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Merritt Draw Maverick Canyon Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-05-12
25 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Merritt Draw Maverick Canyon Loop, AZ 
Merritt Draw Maverick Canyon Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar May 12 2020
Hiking11.00 Miles 1,870 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   5 Hrs   35 Mns   2.10 mph
1,870 ft AEG      20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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All of our hike yesterday was on-trail, which was just fine for Tracey. While part of the hike today would be along a forest road, the rest of it would present a reasonable amount of a challenge. In reality it wouldn't have posed any issues but for the fact we did not want to get out boots wet. (With another day of hiking to go on this camping trip, wet boots was not part of the plan.)

With our bear-sighting taken care of yesterday today we hoped for an elk or deer... ok even another bear if it so happens. The road-walk at the beginning was just that... nothing to see but pines and an unnamed game tank. Dropping down to Barbershop Canyon was much easier than expected due to elk traffic along the cairned route down the slope. In the short jaunt to the Barbershop Canyon/Merritt Draw intersection we already had to cross the creek three times... just a hint of the probably close to one hundred more crossing throughout the rest of the hike.

Other than the dry-crossings and when leaving Maverick Canyon later, we followed pretty much the same route as elk had. And wouldn't you know it, all the drama for today would take place along Merritt Draw and Maverick Canyon.

First up was a really rough-looking elk cow... its coat looked so bad I wasn't even sure it was an elk. Unfortunately it crossed the draw at a fast trot, leaving no opportunity for a photo. Oh well, a minute or two later I got a photo of a wild turkey which the elk had collided with while crossing the draw. By the way the turkey was limping and leaning to one side it was obvious it had suffered an injury as a result of the incident.
Part of the reason for no photo of the elk was due to how many and how close together the trees were. I guess I'll have to be faster with the camera if I want any elk photos today.

Even though I was much faster with the camera when I spotted the next elk, while approaching with a large tree between us so would have a clearer shot when I stepped out, unbeknownst to me were two other elk off to the side which broke into a run when they saw me. I had but a split-second to decide... step out and get the shot I planned or swing to the left and try for two in the same shot. And of course, that momentary hesitation was enough to lose both shots... as well as two more elk exiting the draw to the other side as well.
Although later we would loop back along the other side of the next ridge in the direction three of the elk went, we would not see any more wildlife the rest of the hike.
Wild Turkey
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