username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
LabelsComments
triplogs photosets comments more
1, 2, 3  Next
45 triplogs

Nov 16 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
LaBarge Creek W Boulder Trail, AZ 
LaBarge Creek W Boulder Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 16 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking8.00 Miles
Hiking8.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was planning on devoting my entire weekend to landscaping my new yard, but Saturday afternoon I got my arm twisted with an offer I couldn't refuse. SandeJ called and said that her and five other personal trainers were planning a jaunt either up Siphon Draw to the Flatiron, or LaBarge Creek, to West Boulder Trail exiting at Canyon Lake. I couldn't resist as I live to hike.

Sunday morning rolled around and we met at the designated spot, both of us arriving simultaneously. The group size had dwindled from seven down to three, SandeJ, her friend, and my new found friend, Debbie and Arizonaheat. We opted for the off trail adventure and headed for the Canyon Lake departure point.

We were soon on the West Boulder trail which we followed a short distance before dropping down into La Barge Creek. The smell of Fall was in the air and Lady Superstition laid out a wondrous smorgasbord for our sensory delight. We made our way up the creek bed hopping rocks and enjoying the fantastic scenery. Soon we found ourselves engulfed in a lush oasis of greenery, mainly consisting of bamboo, that stood 10 to 15 foot tall. There were also numerous cottonwoods that were starting to sport there fall colors. We had to remind ourselves that we were indeed in Arizona and in the Sonoran Desert. It would be easy to get lost in the jungle. It was totally awesome.

As we approached the upper reaches of La Barge Creek, we found ourselves deep inside the crater that was formed from an ancient volcanic eruption. From the top of Palomino Mountain and Battleship Mountain the crater is very prominent. Knowing what to look for it is easy to spot from ground zero.

As the La Barge Creek Canyon began to open up before it intersects West Boulder Trail we came across some potholes in the rock that were filled with what we would aptly describe as Alien Slime. It had a fluorescent day glow lime green color with lots of aerobic activity going on producing oxygen bubbles that floated on the surface. Other parts of the slime emanated into the water like rays of the sun.

Soon we were at the point to where La Barge Creek intersects West Boulder Trail, essentially ending the off trail portion of the trip, other than a side jaunt we took up a Canyon that parallels Second Water Trail, this was also a lush green oasis, complete with bamboo. I was unable to find my Desert Tortoise friends that Cactuscat had pointed out to me on a previous trip.

From here we made our way to the Indian Paint Mine where we stopped for a leisurely lunch. Then it was off on the West Boulder Trail for our return to Canyon Lake. The views along this trail are totally awesome and are a must see for anyone who has not experienced them.

We drove up to Tortilla Flats afterwards, but found it way to crowded so we back tracked and headed to one of my favorite post hike destinations, the Bluebird Mine Store, where Debbie and I enjoyed mucho cervezas and SandeJ had a Chocolate Shake and fries. The conversation was great and I hated to see things come to an end. It was an absolutely fantastic hike, with great company. Beat the heck out of spreading landscape rock. LOL.

Few photos are in the Gallery.
_____________________
Nov 04 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Havasu Canyon TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 04 2003
arizonaheat
Backpack32.00 Miles 2,496 AEG
Backpack32.00 Miles
2,496 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
MAGICAL SOUJOURN TO HAVASUPAI

Five thirty Tuesday morning, November 4, I found myself leaving the Valley, heading for a 5 night , 6 day stay at Havasupai, with new found friends Shi and Brenda, who were kind enough to let me join them for what would be a journey that owns part of my heart and soul for all eternity.

As we approached Flagstaff we watched the temperature drop from the 50's to the 40's then into the 30's dropping below freezing, continuing on down all the way through the 20's and bottoming out at 19. The meadows and majestic pines were blanketed with a heavy frost, a thin layer of ice had formed on the ponds and the breath of horses billowed from their noses like steam from a steam engine. As the sun peaked over the horizon casting it's first rays on the frost laden meadow it began to twinkle like stars in the dark night sky. As we rounded the corner, there stood Mount Humphrey's, gracefully and quietly standing guard over all that lays below, while the sun illuminated the fresh layer of brilliant white snow that capped her.

Soon we were heading west on I-40 toward the Seligman turnoff and Route 66. We stopped a Lilo's Westside Café in Seligman where we feasted on a breakfast fit for Kings and Queens. After overstuffing ourselves we continued on Route 66 until we hit the turn off for Road 18, which takes you 69 miles North to Hualapai Hilltop, where we would begin our decent into the Canyon.

This was my first time to the Western Canyon and despite the fact that the views from the rim are not as spectacular and expansive as from the North and South Rims they are impressive, none the less. When we arrived the mail truck was there and the mules were being loaded with mail to be taken to the Village of Supai. Other mules had already been loaded with various supplies and were departing down the trail heading for Supai. A farrier was hard at work re-shoeing mules, he informed us that they go through a set of shoes about every four weeks. We were soon making our descent into the magnificent land that lays below the Rim, looking down on a mule train as it snaked its way around the switchbacks on the trail. The descent is much gentler and shorter than other areas of the Canyon and in no time at all you are on the Canyon floor making your way down a drainage that serves as the trail, cutting through a spectacular Red Rock Canyon.

The rock formations in the red rock of Havasupai Canyon are spectacular to say the least. In many areas it is as if someone swooped down with a giant ice cream scoop and took scoops out of the vertical walls of the canyon. Water from ancient times definitely worked its' artistry through Havasupai Canyon.

As you approach the Village of Supai, Havasupai Creek which is bone dry in the upper reaches of the Canyon , comes to life magically as her magical blue green waters make their way to the surface from the amazing aquifer that lays beneath the surface. A lush greenness suddenly surrounds you adding to the sensory overload your already experiencing leaving you in awe.

Soon we found ourselves in the quaint Village of Supai, which is guarded by two red rock monoliths known as the King and Queen, in English. We passed the tourist information center, café, grocery store, post office, clinic, school, with children doing calisentics and finally the village church. From here it was past a few outlying houses, many with corrals hosting large numbers of horses. From here the trail continues about two miles to the campground. On the way you will pass the first of the falls, Navajo Falls.

As you begin the final descent into the campground you pass the most famous of the falls, Havasupai Falls. Breathtaking is an understatement. You can feel her magic as her waters plummet 100 ft to the maginificent pool of blue-green water that lays at her base.

The campground is approximately one mile long and we were told it can host 500 people. Well we walked from one end of the campground to the other and to our delight we discovered we virtually had the place all to ourselves. There were only about three sites that had people in them, it was like a ghost town and I couldn't have been happier. Needless to say we secured a primo sight on the Havasupai Falls end off the campground, among large cottonwoods, nestled right next to the creek with our own private little waterfall. The far end of the campground ends near another spectacular waterfall, Mooney Falls.

Wow all this and we just got there the adventure had barely begun!

We set up camp, R&R, ate dinner, then off to early bed, which was a spectacular experience every night. Watching the near full moon, later full moon, rise over the spectacular cliffs, illuminating the jagged vertical walls, casting shadows while listening to the water cascading down the creek that laid at our feet and over our own private falls. The moon would then set part way through the night casting darkness on the canyon, opening the door for the stars to dance in the night sky and do their own form of sensory entertainment, then as daylight began to break, if clouds were in the sky a brilliant orange hue would be cast before the sun took over the show as it made it's late but spectacular debut above the towering walls of the canyon. The sun came up around 8:30 or so and set no later than three inside the canyon. The spectacular cottonwoods that sheltered our camp would kick up a breeze and rustle their leaves for our entertainment.

The first night we had some raccoons awaken us in the night causing mischief but we soon made a deal that would cure that problem.

The second day was one of R&R, lazing around camp, reading books, visiting Havasupai and Mooney Falls etc. It was on this day that we met Dona from Flora, Indiana and her friend from Ohio. It was also the day we would meet our adopted dogs and guardians for the week. One was a male Golden Retriever the other a female Shepard/Husky mix to the tune of about 140 pounds. We meet all the above at Mooney Falls overlook. I told the dogs if they came to camp with us and kept the raccoons and horses away I would feed them tortillas in the morning. Well the dogs did just that, it was absolutely amazing. I called them our Spirit Dogs. They slept next to us at night and every time they chased a raccoon or horse off during the night they would run over and give me a good licking letting me know they had done their job. Then they would go lick Brenda and try to get into Shi's tent to let her know they were doing their job. They left us one day, but we went up to the Village and retrieved them and brought them back and they were at our sides until we left the Canyon. True friends indeed. We feed them well.

The next morning we made the climb down to Mooney Falls, this is a very interesting descent in which you actually make your way through two separate tunnels on your way down before getting to a near vertical descent of 100 feet or better. There are steel anchors in the cliff wall with chain strung between some of them and foot holds notched into the rock. The lower section is wet from the spray coming off the Falls.

