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905 triplogs

May 17 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
West Turkey Creek-Chiricahua, AZ 
West Turkey Creek-Chiricahua, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar May 17 2020
rwstorm
Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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It had been a week since I did anything or went somewhere, so the walls were coming in again (the only excitement was having a new water heater installed). I figured a trip over to the Chiricahua Mountains was a good diversion from the Covid induced monotony. :lol: I know the campgrounds, etc. are closed, but I wanted to see if the Forest Service finally got around to officially making Sycamore a fee area as planned. They had. I was also curious if there were any other changes to the campground as a result. Nope, everything was the same as it had been. It is not a high use campground, so that is not a surprise. The campground has a modern style restroom, bear boxes, and trash collection service, so the change to a fee area is reasonable. The fact that the adjacent creek flows most of the year, there is plenty of shade, and several trail heads are nearby, makes it quite appealing. There was another campground right by the forest boundary as you drive in (West Turkey Creek), but it was decommissioned quite awhile ago, however the site is still listed as a dispersed camping area on the Coronado NF website (park by the road, pack it in/pack it out).

There were a lot of people out there (Sunday afternoon) doing various things. Some were dispersed camping, others picnicking, bird watching, hiking, or just hanging out in the woods by the creek escaping the heat and contemplating life. Some rather squirrely driving and behavior was observed this trip. I noticed the same thing two weeks ago on the Sierra Ancha trip as well. I think we have all gone a little nuts given the crazy ass times we find ourselves in these days. :sweat: Folks just want to escape the lockdown, and go somewhere and do something, but so many options have been removed or changed. The stress is obvious. At least getting out in nature for a bit helps temper things considerably! :)
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May 03 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Workman Creek, AZ 
Workman Creek, AZ
 
Car Camping avatar May 03 2020
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Car Camping
Car Camping
 no routes
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I had not been up to this area since 2017, so thought it would be a good place to go to camp for a night, with hopefully not too many folks around. That turned out to be true, but I had my doubts based on the crowds I saw on the way there. It was a Sunday, so I figured most folks would be headed back home. However, in our current stressful, restricted situation with lots of folks out of work and getting restless, all bets are off.

Anyway, I had not spent a night away from home since last August 21st, so I was desperate to do so! :o Just coming out of winter and entering the time when I like to do road trips, along comes the COVID-19 thing and pretty much messed with that. Part of the fun for me is staying at motels, going to restaurants, etc. That is not worth driving anywhere for right now, and is frowned upon, so it have to wait for awhile. But we can still go hiking and camping, so that's something.

I am a serious hermit, so this quarantine/isolation thing is old hat to me, as I spend almost all my time alone at home anyway, except when out shopping, going to a restaurant, or on road trips. In fact, in April I went six straight days without ever leaving my property, got as far as the mailbox and that was it! :o I'm sure that is a record for me, but eventually you have to make a beer run. :lol: These really are frustrating times.

I don't do much cooking anymore when camping, pretty much live out of the ice chest with lunch meats and cheese for a sandwich, plus snacks. So going through Globe I was checking out all the fast food drive thrus, thinking I'd get something to take up to the mountains. But the lines were long, so after gassing up the truck, I headed over to Miami to see if maybe Guayo's El Rey was open for takeout. They were and without a line. Yay! :D I pulled up behind a vehicle that had a HAZ sticker, so thought I would say hello to whoever it was. The restaurant was letting folks in one at a time to place an order at a table that was set up near the entrance. Then you go back outside and wait for your food. Well, out came a fellow that looked familiar, but I didn't remember his name. Turns out it was Jason (jtaylor), who I met at the parking area by Ferndell Spring during fall color season 7 years ago. He said he had been hiking up in the Pinal Mountains with PrestonSands, and stopped to get some food to go for the family back in Gilbert. Out of the blue chance encounters like that are kind of fun. :)

