp and we headed up, taking a combination of forest roads in that she thought would be smoother than the 142's. After coming out on the HAZ roads, I would say it was smoother but more likely to be a problem after heavy rains. I was in 4 low much of the time, aired down to 20 psi, and still spent a fair amount of time in first gear.
We arrived and headed down, finding the water to be a decent 59 degrees, and hit the first pool. Pam's pack was large enough for all her gear, while I had my small pack and a separate dry bag that I dragged behind while I swam backward with my pack on. After the second pool, I checked my dry bag and found it was leaking. ](*,)
I spent about 30 minutes drying gear and blowing up my innertube, deciding to float my stuff and deal with the hassle of getting the tube through the brush between swims.
The White Box arrived and things went to the next level. Sheer walls rose on either side, the water deep and the other end out of sight. Swimming maybe 200 yards with hiking boots on, pushing the tube ahead and then catching up, added a dash of primal fear to the feast before my eyes. When I reached the other side, I was simultaneously relieved to put my feet on the bottom, and a little bummed not having had more time to enjoy the scenery.
From there I think we had 7 more swims, with boulder hopping and poison ivy avoidance in between (I've never seen so much in my life). When the Hanging Gardens finally came into view, we both couldn't wipe the grins from our faces. The afternoon sun was hitting the lush green growth, the sound of waterfalling surrounded us, and Columbines both in abundance and full bloom. :y:
For the next 8 hours we were kids in a candy store, wandering from one photo op to the next, floating under the canopy, setting up camp, improving the Rockaloungers, eating dinner, and then a second low-light photography session, ending with LED's, black lights, and kicking back in the loungers. :GB:
We didn't build a fire, enjoying the night around us, and got to bed early and up by 5 or so. After a few morning pics, we hit the return and were in the water by 7. On the way out I took the time to unpack my camera between swims (the pictures in the photoset are reversed and show morning light). With air temp at 70, and no sun, I ended up shivering through the last few scrambles, but soon we were back at the exit. The hike out was short and steep, and the drive out a relief when it was over. Pam generously picked up the tab at the Verde Diner, where she enjoyed a whompin' omelet, and I scarfed a Reuben. A perfect ending to a great trip. Great company, great scenery, great adventure.
It's been 4 days since we returned, and despite wearing long sleeves, and even long pants and gloves the entire way out, meticulous washing throughout the trip, and what seemed like utmost caution, I have poison ivy. :tt:
It was worth it.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
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