It was here that we ran into Dona again. Although it was a bit late we decided we would make a go at the River and Dona would join us. This was indeed the highlight of the trip. The beauty that lies between Mooney Falls and Havasupai Rapids on the Colorado River is utterly breathtaking. I will let my pictures do most of the talking. This is a epic hike in the truest sense of the word. On the round trip hike we crossed the gorgeous blue green waters of Havasupai Creek, 14 -15 times, climbed vertical sections of cliff that required pulling ones self up by a rope, climbing up logs with foot holds notched out to ascend the wall, walked trail that was about 18 inches wide skirting the edge of the cliff falling several hundred feet to the water below, walked through acres of lush green, head tall vines, past Bear Falls and many other spectacular smaller falls and deep blue-green pools of water. Spotted some awesome wildlife.......

As I walked through a lush green canopy of various flora I had an experience of a lifetime. I came upon a ewe mountain goat that was bedded down within 10 feet of the trail in a bed of lush green grass. I was no more than ten feet from her when our eyes made contact, she started to get up to leave and I told her it was alright, I mean no harm. As we gazed into each other's eyes it was as if we both understood each other and could communicate. She settled back in and just started chewing her cud. Our eyes never left contact with each other and we remained there staring into each others eyes, my heart racing, for 10 to 15 minutes,. when Mary, Brenda and Dona showed up. I motioned for them to be very quite then as I stared into the eyes of the ewe I motioned them in close by me. It was as if we had become one. A memory I will hold with me for ever as this was indeed a wild animal in an area that isn't over run by people. By now I was wondering what was going on. I had communicated with our Spirit Dogs and now a Mountain Goat.

We continued on our journey and not to far down the trail I ran almost ran head on into a family of Big Horn. Ram, Ewe and Calf. They turned and went up the hillside alongside us, where I got some photo's of these magnificent animals.

We hiked toward the River until around 2:30 then the decision was made to turn back and return so we wouldn't be stuck out in the dark having to try to climb out from Mooney Falls. I took a coordinate and we were within a mile of the River. The fact that we didn't make the River is inconsequential, the true beauty and adventure is what laid between. I will never ever forget this day it touched me in a very special way, but I was yet to be touched again.

The next day was more R&R, visiting the falls again, swimming etc. I decided to make a trip into the Village, during the early morning hours. As I approached the outskirts of the Village I saw two Havasu , standing in the trail talking. One was elderly the other I found out to be around 50 or so. As I passed I greeted them with a good morning and continued up the trail. I noticed one of the men closed his eyes as I passed and tilted his head toward the ground. I was getting to a point to where I was going to stop and take a picture of the rock monoliths that guard the Village. Suddenly one of the men I had passed yelled out to me to wait. He approached and told me my Spirit felt right. He then went on, asking me some questions and talking very fast some in English and some in Havasupai. He told me of the King and Queen Rocks that guard the village. Then told me there was something sacred he wanted to show me. I followed him to what he wanted to show me and he told me to take a picture, then he told me to take a picture of the King and Queen Rocks. He then was talking to where it was very hard for me to understand, but he led me into the Village where he took me on a tour, we were the only ones there. He kept saying what a whacky crazy world we live in. He laid hands on me and an incredible energy filled my body, I was overcome with peace, tranquility, calmness, serenity. I had never felt anything like it. He then told me I had a very strong, honorable Spirit and would find what I was looking for. Then he left me and went into the Café, I didn't know if I should follow, so I waited to see if he would motion me in, which he did not.

Being deep inside the Canyon we were unable to see the actual Lunar Eclipse, but we sure were able to experience the results of it. A darkness came over the Canyon that was absolutely shocking. We shut our headlamps off and could not even see our hands in front of our faces, it was indeed pitch black. Later , after the eclipse was over the full moon made its debut over the sheer rock walls of the Canyon. The moon was so intense and bright, sunglasses were almost necessary to look at it.

Each night after dinner we would play Gin Rummy, and I must confess I got my ass whooped everynight.

Soon Sunday rolled around and it was time for us to depart. It was very difficult for all of us to leave this beautiful, magical place. We all left part of our souls in this magical place. We bid a fond fair well to our Spirit Dogs, and begrudgingly returned to civilization.
_____________________
Oct 26 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 26 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking10.50 Miles 2,820 AEG
Hiking10.50 Miles
2,820 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Oct 19 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Haunted Canyon #203Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking10.00 Miles 1,766 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
1,766 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
HAUNTED CANYON BACKPACK via LOWER TRAILHEAD

Well yes, as some of you have noted Arizonaheat did have a Birthday, Saturday. Thanks for the PM's, emails and Birthday wishes, that were waiting for me when I returned from this maginificent weekend. :D :D :D I couldn't have had a better birthday if I tried, or spent it in a more spectacular place. In one word I would have to describe it as magical. Everything was perfect from the weather, the scenery, the company , the night sky (words can't describe), the sunrise......you get the idea. The ambience was unbeatable.

Although I have been to the destination many times (Tony's Cabin), I have always accessed from the upper trailhead, 203.This time my hiking partner Shi, and I, accessed from the lower trailhead and what a treat it was.

Shortly after crossing the gate that blocks the road we found ourselves walking along Pinto Creek, under the shade of massive cottonwood and Sycamore trees that were interspersed with pine, oak, Holly and various spiny Arizona delights such as catclaw. To our delight Pinto Creek was actually flowing water. We were serenaded by the cool breeze in the air, the faint sound of water cascading over the rocks in the creek, and the various scents that filled the air. It is necessary to hike the road for approximately 1.5 miles along Pinto Creek, before you actually get to the Lower Haunted Canyon Trailhead, which is marked by a hikers sign and an old corral. I normally don't find hiking a road a delight, but this was.

At the trailhead you leave the private property by passing through a gate in the fence. From this point you make a short ascent and then a descent back to the level of Pinto Creek. This is where the trail begins to really get awesome and remains that way for the rest of your hike. Within a mile you make your first creek crossing in a spectacular shaded area complete with pools of clear water, teaming with small fish and guarded by a stately old tree whose roots reach out like the arms of an octopus, caressing and holding itself to the rock from which it grows, as its arms reach into the cool refreshing water of the creek, that gives it nourishment and life. One day I'm going to sit and listen to the stories that old tree has to tell, I'm sure they are grand stories indeed.

The trail follows along, through and across the creek, taking you through a magnificent forest in the desert. Soon you will come upon a point where the trail makes and ascent out of the canyon and takes you high above the canyon floor. This is the only stretch of trail in which you are truly exposed to the sun. From here you look across the Canyon to the soaring vertical spires that make up the Canyon wall on the other side. As you look down into the depths of the Canyon the giant sycamore and cottonwoods that emanate from the creek bed below, look like miniatures. Truly spectacular indeed.

Soon the trail drops rather steeply into the Canyon below dropping and the bed of Pinto Creek. The trail continues through the oasis for the rest of your destination. Much of the creek bed is dry from here on up, but you do pass several spots where water reaches the surface and gives life to such exotic desert plants as bamboo. There are a few places where the trail is hard to follow, but if you happen to loose the trail just stick in the bed of the creek and you will soon come upon the trail again.

Many of the various types of shrubs and trees were beginning to take on some fall color. Shi spotted some prime acorn specimens that had been shed, and the Holly was sporting colorful balls ( no not those type of balls) as if Christmas was around the corner. Various scents were wafting in the air, from the scent of pine, the fallen leaves on the trail, water sitting in small pools, the fresh clean air all under the bluest sky you could possibly imagine.

As we arrived at Tony's Cabin we were greeted by a stately large oak tree whose leaves were in various states of change, brilliantly illuminated by the rays of the sun. There were also many stately Sycamores whose large leaves and smooth white bark glistened in the sunlight.

We dropped our gear at the cabin, took an extended break, had a bite to eat, then went and pumped water from Tony's Spring .(nice and cool). We hung at the cabin the until bedtime

Boy Scout Troop 14, showed up a couple of hours after we did. What a great bunch of kids they were, very polite and respectful of the Cabin and it's surroundings. The boys and their troop leaders are to be commended. I mentioned in my Monday post that Tony's Spring was in somewhat of a state of neglect.
Well not anymore, the Boy Scouts cleaned all the algae and moss out of the trough and the piping leading into the trough. They also cleaned out the spring itself and reset the tin that covers it. Great job guys.

One of the scouts had also brought a metal detector with him. While exploring in Pinto Creek, he detected something under the surface of the creek bed, dug it up, and it was an old fur trap that was apparently set and lost years and years ago. He brought the trap over to the Cabin and hung it on the outside wall with other relics that have been hung there so that other people may enjoy this piece of history. I was very impressed. By the way his Dad was one of the troop leaders and is a member of HAZ.

We feasted like Kings and Queens at dinner and to my delight and utter surprise, Shi presented me with homemade Birthday Brownies complete with candle, so I could make a wish. I must add they were indeed very delicious.