Now that I had some good food for the camp, I was on my way! As I neared the recreation areas near the bridge over the Salt River, I could see there were plenty of folks out playing in the water, just what you expect on a very warm day. There were quite a few cars parked on the north side of the bridge, and I looked down and several families were having a party/picnic. In fact, they had a shade canopy set up with their chairs and table in the river, while the kids splashed merrily about! :lol: It was busy on the highway driving up. When I turned onto the Workman Creek Road, there were lots of folks along the road up to around the Elks Camp, some fishing. This was starting to get me worried about finding a camp spot, and even tough my goal was above falls, there aren't many spots available there. Next was the first day use area. Wow, it was jammed full of people and vehicles like I had never seen before! At this point I was really questioning my decision to camp here. :sweat: I fully expected to see crowds at the next site, but there was nobody there (shocked). There was only one car at Falls CG, so I started feeling better. Above the falls my favorite spot was unoccupied, but I drove on up to Aztec Peak to look around. Nobody there, and the only campers I saw were in the more open group area off the north side of the road. Okay, great. I went back down to the spot I like and set up. It turned out to be a nice quiet night, though with the breeziness it was a bit chilly. Down to 53 degrees at 9 PM, and the morning low was 42. Saw the StarLink train of satellites through the trees, which was interesting.

Plan for Monday was to drive over to Roosevelt Dam for some photos of the nearly full lake, then on up to Jakes Corner to hit the Beeline Highway. Then south to Bush Highway and into Apache Junction on Usery Pass then on to the 202 down to I-10 and home. Worked like a charm. The Beeline is such an awesome scenic drive, especially southbound. The scenery is fantastic along the Bush Highway too. And it was packed with people out along the Salt River below the dam.

I really enjoyed my most needed, though brief, trip away from home, in country dear to my heart. :D
Culture
Culture
Fire Lookout Structures
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Apr 09 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
San Pedro House TrailsTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2020
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Hiking
Hiking
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This is another place I had never stopped to visit before. It is located about 7 miles east of Sierra Vista on SR 90 along the San Pedro River. Way back in the 1980's I would drive this section of highway when visiting friends in Bisbee, but not so much in recent decades. Anyway, thought it would be a good choice for a little easy leg stretcher (hiked about 3 miles). With its proximity to Sierra Vista, there were a fair number of folks out for some fresh air and exercise. Some families with kids, mountain bikers, and trail runners. Not too crowded though, so lots of trail time alone. Just right. :)
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Mar 31 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Road Trip, AZ 
Road Trip, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Mar 31 2020
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Scenic Drive350.00 Miles
Scenic Drive350.00 Miles
 no routes
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The purpose of this road trip was twofold. First was to give the RAV4 a solid shakedown drive to see if recent repairs were good and monitor the performance of the vehicle. It checked out fine. The second reason was to check on the poppies over in the Rodeo, New Mexico area. I had been seeing some recent photos posted on the Cochise County and Its Wonders Facebook page, and wanted to see them in person. There were some nice areas, but not as extensive as I had seen previously closer to Safford. Interestingly, the area around Rodeo is the headwaters of the San Simon River which flows north and eventually reaches the Gila River near Safford. This whole distance is referred to as the San Simon Valley on various maps. My trip route was: Tucson> Sonoita> Sierra Vista (food to go from McDonalds)> Douglas (topped off the gas tank)> Rodeo> Road Forks> I-10 back to Tucson. Nice day for the drive and the countryside looked great. :D
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Mar 24 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Indian Bread Rocks, AZ 
Indian Bread Rocks, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Mar 24 2020
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Scenic Drive
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I had never been to this place, so I wanted to check it out. It is a little south of Bowie and easy to get to. It features a nice picnic area and plenty of spots for dispersed camping. There is very little shade to be had, so for me as a tent camper it isn't very desirable. However, it seems to be popular with the RV crowd. The other major downside is you will be camping with plenty of cattle around. Other than that, it is a fairly scenic area at the edge of the Dos Cabezas Mountains Wilderness.
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Mar 22 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Black and White, AZ 
Black and White, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Mar 22 2020
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Some scenes from a road trip to the Safford area.
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Mar 22 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Tanque Road-Safford Area, AZ 
Tanque Road-Safford Area, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Mar 22 2020
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Scenic Drive
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I was out looking for wildflowers in the Safford area and found plenty, as expected. :D Tanque Road heads east from US 191 and connects with Haekel Road. This is one of the ways to reach the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area (about 20 miles from the turnoff at US 191). I had never been on this road, and only drove in about 8 miles before heading back out. I have never been to Hot Well Dunes either, but plan on going there sometime in the near future, by way of Bowie. After some photography along Tanque Road, it was off to my next destination of the day, the Gila Box area.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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Mar 22 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Gila Box RNCATucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Scenic Drive avatar Mar 22 2020
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Scenic Drive
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It is always fun to visit this diverse and wonderful riparian area! Stopped at Safford to top off the gas tank and grab some Taco Bell grub to go. Then it was off to the Gila. :D There were quite a few people out there, no doubt wanting to take a break from the madness and get out of town for awhile (that's what I was doing anyway :lol: ). There weren't as many folks at the campground as I expected to see, but plenty of ATV action on the road. And that is a road that commands your attention (aka "fun driving, but heads up for anything"). Nice strong flow in the river added to the vibe.
Flora
Flora
Canaigre
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Mar 14 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Montosa Canyon, AZ 
Montosa Canyon, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Mar 14 2020
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A visit to a pretty place on a great day for it. Snooped around a bit in Montosa Canyon and drove up the Hopkins Road a ways for some photo opportunities. Very good visibility added to the enjoyment factor.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Mar 07 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Owl Head ButtesTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Scenic Drive avatar Mar 07 2020
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Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
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I had not driven through this area in many years, so it was fun seeing the country out there again. Drove Owl Head Buttes Road, exiting off Park Link Drive and eventually working my way back to Interstate 10 by way of Missile Base Road (then the frontage road back to Marana). As expected there is more habitation than my last time through, especially closer to the I-10 corridor. Very lush desert country, especially in the somewhat higher eastern section.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Mar 01 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Oak Flat CampgroundGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Scenic Drive avatar Mar 01 2020
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Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
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Thought I would get in a little Sunday road trip. Looped up through Winkelman to Globe, then over to Superior and back by way of Florence and Coolidge, picking up I-10 at Picacho for the home stretch. Pretty breezy, otherwise a nice day. I stopped at Oak Flat Campground to look around. My last time there was in March 2015. Things looked about the same, and there was plenty of water around. In Superior it was time for a meal stop at Los Hermanos. Old reliable, with still low prices and food as bland as any you might find in Kansas, Nebraska, or Iowa. :lol: Not that I care though; I like the place.:D
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Isolated at Oak Flat, but for the whole drive moderate.
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Feb 20 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
White Canyon-Battle Axe, AZ 
White Canyon-Battle Axe, AZ
 
