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Cherry Creek Canyon Wander, AZ
mini location map2020-04-21
14 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Cherry Creek Canyon Wander, AZ 
Cherry Creek Canyon Wander, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 21 2020
Hiking3.20 Miles 1,170 AEG
Hiking3.20 Miles   6 Hrs      0.53 mph
1,170 ft AEG
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This was the first day hike on a 4 night car camping trip to Cherry Creek canyon - Sierra Ancha Mountains. I decided to scout out an old road bed that passed by my campsite. I would find that it dropped down into a drainage and then went up to the top of a hill that @Grasshopper and I had explored back in March, 2016. This area is covered with thick growths of Juniper trees, manzanita and scrub oak. I suspected there would be ancient Indian ruins hidden along my planned route. So I took my time zig zagging around looking for evidence of ancient habitation but with no success. I have removed much of that zig-zagging from my gps track.

I re-discovered a weird sign engraved in a thick wooden plank that @Grasshopper and I had found on that hike in 2016. It was laying under a Juniper tree right where we left it. The meaning of the words engraved in this thick plank was a mystery back then and still is. But some recent searching on Google has led me to think that it is referring to an on-line video game, Trove, and a "fan-run community website" for that game called Trovesaurus. I'm waiting for an expert's opinion. He's my grandson who has been an avid on-line gamer for years and will be getting his masters degree in computer science in May. If it is referring to that video game, maybe my grandson can shed some light on why a computer nerd gamer would make that sign and leave it in a rugged off-road location in the Sierra Ancha Mountains. Could it be related to Geocaching?

I had left camp that morning with no definite hiking destination in mind other than to verify the route of that old road bed and then wander where ever my curiosity led me. After viewing a knob (hill) protruding from the canyon side with what appeared to be an easy route to the top, I headed in that direction. Perhaps there was an ancient rock pile on top of that knob. My route to the knob first led along a short section of FR203. A small rock slide on that section of road had left an impediment to driving further up FR203. [ photo ] After examining this obstacle in the road I decided I would not be driving further up the road from where I was camped. Short wheel base ATVs had been crossing it with ease and maybe short wheel base full size 4x4s with high lifts but it seemed too risky for my vehicle.

Climbing to the top of that knob turned out to be much more difficult than I had anticipated. The hillside was much steeper than it had looked viewing straight on from a distance. It was more of a scramble than a hike. Crawling on all fours was frequently required and every step had to be carefully made to avoid sliding back down the hillside. Unfortunately my efforts were not rewarded with finding signs of ancient habitation hidden in the brush and trees on top of the knob. However there were some good views and the only cell phone reception I would find over my 5 day stay in the area. I was feeling nervous about the safety of the descent back down that steep hillside. So I sent a SPOT position check and a text to @Grasshopper to look for an OK SPOT message from me when I got back to camp later that afternoon. The return descent turned out to be easier than anticipated and 2 hours later I was back in camp sitting in the shade with a cold beer reading a book (and swatting those pesky gnats and mosquitoes.)
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Pueblo Canyon
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