The sun soon set and darkness began to slowly creep it's way into the Canyon, one by one stars began to pop into the evening sky. As darkness progressed we knew we were going to be in for one of the most awesome sights imaginable. I really can't describe it but will try. Before long the sky was absolutely a blaze, exploding with stars as there was no moon at this time. In all my years camping in the high altitude of Colorado (normally brighter at higher altitudes) I can never remember a night that the Milky Way was as prominent as it was last night in Haunted Canyon. The Milky Way was directly over head and was a site that will remain in my emblazed in my head forever. It was such an awesome site we retired to our sleeping bags, despite the fact it was still very early so we could star gaze. Within two or three minutes we witnessed three shooting stars. I then started watching for satellites and quite counting at ten. I just can't tell you how much this impressed us.

As I laid there staring at the stars my mind ran wild, eventually drifting off into sleep. Every time I awoke during the night, I would stare more at the sky and would usually see about three more satellites. Shi said she did the same thing all night long. On about the fourth time I awoke, in the wee hours of the morning, I noticed something extremely bright shining through the branches of a nearby Sycamore tree. The quarter moon had finally risen and it lit things up inside the Canyon as if it were a full moon.

Finally dawn began to approach and we watched as the sun first licked the the tops of the higher peaks surrounding the Canyon, with her warming rays. Drifting in and out of slumber until the rays of the sun were licking the leaves on the tops of the Sycamore trees that surrounded us. As we laid there staring at the morning sky waiting for the sun to warm things up ( it was 42 degrees) a giant black bird flew directly over us no more than about 25 feet off the ground, amazing us with the whoosh sounds of it wings, as it passed overhead.

Unfortunately it was soon time to leave. We did so very reluctantly, but the trip back out was just as spectacular as the trip in. The timing of this trip was absolutely perfect as so many facets of nature were coinciding with each other creating the perfect trip.

The more time I spend out there with the Lady, the more I feel that is where I really belong, she holds the essence of my heart and soul, making the return to civilization difficult. Though she speaks to me, I still do not understand what she has in store, all I can do is open myself to her, follow her and wait. I do know she has changed my life in a very positive way and has brought many wonderful people into my life. You all mean very much to me and I will be forever grateful for your friendships.

Shi, thanks for sharing this wonderful weekend with me and making my Birthday special.
_____________________
Oct 13 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Haunted Canyon #203Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking12.50 Miles 1,766 AEG
Hiking12.50 Miles
1,766 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
HAUNTED CANYON & PINTO CREEK EXPLORATORY


Dcornelius, JW63 and Arizonaheat departed for Haunted Canyon early Monday morning 10/13/2003.
Our original plan was to do some off trail routes that are dear to my heart, but do to uncooperative weather, I suggested the Eastern Superstition where we would be treated to much cooler temperatures and a green lushness.

Remember the Wilderness covers 159,789 acres, that is just shy of 250 sqaure miles. There is a lot to this Lady and she can dish out the variety if you are willing to seek it out.

We arrived at our departure point, with an elevation of slightly over 4000 feet. When we stepped out of the vehicle we were treated to temperature in the low to mid 50's and found ourselves surrounded by a variety of different species of pine trees and deciduous trees. The scent of pine wafted in the cool morning air.

We were soon on the trail, walking under a canopy of tall trees making a steady climb that would top out at around 5000 feet. From this vantage point the views are absolutely spectacular. From here the trail makes it decent toward the valley floor, passing the Paradise Trail Intersection, an old stock pond that was holding a fair amount of water, I'm glad to say and the Bull Basin trail intersection .

Once on the valley floor you will find yourself walking through an oasis in the desert and will come upon an old corral that was part of the Tony's Ranch, homestead. When you reach the corral the Haunted Canyon Trail continues on straight and will take you through a Canyon and out to the lower trailhead.
If you turn right and follow the trail along Pinto Creek you will pass Tony's Spring (which wasn't in very good shape, needs some work), and eventually Tony;s Cabin, which sits in a setting that is absolutely breathtaking.

As we approached the cabin with it's awesome surrounding beauty, my heart began to jump for joy as I witnessed the sparkle in the eyes of Dcornelius and JW63 and the excitement they exuded over what they were seeing. Dcornelius was so overcome that she spun around in circles of joy. This site could not have made me happier. I was with two other individuals that have the passion, the ability to communicate with their surroundings, and show the utmost respect for the Lady.

We spent a good amount of time just taking everything in and enjoying the gorgeous surroundings. We snacked, sign the log and explored the immediate area.

The last time I had been here on a three night backpack I had planned to hike the Pinto Creek Trail to Reavis Ranch, but my plans were cancelled as it was right after the spring rain and all the Creeks were flowing full throttle, making that excursion impossible. So today we deceided to do an exploratory hike to see what things were like. This added about five miles to our total excursion.

We passed a couple of different springs, that made me a bit nervous as they were surrounded with thickets of deer grass and buffalo grass, perfect habitat and shade for rattlers. All went without any rattler sightings.
Although JW63 did spot a King Snake crossing the trail right where Dcornelius and I had passed. The snake was a brillant specimen, that quickly made its way up a tree and curled up inside a hole. I was able to get a little bit of a picture.

After our exploratory hike we returned to Tony's Cabin where we took another extended break. None of us wanted to leave the beauty of this amazing place, but alas we had too.

We returned to the trailhead the same way we came, and again eagle eye Jim, spotted a good size Tarantula on the trail that Diane and I walked right over.

It was an absolutely amazing day, with great company, excellent weather and amazing scenery. I'm glad to report the Cabin is in excellent shape, looking as good as it did in April, after I did some maintenance work and cleaned the area up. Bravo to all that have respected the place.
_____________________
Oct 11 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Old West Boulder Canyon, AZ 
Old West Boulder Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 11 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking12.50 Miles
Hiking12.50 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I will submit this for a new summary later or Joe you can do it!

HIEROGLYPHIC CANYON - RIDGELINE - OLD WEST BOULDER - WEST BOULDER - DUTCHMAN - FIRST WATER

Thursday night I sat in front of my computer studying topo maps and debating my options for shuttling myself on this hike. The options were few, either drop my mountain bike at First Water, Friday after work, or take my chances hitching a ride. You see, I was planning on doing this hike solo as I knew it could dish out a plate full and I didn't want to be responsible for asking anyone to join me. I was in a true quandary. I looked out my computer room window at Lady Superstition and asked her what should I do. At that very moment an alert popped up on my computer screen informing me I had just received a private message.
I retrieved my PM, and it was from one of my hiking partners, jmzblond, asking if I wanted to hike Saturday. I responded back immediately, telling her that was a silly question, and outlined what I had planned. To my delight and of her own free will without any persuasion from me, she said she would like to join me on this EPIC adventure. Lady Superstition had taken care of me again.

Saturday morning at 5:30 AM we met at our usual spot then headed to First Water to drop a vehicle at the trailhead. From there we made our way to Hieroglyphic where we were on the trail shortly before 6:30.
As we started up the trail the full moon was still quite high in the western sky and within 5 or ten minutes of our departure the sun made a stunning debut.

We soon were at the Hieroglyphics where we dropped into the bottom of the drainage and said goodbye to any sort of trail for the next 10 miles or so. The first part of the excursion after dropping into the drainage involves some great boulder hopping with a couple of respectable dry waterfalls to negotiate. When we came upon the point where it was time to leave the main drainage and enter a secondary drainage we stopped for a break and admired the view. When I showed Jaimi where we were going up the secondary drainage, she said, "We're going up that", I informed her "yes", she said " Ok I'll trust your judgment"
What a great hiking partner, trusting my judgment. LOL

We continued up the secondary drainage, taking in the magnificent views and admiring all the unusual rock formations that line this section of the route. This stretch takes a straight up the hill approach to the ridgeline and promises a good work out. We were soon on the Ridgeline at elevation point 4300. When Jaimi looked around she was very pleased to see where we had come out on the Ridgeline. As she looked over toward Superstition Peak she realized we totally avoided the treacherous crossing of Hieroglyphic Canyon that takes place between the Peak and where we came out. We took another break enjoying a refreshingly cool breeze and the magnificent views off both sides of the Ridgeline. The vantage point of Weavers Needle from elevation point 4300 is superb.

We made our way across the Ridgeline crossing Hog and Monument Canyons, getting closer and closer to Old West Boulder. We stopped for lunch at an interesting set of Hoodoos, then it was time to being our ascent into the unknown down OLD WEST BOULDER CANYON.

OLD WEST BOULDER CANYON

This is where the true adventure really began. EPIC, you better believe it. DANGER, plenty of it, EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, makes Hieroglyphic look like a walk in the park, especially when it comes to ease of negotiating a proper route. PERILOUS, if you don't pick the right route through here, your going to wish you never set foot inside this Canyon as it will dish you out way more than could ever imagine and you will think you just entered your worse nightmare.

Where we began our descent the Canyon offered up a steep solid scree slope which we tried to negotiate by traversing back and forth. This proved to be very slow and ineffective. We worked our way over into the main drainage hoping to find some solid footing so we could make some decent headway as far as descending into the Canyon. To some extent we found what we were looking for, but we also knew that this was going to be much more of an adventure that either of us anticipated. We stuck in the main drainage as often as we could, it was extremely steep, with enough scree scattered about to make it extremely dangerous. There were several dry waterfalls that weren't capable of being down climbed, forcing us to negotiate around the sides on the loose scree and rock offering up some extreme exposure where one miss
step or slip could mean severe injury or death. Parts of the descent were so steep that you could sit on your butt and slide down.