4x4 Trip avatar Feb 20 2020
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4x4 Trip
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Another drive to look for flowers, etc. Went up through Coolidge, Florence, and Superior. The road in to Battle Axe was about as rough as always, but there is more signage this year, perhaps because there are more people venturing back in there. All the parking lots along SR79/US60 between Florence and Superior that are used by ATV adventurers were packed. I did a quick side trip to see changes at the Picket Post Trailhead, and that place was packed with cars, trucks and recreational vehicles as well. Wow, pretty amazing for a Thursday! :o The real shock was when I turned onto Battle Axe Road and saw all the vehicles parked in there! I knew I had to be heads up for quad traffic. Sure enough, encountered 3 groups of them totaling about 20 (naturally in the diciest sections). :lol: All worked out well. Everything is nice and green, but there were surprisingly few flowers seen. The best flower action was along the Florence-Kelvin Highway from around the Gila River crossing to a ways past the AZT TH parking area. That's always a reliable area for poppies.
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot
Named place
Named place
Battle Axe Butte - 3531ft
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Feb 17 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Mammoth Area, AZ 
Mammoth Area, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Feb 17 2020
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This time I was out doing a little exploring in the Mammoth area. Drove down River Road to about Redington, then backtracked to Copper Creek Road. Hard to believe, but I had never been on that road before. Headed east to where the road stopped climbing before the big drop down to the Copper Creek mining area. Then it was back to Mammoth for dinner before heading home. Treat for the day was seeing a bobcat along River Road a little south of Copper Creek Road. He scrambled up the embankment and watched me as I drove by (no photo).
Named place
Named place
Holy Joe Peak Table Mountain
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Feb 14 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Gould Mine Trail LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 14 2020
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Hiking2.78 Miles 487 AEG
Hiking2.78 Miles
487 ft AEG
 
