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Spur Cross - DragonFly's Cave Creek, AZ
mini location map2016-01-10
19 by photographer avatartibber
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Spur Cross - DragonFly's Cave Creek, AZ 
Spur Cross - DragonFly's Cave Creek, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2016
Hiking2.98 Miles 252 AEG
Hiking2.98 Miles   1 Hour   32 Mns   2.15 mph
252 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
this was mostly a photo hike after doing the Go John Trail in CCRA earlier. As I drove in I saw the Fall color so that changed my initial thot of doing the Spur-Metate Trails.

I went down to Cave Creek on the Spur Cross Trail. Really not a lot to see here as the flow of water was in a narrow channel on the west side. However it was interesting to see a fervently blooming desert marigold, actually several of them, in the middle of the now dry creek bed. So I obliged with photos. I took a bit of video on the plank bridge. I also noticed a new bench on the south side of the trail as you come out of the creek.... have to wonder how long that will last if that creek decides to blast up that bank. Hastily made my way back to TontoJr for the drive (I know pathetic when I could have hiked but it was getting late) to the Jewel of the Creek Preserve TH.

The light was very low; had to switch the camera setting to IA. The view was spectacular though with the cottonwoods still showing off and the foreground of the desert in front of me. I did video and pictures as I made my way across the desert and then down to the area next to the creek. I hadn't hiked that part of the Dragonfly Trail that swings north for quite a few years so I thot I would see if they had planks across here. They didn't so I went back the way I came passing by some most unusual ground cover and looking up to admire the wonderful shapes of the fall, now winter color of the trees.

The plank bridge was across the creek just past the bedrock area. They usually have one but today they have two. They made fast work of getting the planks in as I saw on FB Saturday that they were installing the plank bridges today. So across I went but not before stopping to take pictures with both Kemosabe and my camera as well as some video. I took video as I continued alongside the west side of the creek going on and off the trail. I checked out that big hole in the rock face hill, it seems much bigger and deeper than I remember. There is also this one area that almost looks like it's blocked by a big tree and flood debris from a few floods back but you actually step down and through it.

Eventually you come to the nice stand of saguaros rising next to the trail high above you; always appreciate that site. Then you cross the drainage wash (where you can go west and up and out and continue on other trails here at Spur Cross Ranch). The planks were up at the last crossing of Cave Creek on the south side where you make your way to Dragonfly Lake. I thot it might be a lot fuller. FYI: Cave Creek gets no snow melt water.

And then you make a u-turn and head up and above Cave Creek before slowly making your way back down and then up and out. It was getting pretty cold and dark by this time. But I got to see what I came here to see. My hip flexors are painfully sore from my afternoon of hiking so that means I'm still not in shape. Hopefully I can get a couple more hikes in and be good to go for desert hiking season... except that I'll have to take a week off for my return trip to Montana :( (know anyone that might need a 3rd fl condo in Great Falls?).
Took more video than I thot. Sometimes I think I forget I'm still filming.
Jan 12: Here is Part 1 of the 3 part video: Spur Cross, Jewel of the Creek Preserve - [ youtube video ]
Part 2 [ youtube video ]
Part 3 added 1-14-16 [ youtube video ]
I've not used the youtube stabilizer once again. I guess I never realized how good my new camera's stabilizer was. And in this case, I wasn't hiking that fast. I did shoot in IA movie mode due to the low light. I'm reluctant to do this as it seems the IA function is constantly messing with the light but it seemed to do pretty good this time.

12-31-2019 Looking back, not using the stabilizer I think was a mistake. And now, youtube doesn't even have a stabilizer so I went back and restabilized each movie and re-did the videos. I think they are much better and wow, was it ever a beautiful hike. The low light made the shooting conditions a little difficult thus the quality is not as good as I would like:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
Desert Marigold
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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