As difficult as the descent was we were quite pleased with our choice of routes, knowing what the alternatives were. Jaimi took the words out of my mouth when she said the Trail Spirit was treating us right, by showing us which way to go, despite the fact that it was extremely difficult and challenging. I couldn't agree with her more. Our hearts were open to the Mountain and she along with all the souls of those who have loved her and become part of her after their deaths, guided us in the right direction. This is definitely a journey in which you must be in tune with Lady Superstition and listen carefully to her wisdom.

We made our way to a point to where it was going to be necessary to crawl on our hands and knees for about twenty yards or so. As I got down on all fours and started to crawl in under the bush, Jaimi said, "what's that" at that point I took a good look around and said, "Oh nothing, just the biggest damn rattlesnake I've ever seen in my life" This baby was a monster, I watched as he curled himself up under the shade of a rock and then he really started to let us know company wasn't welcome under their with him.
I was sure glad Jaimi heard the snake buzz, because I didn't and the line I had picked for my crawl would of went within a couple of feet of the rock he was under. I would probably die of heart failure before getting kissed on the lips as I crawled by. Needless to say it was necessary to leave the drainage at this point and find another path. We worked our way up on a side hill above the drainage, which was steep, offered up good exposure and was extremely slow negotiating.

We finally made it to a point where things began to flatten out and open up for us a bit, eventually dumping us in West Boulder Canyon, where we took a well deserved break under the shade of some large rocks after making sure no snakes had already claimed the territory. We were both relieved to have that adventure behind us and to be sitting in familiar territory since we had previously down West Boulder Canyon from Carney Spring to First Water.

Are we glad we did Old West Boulder Canyon? Yes, the Mountain has been calling for a long time to take this one on and yesterday had to be the day, even though it would have been nice if it were a bit cooler.
Would I do it again? As I sit here right now I would say no. If I ever feel the need to challenge death again, I will keep this one in mind, but I have plenty of other insane ideas in my head for challenges right now.
Would I recommend it? I would never recommend, as there is to big of a chance for things to go terribly wrong and I wouldn't want to be a part of that. Anyone that chooses to do this better be into the extreme end of hiking, be prepared to come out looking like Edward Scissorhands got a hold of you, and accept the fact that it might be the last hike you ever do. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?
We estimate this hike at around 12.5 miles. It took us about 11.5 hours to complete.

Jaimi, thanks so much for having the gumption to take this one on all with me. It was great to have company, especially with the high probability of things going wrong. You definitely earn a GOLD STAR!!! That rattlesnake would look pretty funny with me in its belly.
_____________________
Oct 04 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Hiero Cnyn to Ridgleline, AZ 
Hiero Cnyn to Ridgleline, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking7.50 Miles
Hiking7.50 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I couldn't stand being separated from my Mistress any longer. Though I see the sun rise over her every morning casting it rays over her peaks and canyons, illuminating her beauty in a radiant glow, it has been too long since we have had personal contact. I could no longer resist the lure she has over my heart and soul.

As I pulled out of my driveway I saw her looming in the morning darkness not yet awakened from her slumber. The temperature was perfect with a very slight hint of cool freshness in the air. Twenty minutes later I was at the trailhead ready for our long awaited reunion, with the slightest hint of dawn permeating the sky.

I was on the trail within minutes, headed for the Superstition Ridgeline, via Hieroglyphic Canyon. As I approached the Hierogylphics, the sun began to make its debut, my Mistress began to stir, immediately sensing my presence. Her aura encapsulated my being , bringing a surreal serenity over me.

As I passed Hieroglyphic Spring , I immediately dropped into the bottom of the drainage and stayed there, rock hopping my way up the Canyon. If you go this route you will encounter no bushwhacking what-so-ever, all the way to the Summit. You will only see a few cairns going this way. To many people get sucked in following the cairns and end up in a bushwack situation and apparently impassable climbs.

It was an absolutely beautiful hike to the summit, which I reached around 8:20. My Mistress treated me to a nice refreshing breeze on the summit as we talked and caught up on things. If you look at your topo map or Superstition Wilderness map, I summited the Ridgeline at elevation point 4300 shown on the topo's.

I thought about exiting via West Boulder, but I purposefully didn't take enough water for that, because I know me. I didn't have a shuttle vehicle, I thought of dropping my Mountain Bike off at First Water last night, but determined it was still a bit warm for that excursion.

I started back down a little after 9:00 and to my surprise I ran into another person who was making his way down. He came up via Siphon Draw and was exiting via Hieroglyphic, sometimes he exits via Peralta. He was a very fast hiker. No it wasn't Sid, but fast enough to be Sid. Does it almost every weekend. I have seen him on the trail before.

I was back at my truck around 10:30, for a nice short morning jaunt of about 7.5 miles.
_____________________
Sep 20 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
West Fork Oak Creek Trail #108Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking14.25 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking14.25 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Jul 07 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Bull Basin Loop - Eastern SuperstitionsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking9.75 Miles 1,962 AEG
Hiking9.75 Miles
1,962 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was the July 4th weekend and plans with one of my hiking partners feel through. After trying to shake the disappointment it was time for me to make a decision, what should I do? Several thoughts crossed my mind from the Rim, Canyoneering in Northern AZ or Southern Utah or sticking with the original plan of camping in the Kennedy Ranch area of the Supes and attempting the ill fated hike that cursed us back on Dec 28, 2002, from the Haunted Canyon direction.(See my Dec. 28, Haunted Canyon write up at [ Haunted Canyon #203 ] for details of that ill fated trip.) I decided on the later.

I set up camp at Kennedy ranch, had a few ice cold brewskis in the scorching heat, then scoped out the area. The Kennedy Ranch area is very interesting, with parts of it being a lush green oasis. You would have no clue that you were in a desert environment if it weren't for the heat. One building is still standing and offered up great shade along with the huge Sycamore trees growing along side it. I saw several deer crossing the meadow.

I hit the hay early and was up slightly before dawn. To my surprise when I arose so did a fine looking mule deer that was bedded down about 25 to 30 yards away. After a quick breakfast and downing 48 ounces of water, I was off on my journey. To my dismay I had forgot my hiking poles. It was just a few steps from my camp to the West Pinto Trail that would led me to the intersection of the Rock Creek and Bull Basin Trails, in less than a mile. My Guarding Angel was looking after me, for leaning on the trail sign that said Bull Basin was a fine looking walking staff ( more on this staff later)

The trail that takes you to Bull Basin starts out as a true delight, well defined, nice and wide, flat, easy to follow.(Don't let this fool you.) The trail crossed back and forth across Rock Creek several times before making its ascent. ( You start out around 3400 and end up above 5000). Once the trail starts making a series of switchbacks you begin hitting areas that are overgrown with what is mainly Manzanita, but there are also evil things like cat claw. The further you go the worse it gets. There were several occasions I thought this trail was going to get the best of me two times in a row, but I just couldn't let that happen even if it meant loosing every inch of skin on my body. Besides a hike isn't challenging unless there is blood shed. Some parts are so overgrown that it is impossible to see the trail, but you know it is there because a good stretch of trail led up to it, or do you know, maybe it just disappears totally like it does coming from the Haunted Canyon area. In this case it was still there. If you have the tenacity to bust your way thru the dense bush you will eventually be treated with a stretch of nice trail. This scenario repeats itself several times on your way to the summit.

I was rewarded for my agony of fighting the bush several times. At one point I had stopped briefly to plot my location on my topo map when something caught my eye that just didn't look right. Out in the thicket of green I detected a small dark colored area. I tried to situate myself to get a better look to figure out what it was. I thought maybe it was a piece of fabric that had fallen from the sky or a balloon or something. I ended up busting through the jungle and what I found was an old feed station for cattle that used to roam the area and it was surrounded by some fine remnants of a rock corral. This corral is nothing like Adolph Ruth's in West Boulder Canyon, but a fine discovery, none the less. All of this was not more than 30 foot off the trail, but totally hidden in the thick vegetation except that small portion of rusted out tin roof that caught my eye, by chance. None of the massive rock corral wall is the least bit visible. Another interesting tidbit about this hike was the fact that I came across seven large movements of bear scat. I think they must be the only ones to use this trail as there where no human tracks anywhere to be seen.

I whacked my way on up the trail and at about the three mile mark I came upon another corral, but this on was of the conventional kind constructed out of wooden posts and barbed wire. The interior has grown in tremendously, indicating years and years of inactivity.

Eventually you will reach a point where the vegetation thins and the trail becomes well defined and easy to follow taking you all the way to the summit . At the point where I topped out there was a gate in the fence line that you will encounter. Magnificent views are to be had looking both South into Bull Basin descending into Haunted Canyon and to the North descending down into Bull Basin toward the Kennedy Ranch area. There was a great looking trail descending south toward Haunted Canyon, but I was fearful of continuing since it was getting quite warm and I had a limited water supply, but it was a different trail that the one we ascended in December.