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Wildflower hike. Not much happening yet, but usually March is the prime month (not all years though). Pleasant day with lots of people on the trail and in the wash.
Named place
Named place
Gould Mine
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Lyreleaf jewelflower very prevalent in this area.
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Feb 10 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Sasco Poppies, AZ 
Sasco Poppies, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Feb 10 2020
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Scenic Drive
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Time to check on the poppy display out by Sasco. They did not disappoint. :D Having some weather moving in added to the enjoyment of the day, giving things a muted aspect. Took the back way home from Marana and was treated to some nice rainbow action by Picture Rocks. A very fun time!
Culture
Culture
Truck Remains/Wreckage
Meteorology
Meteorology
Double Rainbow Rainbow
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Concentrated poppy display in the usual place.
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Feb 08 2020
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Adobe Canyon-Santa Rita, AZ 
Adobe Canyon-Santa Rita, AZ
 
4x4 Trip avatar Feb 08 2020
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4x4 Trip
4x4 Trip
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Needed to get out of the house and city for as some fresh air. Did a little exploring in the Eastern Santa Rita Mountains, always a nice area to visit.
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Nov 14 2019
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Santa Rita Exploration, AZ 
Santa Rita Exploration, AZ
 
4x4 Trip avatar Nov 14 2019
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4x4 Trip27.08 Miles 2,566 AEG
4x4 Trip27.08 Miles
2,566 ft AEG
 
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Nice day out in the eastern foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains not far from home. I drove in on Gardner Canyon Road up to the end of the road in Cave Creek Canyon. Then back out to the junction and northwest to the turnoff to Aliso Spring, where I hung a right on FR4085. This takes you over the divide and drops you down into Fish Canyon, passing Snyder Mine on the way, which was a main player in the area back in the day. I then drove northwest in Fish Canyon on FR4113, which pulls up steeply in places to reach Granite Mountain and FR163. Then down to the Morning Star Mine and FR165, which I followed around the bypass of Greaterville (off limits) to FR229, then down to Box Canyon Road, and home by way of Green Valley and I-19.

I hadn't been on some of these roads in 15 to 20 years, so that was fun. :D I visited the Greaterville and Fish Canyon area more back between 1990-1994, when I got bitten by the gold bug :lol: and was doing some recreational prospecting. There are still lots of active claims in the area, as it is a good place to find some gold.

Driving out of Fish Creek: [ youtube video ]
Prospecting in the area: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Santa Rita Mountains Snyder Mine
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Nov 07 2019
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Fort Huachuca-Garden Canyon, AZ 
Fort Huachuca-Garden Canyon, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Nov 07 2019
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Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
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I needed to go back to the base to renew my visitor pass, and with fall color fever getting into high gear, I wanted to go down for a look around. Earlier in the morning Letty let the cat out of the bag that she was going to be down in Garden Canyon, so that was my sign that this should be the day. I arrived at the base at a bit past 8 AM and got my new pass. Driving toward Garden Canyon, I could see that the Sycamore trees along the wash were looking mighty fine. On previous visits I never could get a satisfactory photo of them from the main road. This time I spotted a dirt road heading up a hill not far away, so decided to drive up and get a better perspective. Got up on the hill, turned around and parked, then got a few photos. It was a good choice. :D Then I heard voices, and saw a large group of soldiers out doing morning drills coming my way. Wow, cool! This made it more real, after all I was on an Army base. :lol: Looks like they march on a lot of these dirt roads that dot the hills on the base. Just so happens they were coming up the other side of the hill on the road I was on. I just stood there as they marched on by. Quite a few of them said "good morning" to me. I watched to see if they were going to go back down the way I drove in, but they headed off in another direction.

