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Spur Metate Tortuga Dragon Jewel, AZ
mini location map2019-02-10
31 by photographer avatartibber
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Spur Metate Tortuga Dragon Jewel, AZ 
Spur Metate Tortuga Dragon Jewel, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2019
tibber
Hiking6.19 Miles 1,057 AEG
Hiking6.19 Miles   2 Hrs   42 Mns   2.44 mph
1,057 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I wanted to see the water so to convert my wish to reality, I went out to Spur Cross. I haven't hiked for a couple weeks as most of my spare time is being devoted to getting my brother's house ready for sale and the past week, figuring out the coin collection. I learned a lot; I'm sure he would appreciate that with a glimmer in his eye and a subtle laugh. And of course, some of the coins, I wonder why he purchased them. I found some really old pennies though and if you ever see a double exposed 1955 penny, it's worth quite a bit but then again 1955 is a very good year :) .

Oh ya, the hike. I wanted to hike the Spur Cross Trail north from the VC which is now a building with some touristy stuff in it and the admission personnel. I gave them a $5 (oh, it's only $3 but I like to give a little extra) and was on my way. It's been awhile since I've hiked northbound. I encountered a few hikers as I made my way toward the creek. As everyone knows, it is so incredibly green out there and this area is no exception. At the confluence with the Metate Trail there were hikers hanging out and a small horse group came up the hill. There is quite a bit of water in Cave Creek as I crossed the newly placed planks (2x4s). They've replaced these planks a lot the past few months. The hike to this point seemed longer than I remember.

I came to the end of the road at the next creek crossing which is as far as I had intended to come on this part of the trail. I did head up on the big red outcropping to see if you could get over them but it doesn't look like it. The crossing one would use is the big rocks in the creek at the end of the road, they are slightly to the right. I headed back and encountered two people with their dog who was experiencing water for the first time; always a fun sight to observe.

I hiked on to the Metate and got some more pictures of the water and some of the flora along the way. I finally remembered to reset my camera time as it was running 12 minutes off. On the way down the Metate I stopped to eat some wolfberries and some other hikers saw me and inquired and I told them to enjoy. They had always wondered about them. From there you are into the bosque and the saguaro section which is always impressive. There was lots of London Rockets too. Oh, I think here I heard a darn rattler but it was HAZel, sheesh! I admired the large skeleton saguaro on the side of the trail and remembered it when it was living. It's sure a pretty skeleton though.

I crossed the planked creek again and stopped and admired all that water. Once I got closer to the intersection with the Tortuga Trail there was a lot more people. Up the hill I went passing a few folks along the way, they headed left staying on the Spur Cross Trail while I continued to the little Tortuga Hill that was filled with blooming Brittlebush. I finally headed south trudging across the Tortuga Trail. I don't think I've traveled this part of the Tortuga in a long time. It also seemed longer and rockier than I remember. I passed the intersection with the Spur Cross Trail heading where a couple people were taking advantage of another one of the many benches in this area.

As I got closer to the creek the amount of people I would encounter increased. It's always such a pretty sight coming down in the creek where you can see the saguaros, the slightly fall colored trees and the water. The Dragonfly Trail has a lot to offer. As I was going north bound on the west side I did go off of it slightly to check out the creek. You can sure tell it was running high and was still running pretty good.

Alas, one more planked creek-crossing before hiking on the Jewel of the Creek Trail. I did encounter another Wolfberry bush, the biggest and bestest wolfberries I have ever had. As I topped out there were still quite a few folks coming in. In fact, this was the most crowded I've ever seen Spur Cross in my fifteen or so years I've been hiking here. The parking lot still had a lot of cars in it at 1PM.

a lot of narration in these videos:
Spur Cross Trail to second creek crossing and back to Metate [ youtube video ]
Metate, Tortuga, Dragonfly, Jewel of the Creek [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
lots of Desert Trumpet and London Rockets, some Brittlebush (a lot of it in the waning stage), lots of patches of Globe Chamomile
_____________________
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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