At this point I thanked my trusty walking staff that I said was left by my Guarding Angel, for I would have not made it through the bush without it. As I looked closer at the staff that had mysteriously appeared I noticed that the words God Bless, were carved in the handle. I found the whole ordeal with me forgetting my hiking poles and this staff showing up at the beginning of my hike a bit thought provoking.

I took way points the entire distance so I could plug them into my topo software and compare to our ill fated hike from December 2002. I can tell you this, my way points lay right on the Bull Basin Trail as shown on the topo software for about three quarters of the distance. At that point the trail takes on a different direction than shown on the topo software and the trail is very well defined at this point. The well defined trail that drops down into the Haunted Canyon area also is not on the topo software or is indeed shown in the wrong location . I will have to solve this mystery by going the distance in cooler weather, wearing BDU's , long sleeves and leather gloves.

I know Fritzski met the same fate as us when he attempted the loop from Haunted Canyon, the trail just totally vanishes despite the fact your GPS waypoints show you that you are right smack dab on it. I also know he went the distance from Kennedy Ranch to Haunted Canyon. From his write up I know we were on the same trail up to the barbed wire corral which is about three miles in. Whether we hit the summit at the same point I don't know. He mentions the fence line, but doesn't mention a gate in the fence. So this whole ordeal is still somewhat of a mystery to me. If he did indeed end up where I did the topo maps are wrong.

And by the way Cactuscat and Jmzblond, as miserable as it was on that fateful day the decision we made at 5500 feet in freezing weather and six inches of snow was indeed the only correct decision to have been made any other could have well been the demise of us all. I can at least lay my mind to rest about that.

I left the walking stick for the next adventurous soul that may need it.

I decided it was to hot to spend the rest of the weekend so off I went on one of my spur of the moment binges. It ended up in another state so I can't write about it on HAZ, since this is an Arizona hiking site, but I can post pictures on my personal photo space that Joe has created for all of us. I know these photo's will be a refreshing relief from the heat for many of you and I hope it will wet the appetite of some others that I know and they will want to take a trip with me. I have to admit I no longer prefer hiking alone, I've been spoiled. LOL. Here are some pics to forget about the heat

igallery/album_personal.php?user_id=2690
_____________________
Jun 21 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Woods Canyon - SedonaFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking14.80 Miles 2,485 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles
2,485 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well today was the big day. I bounced out of bed, did back handsprings into the kitchen, downed a couple of bowls of Tony Tiger, because their Grrrrrrrrrrreat, and I was going to need a "Tiger in my tank" for what laid ahead. I picked up Cactuscat at 2:45 AM and we were off for our destination. We arrived at the Lower Woods Canyon Trailhead at about 4:45 AM, a distance of 132 miles from Northeast Mesa. We had been there about 15 minutes or so, when suddenly we saw some sort of aborition approaching, we weren't certain what it was and thought it may be caused by on of those Sedona New Age Vortexes! It took on several different alien life forms then voila, there was the Grand Master of HAZ, Teva Joe, coming through the gate.

We left his rig at the Lower Woods Canyon Trailhead, all piled into to mine and we were off on a shuttle to the Upper Woods Canyon Trailhead. We drove the 5+ miles back to I-17 like sane people, but once we headed north on 17 toward our destination we went from impulse power to warp drive (for you trekies), we got off at exit 315 and followed FR80 a short distance where we picked up Pfredricks, who had spent the night.

We continued down FR80 toward our starting point, shaking our innards and rattling our teeth, when we came upon the first excitement of the day. We spotted a mother hen Turkey with about ten little chicks crossing the field in front of us. I attempted a photo, but they were to quick to take cover.

Soon we were at our starting point, it was time for the four of us to make an attempt at conquering Woods Canyon in its entirety in a single day. A rare feat, and a admirable challenge. Total distance is only around 15 miles but the first 10 of those are totally off trail and involve nothing but bouldering, rock hopping , swimming, scrambling and on the bright side very little bush whacking. In my line of thinking this type of hiking is "HIKING NIRVANA"

We were soon cutting cross- country to a point where we would enter the upper reaches of Woods Canyon. The outside temperature at this point was a balmy 43.5 degrees. The minute we started our decent into the canyon I knew this was going to be an incredible hike. The rains from this spring had performed wonders on the flora habitat and a green lushness surrounded us, stimulating our senses. We worked our way down the Canyon, first coming upon "The Dip", then the 70' Basalt Drop (See Teva's excellent description of Upper Woods Canyon)
Soon we found ourselves at the point we had been anticipating the most, "The Liquid Pool of Ice", a long narrow pool shaded by the soaring red rock cliffs. It is a totally awesome sight. We loaded all electronics and other items that can't get wet into dry bags and prepared ourselves for the swim. The water was a balmy 59.5 degrees, which really wasn't bad. Pfredricks was first in, floating his pack. It is possible to wade for a distance on the upper end in chest deep water, but swimming is soon essential as the water is extremely deep the rest of the way across. Pfredricks was followed by Teva then Cactuscat with Arizonaheat ( the Mark Spitz of........I mean the lead weight of the group bringing up the rear), I'm glad the swim wasn't any longer, estimated distance around 50 yards, but it was a blast!!!!!!!

A short distance beyond the Liquid Pool of Ice is your next swim. It is possible to wade in chest deep water across at least half of this pool, before it's necessary to swim. This pool actually felt colder than the first. I don't believe Teva took the temperature of the second pool.

We continued at a blistering snails pace down the canyon past several more pools of water. There is one pool that is absolutely astounding, looking almost bottomless when you peer upon it from above. Problem being if you jumped you probably wouldn't be able to get back out, it is a huge bowl. We were totally amazed at the amount of water we were seeing, like I said earlier that rain did wonders.

We eventually came to the middle five miles of canyon, a stretch which was new to all of us, as Teva had never explored this part before. The highlight of this stretch was a magnificent display of what appeared to be undisturbed Indian Ruins ( let's all hope they remain that way).

We continued down the Canyon passing many more pools of water carved into the sandstone in various shapes and sizes, admiring the towering vivid red rock cliffs and outcroppings surrounding us, the many sandstone benches, the lush vegetation growing everywhere and the brilliant blue sky above. It just doesn't get any better.

Eventually we found ourselves in the lower reaches of the Canyon, where we were actually now on a trail. We were back to Teva's vehicle for the shuttle back to the top around 6:30 PM, for a hike time of over twelve hours over grueling terrain.

I absolutely loved this trek!!! I thoroughly enjoyed my hiking partners for the day. I would like to thank Teva for putting this trip together, what a great one. We sought and we conquered, Wahoo.

I would not recommend this as a day hike unless you are extremely hard core or you will end up in trouble. Also don't count on there being as much water in the Canyon as there was this time. Teva had done the upper and lower ends previously and was amazed at what he was seeing water wise and plant growth wise.
Rain does work wonders in the desert!

PS: We saw some elk on the way out.

Pictures to come. I'm sure Teva will have some great ones too.
_____________________
Jun 13 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Black Top MesaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking16.40 Miles 1,558 AEG
Hiking16.40 Miles
1,558 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Awesome, rejuvenating, spectacular.........
Thursday night, Jmzblond and Arizonaheat, were discussing where they should hike this weekend. When it was all said and done they decided on an impromptu full moon backpack to the top of Black Top Mesa, in the Supes, with a late Friday afternoon departure time. They met at the usual meeting spot, stopped by the Submaster in AJ, for a quick bite, then were off to First Water Trailhead..

We were the only vehicle at the Trailhead, so we had the Supes to ourselves. Pure solitude. We were on the trail shortly after 5:00. The Dutchman was our trail of choice for the inbound trip. We made our way up the Dutchman, past where it intersects with the Black Mesa Trail, then continued a very short distance to the intersection of the Bull Pass Trail where we departed the Dutchman. We departed from the Bull Pass Trail to make our ascent to the top of Black Top Mesa. The ascent to the Mesa is the most grueling part of the trip but the rewards reaped from the summit are more than worth the effort.

As we were on our final leg to the summit we were greeted by an ultra-spectacular rising of the full moon in the east and an equally spectacular sunset in the west, with Weavers Needle looming in the southeast being illuminated by both the rising moon and the last rays of the setting sun. The Needle loomed like a sentinel overlooking the wilderness. It was sensory nirvana. The Nature Spirit had truly outdone themselves.

From atop the Mesa we had a magnificent 360 view taking in such things as Palomino Mtn, Bluff Spring Mountain, parts of La Barge Box, Dutchman, Black Mesa, Boulder Canyon, Peralta & Terrapin trails, several side canyons............. After taking in the views, we found a great vantage point to set up camp. Then it was time to focus on the night sky and the spectacular full moon.