Next, I headed into Garden Canyon proper. Such a beautiful area! Before long, I spotted Letty's jeep, so parked and walked around a bit looking for her, but I think she had gone further up the canyon, so I went back to the RAV and ate my McDonald's breakfast that I had picked up on the drive down. After awhile, I spotted Letty coming down the road to her jeep, and we ended up having a nice long conversation, before going our separate ways. My main goal for the day was to actually get some much need exercise and hike up the Sawmill Canyon Trail. I checked it out a little bit a couple years ago, and knew that it would be a pretty easy hike as it follows a road for quite a ways.

This turned out to be a very enjoyable day, with excellent weather, and lots of good photo ops, and a pleasant hike. Yay! :)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
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Nov 07 2019
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Sawmill Canyon Trail Huachuca, AZ 
Sawmill Canyon Trail Huachuca, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 07 2019
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Hiking4.79 Miles 1,427 AEG
Hiking4.79 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   1.31 mph
1,427 ft AEG      26 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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I was looking forward to hiking this trail, as I had only been on it one other time way back in 2002. That was part of a much more ambitious Scheelite-Sawmill loop hike. Slow going for me because I am out of condition (especially on the downhill with my old arthritic joints), but I felt good and was pleased to have made it up to the junction with the Crest Trail. :D All but half a mile was on road, so it was an easy hike. Just what I needed!

After the hike it was time for some more photos of the fall foliage on the drive through Garden Canyon. :) I got off the base at 4:30 and knew I wanted to kill a little time before heading back to Tucson to avoid rush hour traffic. I thought about having dinner in Sierra Vista, then decided I would head back up 90 to I-10 and stop at Taco Bell. But when I got to Whetstone, I changed my mind and headed over to Sonoita instead. Besides, I like that drive way more than the interstate anytime, even after dark. I have eaten at The Cafe before and it was good, but this time I wanted to try Tia Nita's Cantina, since they got some good reviews for their pizza. I liked the place as soon as I walked in. Sat at the bar and Anita fixed me right up with a Barrio Rojo beer on tap and took my order for a small personal sized pizza. It takes awhile for the food to be prepped, but the pizza was quite good. This is my kind of place, I like it way better than the Copper Brothel across the street. I had a good time visiting with others at the bar, as well as Anita. She's a live wire, that's for sure! :lol: Next thing I know it is a bit past 7:30, and I realized I had to go, if I wanted to make it home by 9 to watch "Evil," a new show I like. Made it home with ten minutes to spare. Yup, this turned out to be a mighty fine day! :y:
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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Nov 02 2019
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72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Return to Rucker, AZ 
Return to Rucker, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Nov 02 2019
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Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
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Now that the road to Rucker Canyon is fully open again, it was time to go back to see the part I couldn't in September. Lots of debris along the stream channel as expected, but over all the camping areas were intact and the road was as before the flood. I drove a short way in on the Red Rock Road, but there was a lot of flood damage evident in there, as the stream is shallower and was out of its banks quite a bit in that section, probably due to debris dams that backed the water up. It was evident a lot of work was done to clear a path for the water along the stream bed.

Just past the campground at the end of the road is where Bear Canyon meets Rucker Canyon. That was where the most intense debris accumulation was. It is also the place where two forest trails split, with Rucker Canyon heading straight and Raspberry Ridge heading to the left up Bear Canyon. All evidence of trails and the trail junction sign are gone. I'm sure the trails are evident further up the canyons, but right in this particular area things are a mess. It must have been very loud and scary the night when this was happening. :scared: :o

There was nobody camping in Rucker, but there definitely was a cow convention taking place. Next, I drove up to West Turkey Creek, since I wanted to see if there were any changes to Sycamore Campground, since the new fee structure is set to be implemented January 1, and Sycamore is supposed to become a fee CG. No signs of anything like that, and there was one family camping there, but others were heading in as I was leaving.

Compare my photos from this trip with those from July 17th to get a feel for how things are in Rucker these days.
Fauna
Fauna
Coatimundi
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
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Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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Onward into oblivion!
average hiking speed 1.31 mph
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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.

90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
11.5 inch Teflon Coated Umbrella
Super Wide Brim Sun Hat for Men or Women
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