The full moon loomed in the sky shining in full brilliance. It was so bright we were casting shadows of ourselves, could read a book and could easily point out surrounding landmarks. It was almost too bright to look at without sunglasses.( not an exaggeration) The moon was looming so low in the horizon it was as if we could walk right into it, or reach out and touch it.

We were awestruck by what the Nature Spirit was serving up. We soon found a calm and serenity enveloping our bodies and souls. We were becoming one with the Superstition Spirit, she was opening her heart drawing us in as she has so many before us. I have often wondered if pioneers like Jacob Waltz, Adolph Ruth, Elijah Reavis, Big Nose Kate, Old man Ayolr, the Peralta Clan ........ were lured by the prospect of gold, or were lured by the magic of the Mountain that comes to those that have the passion, and used the search for gold as an excuse to follow their passion and live where they felt they truly belonged. You wouldn't believe what happened next so I will stop here.

This morning around 4:20 AM we watched a truly spectacular moonset in the west, then it was time to make our way to the eastern edge of the Mesa where we took in the views while waiting for the sunrise. After the sun came up, we explored the Mesa for a couple of hours and were able to locate the Spanish Hieroglyphics. We tried to decipher what the hidden maps meant. I won't reveal the location of the maps as they need protected and have suffered some defacing from those that don't respect anything.

We broke camp and were on our way out shortly after 7:00 AM. For the return trip we followed the Dutchman to Black Mesa Trail, we then took the Black Mesa Trail up and over Black Mesa ( different than Black Top Mesa), through the Cholla Forest and into Garden Valley. We spent a short time exploring the Indians Ruins in Garden Valley and the Canal system they had built to bring water to their ruins. Someone had laid out a nice display of relics at one of the ruin sites. From here we hopped on the spur trail that returns to First Water Trailhead via Hackberry Spring Trail. A totally awesome hike.

True to form we found ourselves venturing off trail toward the end of our journey following an interesting drainage. When we took a fix on my truck with the GPS we cut cross country where I was attacked by a renegade cholla, causing some severe pain, but that is all part of the game. Our trek cross country took us to an old and interesting ranch site. An extra bonus. Then it was off to our watering hole the Bluebird Mine Store for cold liquid refurbishment.
_____________________
Jun 03 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
West Boulder Saddle, AZ 
West Boulder Saddle, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 03 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking3.60 Miles
Hiking3.60 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did a hike to West Boulder Saddle today after work, Departed Carney Spring Trail-head around 2:15 and made my ascent to the false saddle then West Boulder Saddle, made excellent time for me, 45 minutes. This hike is only 1.8 miles each way, but has about 1500 ft of elevation gain so it is a good workout. For those who have never been it is a lot like Siphon Draw. There is debate about which is tougher.

The heat didn't seem bad, although it was around 110. Found some shade at the Saddle and there was a nice breeze blowing. Hung out up top for awhile reflecting on all the great hikes I have done this season
off this trail, with great hiking partners: Superstition Peak, Superstition Ridge-line, Dacite Super Loop, West Boulder Canyon all the way to First Water (most memorable).
It was difficult to return the way I came with all those other options calling me, but I only took 100 oz of water, so I had no other options.
Per usual my visit to the Supes was great medicine for the mind and soul. I will spare the details.

Tried calling someone from the Saddle but they wouldn't answer their phone (smart person)
_____________________
May 24 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Reavis Ranch via 109 NorthGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 24 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking28.00 Miles 2,040 AEG
Hiking28.00 Miles
2,040 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Reavis Ranch/Circlestone 5/24/25

Hoolie, GTG, Messami, Azhiker96, Deandra, Arizonaheat and Jmzblond did a group backpack to Reavis Ranch, with some taking a side trip to Circlestone. We attacked Reavis Ranch from both directions and all different departure times, in fear that if we all left at the same time it would be enough to scare the Superstition Wilderness out of the state of Arizona. Hoolie was first to depart, Friday morning, via the Woodbury Trailhead, distance to the ranch around 6 miles. He was followed by GTG and Messami, who had hoped to depart Friday afternoon but ended up hiking in under darkness Friday night. Azhiker96 and Deandra also departed Friday evening, but from the other end of things, the Reavis Ranch Trailhead. They hiked in approximately 4 to 4.5 miles before setting up for the night. Arizonaheat and Jmzblond, departed via the Reavis Trailhead, shortly after daybreak, Sat, distance to ranch approx 10 miles.

Hoolie arrived at the Ranch. pre-noon Friday, scoped out and selected a camp site, then invited every knat and flying insect in the State of Arizona to join him. It really wasn't that bad, but the knats were a definite nuisance.

GTG and Messami woke the dead Friday night on their hike in. As they passed the grave of Elijah Reavis and entered Grave Canyon, strange eerie things began to happen. I think it was the spirit of Elijah himself. It was definitely enough to put a scare into the two of them. They arrived at camp around 10:30 PM. They woke Hoolie , who got up and helped them set up camp. GTG says he now has a new logo for Azhikers ( a picture he took of Hoolie) GTG or Hoolie can explain if they want to.

Arizonaheat and Jmzblond, were greeted by four mule deer at the Reavis Trailhead. We headed up the trail making the long steady climb over Windy Pass to Plow Saddle. Elevation at the trailhead is around 3450 and the climb is steady to the top of Windy Pass, elevation 5150, then the descent takes you past the intersections to the Plow Saddle, Frog Tanks, and Reavis Gap trails, before arriving at Reavis Ranch elevation 4850. We were pleasantly surprised by a wide array of wildflowers and cacti that were in bloom along the way, it was truly gorgeous. There were also 100's of Funnel Spider, webs along the trail (see photo when I get them posted) The views going across Windy Pass are astounding .

We were able to make contact with Hoolie and GTG at Reavis Ranch, when we were about ¾ of a mile past Plow Saddle. We ran into Azhiker96 and Deandra about a mile from the Ranch. As Jmzblond and I entered the apple orchard at the Ranch we spooked up a couple of White Tail deer. It was a very good day for wildlife. Jmzblond got buzzed at by a rattler, but didn't stick around to get a look. Don't blame her! By the time we arrived at camp we were pretty well bushed.

We set up our camp, filtered some water, had some lunch, then being glutens for punishment we were persuaded to pursue Circlestone which was an additional 7 -8 miles of hiking. It is all up hill from Reavis Ranch, elevation 4850 to Circlestone elevation around Off we went, unfortunately no UFO's used the site for a landing while we were there so we could catch a ride back or get a cold beer out of the replicator on board.

We all departed camp a various times this morning, Jmzblond and I were on the trail first, around 6 and were back to the vehicle by 11. Azhiker96 and Deandra were going to hike part way out and spend the night. It was a great time despite the knats and other flying creatures. The temp this morning around 5 was 38. Everything at the Ranch is still very green and lush. This is one very scenic hike. The company was great despite the fact that we were all pooped. Oh I almost forgot on the way out we saw four more mule deer and one white tail.

Will try to get photos up soon,
Flora
Flora
Indian Paintbrush
_____________________
May 17 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 17 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking8.00 Miles 2,780 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
2,780 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had a great hike yesterday with jmzblond. Also ran into Dadee going up the slick rock section. The three of us hiked together to the Flatiron, where we enjoyed a snack, the views and conversation. jmzblond and I continued past the summit and followed the Ridgeline to Hog Canyon before turning around and returning via Siphon Draw. Scoped out both Monument and Hog Canyons for exploration next season. Some prickly pear were still blooming, saw a couple of brillantly colored ring collared lizards also saw a beautiful green snake with a yellow band around its neck. It may have been a Regal Ring Neck snake, from what I can figure out by looking at some Arizona snake websites. It felt really good to get out and hike again after an unwanted but unavoidable three week hiatus. I feel rejuvinated and alive again.
_____________________
Apr 21 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 21 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking17.00 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
How can I possibly describe this trip? It was absolutely fantabulistic, utterly awesome, stimulating to the senses from start to finish, full of adventure, loaded with flora and fauna..........

Cactuscat and Arizonaheat departed Monday morning around 5:30 AM and arrived at the West Trailhead about two hours later. The trip was only 102 miles from our neck of the woods, with great roads the entire distance.

We signed in at the register, displayed our permit, performed last minute gear adjustments, took some pre-trip self portraits, then we were off on our big adventure.

After leaving the parking lot the trail descends a short distance before leveling out, at this point you almost immediately make your first creek crossing. From this point on your feet will be wet. Cactuscat wore sandals with socks the whole way, I started out with sandals and socks, but opted out of them after a distance and put on shoes. The option is yours. Once you hit the creek it is up to you how you want to progress up the Canyon as there is no defined trail.

We made our way up the Canyon, taking in all the beautiful scenery surrounding us, a lush thicket of flora that included everything from grasses and flowers to towering cottonwood trees all displaying their lush "spring green" foliage, crystal clear water flowing down the creek bed in which you could see its many inhabitants, such as fish, frogs and other aquatic creatures, towering shear cliff walls displaying their many colors depending how the sun was hitting them, a brilliant crystal clear blue sky as a backdrop. It was like receiving an eye massage. To this add the music of song birds serenading you, water flowing down the creek bed, a gentle breeze rustling leaves.... Then there were the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds getting their fill of natures sweet nectar. I didn't think it could get any better, but it did.

We slowly worked our way upstream toward our destination for the night, Horse Camp Canyon, a distance of about five miles. We made several stops to take in the beauty surrounding us. We found a gorgeous campsite along the main canyon about three hundred yards before Horse Camp Canyon departs the main canyon. Upon arrival to our campsite we dropped our backpacks off, sat down on a log and were immediately greeted by our host, Mr. Lizard who was sunning himself on a log that sat across from ours.
He put on a dazzling display of pushups letting us know who was boss around this place. Of course we were both highly intimidated and succumbed to his wishes by not intruding on his side of the camp. (More about him later)

We set up camp, took on some fuel, gathered what gear we needed , then we were off on our next adventure, a day hike up Horse Camp Canyon. The entrance to this canyon is pretty much blocked by huge house side boulders and thick vegetation, but if you can work your way around and through it the rewards are phenomenal. Once inside the canyon we were treated with a slick rock section, with a small flow of water cascading down it, decorated with colorful array of various wildflowers. It was breathtaking. To my amazement we even saw yellow columbine growing. As we worked our way up the canyon the going got tougher and involved some mild bouldering and climbing waterfall areas. There were several large potholes full of water, one was over 10 foot deep. We could not resist the temptation, so one of these gorgeous potholes became our own private swimming hole, complete with trickling waterfall dropping into it.
The water temperature was much more tolerable than Lower Barks, and not breathtaking. The view looking down the canyon was breathtaking though. We swam for about half an hour or so.

Horse Camp Canyon was absolutely beautiful and we wanted to work our way up the Canyon toward some caves we could see. This would involve some somewhat technical free climbing to navigate up and around a waterfall area, but something that was very doable, so after our refreshing dip off we went. (Remember this rule, especially this time of year when the snakes are active, always know where you are putting your hands and face when climbing. This is why trekking poles are so invaluable as you can use them as an early warning system that you are coming and see what kind or reaction you get) I know what you are thinking and yes you are right, but this part of the tale you will have to hear from Cactuscat first. My photo is a bit blurry from shaking. True excitement.

After the above situation, which you will hear more about, we decided we had gone far enough for the day, so we climbed back down and began to work our way back down the Canyon. It wasn't three minutes later that we had our next magnificent encounter. This one was approximately a four inch long centipede. I told you things just kept getting better, and yes they continue to do so throughout the trip. We worked our way down the Canyon, absorbing all the beauty around us and reflecting on all that we had seen and experienced so far.

When we returned to camp, our host, Mr. Lizard was there to greet us. He was sunning himself on a rock by the fire ring, this time. Again he displayed his dominance by performing an impressive set of pushups. We had cocktail hour, and gathered enough wood for a small fire. (Which Mr. Lizard sat around with us, by making himself at home on a nice toasty rock that was part of the fire ring.)

Darkness was soon upon us and the night sky exploded into a dazzling array of stars. Being deep inside the canyon our field of view wasn't to wide but what we could see was a true "star studded" spectacle. What a perfect way to top off a perfect day, star gazing

We awoke the next morning, and who came out to greet us? Yep, Mr. Lizard. We had breakfast, broke camp and headed for our destination for the day Vargus Canyon. This Canyon is down stream from Horse Camp Canyon, maybe half a mile and on the opposite side of the main canyon.

Like Horse Camp Canyon the entrance is difficult to spot as it is blocked by large house sized boulders. We worked our way partially into the entrance, removed our backpacks stashed them, loaded our day stuff and were off. This Canyon offers excellent bouldering and magnificent scenery. We were immediately surrounded by towering cliffs, one sporting what is known as Bat Cave. A truly awesome site. As we worked our way up, over, under and through the Canyon (yes we even crawled) we were entertained by about seven hawks that were own the hunt not too far above the drainage we were in. This was a very challenging Canyon, but well worth the effort. Like Horse Camp it offered up some magnificent potholes full of water, one that was extremely deep and had fish that were around four inches long in it. It just amazes me that a pothole that is a mile and a half up a side canyon, can have a thriving fish population.
Oh yes, you bet we found another irresistible swimming hole, full of crystal clear water in which we took a morning dip. I will tell you right now this water was much colder than the day before as it had northern exposure instead of southern, but still not as cold as Lower Barks. We could have continued further up this Canyon, but it was taking a lot of energy to navigate as a lot of bouldering was involved, we thought it best to turn back and save the rest for another day. As we made our return the hawks swept right over our heads, startling us. Glad they decided we were too big to eat. I think they just wanted to get a good look at us to see who those crazy people were that went swimming , and climbed everything to get that far up the canyon.

So it was back to the entrance of the Vargus Canyon, then down the main Canyon to the trailhead . The trip back was just as impressive as the trip up. We were less than a mile from the trailhead, when I noticed a fine looking woman coming up the trail toward us, like she owned it. I wasn't going to argue with this lady, that was for sure, she could have the trail if she wanted it, for this lady was a two foot long Gila Monster, strutting her beauty. She said, " out of my way humans, I'm own a mission." I did get a photo.

What a truly enjoyable couple of days, what can I say, this kind of stuff just totally stokes me up, I can never get enough. I'm addicted. Having a like minded hiking partner ( even if that means crazy, adventurous.......) makes it all that much better. I had a total blast.

I will try to get photos up soon.
_____________________
Apr 05 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking24.00 Miles
Hiking24.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Mar 23 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Brown's PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking4.00 Miles 1,957 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
1,957 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Today's destination and planned hike was to conquer the summit of Browns Peak. Cactuscat has been after me a long time to do this one. I was somewhat concerned that snow could still be a possible problem. When I awoke bright and early this morning there was a message from GTG, advising me they noticed lots of snow on the eastern side of Four Peaks, when they did their Barnhardt trip yesterday. Todd had hoped to join us but was unable to make it. So off I went to pick up Cactuscat, not knowing what we would find.
Canyon Dweller also joined us for this adventure and we met up with him at the Four Peaks turn off.

We made our way to the trailhead in my pickup. I'm happy to report the road is in great shape. Last time I went up that road I swore I would never do it again. As we approached the trailhead it was also clear to see that snow was definitely going to be the issue of the day.

We threw on our daypacks and off we went, not knowing what we were going to find or if we would be able to complete our excursion. Within minutes of the trailhead we found ourselves walking through ankle deep snow. We eventually came to the saddle and could clearly see that the chute to the summit was full of snow. At this point we were all somewhat skeptical of our chances of success.

We made our way up the ridgeline toward the chute, then dropped down into the chute itself. Once we entered the chute we were a bit confused because all the trip reports we had read concerning the ascent, from Teva's to Fritzski's (my idol and cause of my hiking insanity), Azhiker96 and others all mention this treacherous scree chute. Heck we didn't see any scree anywhere, all we saw was snow, some of it upwards of three foot deep.

You all know what a conservative hiker I am by now, and I said absolutely no way can we make it up this damn avalanche chute, I think Canyon Dweller agreed with me, but Cactuscat the Daredevil, wrestled us both to the ground and twisted our arms and stuffed snow down our shirts until we agreed to make an attempt. ( trust me this is truly how the decision was made).

Off we went making our way up the chute, sometimes sinking in the snow up to our crotches. There were several occasions when we wondered both out loud and to ourselves what in the heck have we got ourselves into. The pucker factor was extreme at times, especially when we hit the vertical rock faces that needed ascended and they were covered with snow and ice.(Similar to the upper portion of Siphon Draw), There were a few points we thought it best to turn around, but Cactuscat kept cracking the whip and giving encouragement. Persistence paid off and we soon found ourselves on the summit of Brown Peak. This was a great feeling, but we all said, "Crap!! We have to go back down that!!!!!!!!" I know these same sentiments have been echoed by many.

The weather at the summit couldn't have been more perfect, not a cloud in the entire sky, breathtaking views, we could actually see Mt Humphrey's, and the temperature was awesome. We enjoyed lunch, took photo's, signed the new log book and debated if we wanted to try another way down. All kidding aside, it was indeed a treacherous ascent and I would be lying if I said we weren't all scared at various times on the way up. The trip down certainly wasn't a piece of cake. If our mothers knew what we did today we would all get a good spanking and be grounded from hiking.

After some debate we decided to descend via the chute. It was a slow, cautious go, involving the same team work it took to get to the top. I'm glad to say we made it without mishap, and it will indeed be a trip we will all remember for a long time. I was glad Canyon Dweller was able to join us for this one as it has been at the top of his list also. If he had any questions about Cactuscat's and Arizonaheat's sanity, his questions have been answered. For all of you that went before us we now know what you have been talking about.

I would be interested in hearing Cactuscat's and Canyon Dweller's perspectives on today's adventure now that it has all sunk in.
_____________________
Mar 19 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Haunted Canyon #203Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking15.00 Miles 1,766 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
1,766 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Arizonaheat left earlier in the week for a multi-day backpack trip, in the Haunted Canyon area, with Tony's Cabin being base camp. Before the adventure began I had all kinds of ideas in my head that I wanted to accomplish, i.e. Pinto Creek to Reavis Trail, Haunted Canyon Trail to the lower trailhead, Paradise Trail to Bull Basin then back to Tony's Cabin, to conquer our failed previous attempt exiting via Bull Basin among other things. The worse part about all this is that most of the trails are out and back, no loops.

Departure day came and I made my way down the road to my departure site, the Upper Haunted Canyon Trail. When I left the pavement by Pinto Mine I was quite surprised how wet things were. I made my way down 287 fighting mud and water in places. Soon I was at the turn off for 287A, I made my turn and could immediately see no one had been down the road ahead of me. I really didn't give this much thought as the road is on a good solid base. About two miles up the road, I came upon a large piece of tree that had broken off and was blocking the road. I was able to move this out of the way and get around it without much problem. I was soon going down a stretch of road that was a muddy mess, uncertain if I was going to make it or not since I only had a 2WD vehicle, but as stated earlier the base was solid and I soon found myself past this section. I really didn't expect things to be this wet!

Soon I was at the upper trailhead, put on my pack and was off on my adventure. I wasn't far down the trail when I was greeted with water running down the trail and a nice creek flowing down the drainage along side the trail. There was a good flow all the way to Tony's Cabin and portions of the trail were a real mess.
When I got to the Haunted Canyon / Bull Basin intersection it was obvious that the Bull Basin trip wasn't going to happen. To much water flowing down the drainage that is the trail. It should also be noted that the large stock pond that was empty on our December trip was now completely full with water flowing out the spill way. The creek crossings that are necessary to get to the destination were interesting at times, not dangerous, just required some ingenuity to keep the feet dry. I was soon at my destination, and reflected on how nice it was listening to and seeing flowing water on the trip in.

I set up camp about 150 yards from Tony's Cabin, then it was time to fix something to eat before dark. I ate my meal while being serenaded by the water flowing down Pinto Creek. It was great.

I awoke the next morning, had breakfast then was off on my planned hike to Reavis Trail via Pinto Creek Trail. Well guess what, I wasn't to far down the trail when I found out this wasn't going to happen either, unless I was willing to get really, really wet. Water was flowing everywhere imaginable and the trail was submersed, with no dry way around. I didn't feel like wading so I turned around and returned to camp. I spent the day doing some heavy duty R&R, sitting by Pinto Creek listening to and watching the water, exploring the immediate area around Tony's Cabin, and I did several hours of clean up and maintenance at the Cabin. The Cabin was in pretty good shape inside, I took everything out of the food storage locker, sorted and reorganized everything, I found a geocache inside one of the food lockers.. Outside was pretty much a mess. Lots of garbage ( I got a lot of it, I know I didn't get it all), and there was a huge fire ring no more than 10-15 feet from the cabin.( This wasn't a small controlled camp fire ring, it was a bonfire ring, probably about 4 feet in diameter. I dismantled the ring, got a five gallon bucket and a shovel from inside the cabin and started removing ash from the pit. I removed 60 gallons of ash from that pit ( that is more than a 55 gallon drum of ashes), along with a good amount of unburned trash, egg shells etc. I'm not anti campfire, but lets be responsible, I don't want to see the cabin burn down.

To make a long story short the rest of the trip turned out to be pretty much R&R, with some mild hiking around the area, there was just way more water than what I had anticipated. I'm not complaining though.
I found one area on the lower Haunted Canyon Trail where there was water gushing out of the side of a cliff into the creek. It was really awesome.

A great time was had, didn't see another person in three days, the weather cooperated nicely with highs around 60, everything was wet and green, the moon was near full, had the sound of the creek to put me to sleep...........etc. What more could I ask for? Ok, Ok your right, a female companion to share it with, but hey a guy can't have it all. :oops: Besides that would make my Mistress, Lady Superstition, upset with me. :x Now she knows how to treat a guy!!!!!!!!
:wink:
_____________________
Mar 15 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
La Barge Lower - Box LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking13.00 Miles 3,540 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles
3,540 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
GTG and Arizonaheat met at the Canyon Lake Marina parking lot, from which they would depart for their adventure for the day. The sunrise on the way in made the clouds burst with color. We put on our daypacks, readied our hiking poles and were off . Today's adventure would be mainly an off trail excursion.

We departed the parking lot, crossed Apache Trail and followed the Boulder Canyon Trail a very short distance before dropping into La Barge Creek. As we began our decent to La Barge Creek we weren't yet convinced that we would be able to negotiate our way up the creek bed as there was still a large amount of water occupying the creek bed. Once we got down to La Barge Creek it was obvious we could make our way using some creativity.

We were surprised to still see water running after three weeks of dry weather, although Louis Ruiz, the 88 year old proprietor of the Blue Bird Mine Store, told Cactuscat and Arizonaheat, last week, that the water will run approximately three weeks after a rain like the one we had. He is obviously right.

We worked our way up La Barge Creek to a point where Boulder Canyon and La Barge convene, we then followed Boulder Canyon to where it intersected Boulder Canyon Trail. This completed the first segment of the trip which was approximately three miles of rock hopping. The view of the front of Battleship Mountain coming up the canyon was awesome.

The plan from here was to head up to La Barge Box via La Barge Canyon, with a couple of exploratory side trips thrown in. We followed Boulder Canyon Trail a short distance, past the Painted Mine to a point to where a side trail departs down into La Barge Canyon. We worked our way up La Barge Canyon a distance before taking in our first side trip, which took us to a place where an old prospector by the name of Chuck Aylor lived for a time after he left his famous camp, Aylor's Caballo Camp. There are varying stories as to when, why and how he lived there. It all depends on who you talk too. Some stories are probably more legitimate than others. A synopsis of one story is that after leaving Aylor's Caballo Camp, he lived in town for awhile with various friends and relatives do to poor health. All Aylor wanted to do was return to his beloved Superstitions and live out his remaining days. As the story goes his friends and relatives obliged him, by building him this place in a gorgeous, hidden location. Other stories vary tremendously.

After leaving the Aylor residence it was back to La Barge Canyon and onward toward La Barge Box. We came upon a point where the water was making navigation difficult and it would be necessary to do a bit of climbing. I left the creek bed first and made my way up the vertical face of a large boulder ( keep in mind some of these boulders are several times larger and taller than a house). This was somewhat nerve racking as this particular boulder was comprised of very fractured soft rock without much substance to the hand holds. I made it to a ledge and point of safety, Todd then began his ascent. He was making his way up the vertical face looking for good foot and hand holds. He had one foot planted firmly and his right hand on what appeared to be a good secure hold. As he went to pull himself up onto the ledge on which I was standing his hand hold suddenly gave way, dislodging a chunk of rock approximately two times bigger than a basketball and probably weighing in at 30 - 40 pounds. It was like watching something in slow motion. Todd fell backwards landing flat on his back, with the large chunk or rock right behind him. The rock just barely glazed the side of his head on the way by him, before splashing into the water behind him. Luck was with us, no injuries were sustained, his camera came to rest square on his chest and the rock disintigrated like a cluster bomb. Todd was soon back on his feet and we managed to get him up where he needed to be.

We continued up the canyon to our next testosterone driven adventure, which entailed a fairly steep long climb up the side of a mountain, through tons and tons of blasted rock and loose scree material in hopes of discovering or at least finding an old mine. The climb down was worse than going up, but again we made it without any serious mishap or injury. Oh did I forget to tell you what we found. Sorry!!!

After making it back down into the canyon from our climb, Todd pointed out another interesting detail to me, that involved a symbol that could have been left by the Spaniards, the Mexicans or modern man. The fact is we just don't know how old it is. From here it was up to the confines and water wonderland of La Barge Box where we enjoyed the many pools of water and took a long well deserved lunch.

Our next adventure will have to wait until another trip. Todd had plotted out a route on a picture I had taken of La Barge Box from the top of Battleship Mountain. We were going to try to make our way to the top of the vertical cliffs that tower above La Barge Box, then follow the ridgeline of the Box until it intersects with the Calvary Trail. We were running short on time and energy for that attempt, plus it looked very challenging trying to get up there.

We made our way back down La Barge Canyon to where it intersects with the Boulder Canyon Trail and followed the trail back to Canyon Lake. While having some liquid refreshment back at the Lake, We were entertained by the biggest congregation of Turkey Buzzards I had ever seen. We counted 25 of them soaring and circling about La Barge Creek. Then to top it off a Whooping Crane flew over. Per usual it was another great day with Lady Superstition, and I really enjoyed the company.
_____________________
Mar 09 2003
arizonaheat
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 342
 Triplogs 45

63 male
 Joined Sep 12 2002
 Mesa, AZ
Barks Lower Canyon LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking4.00 Miles
Hiking4.00 Miles
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
1, 2, 3  Next

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

help comment issue

end of page marker