|Rug Road via Oak Grove Canyon, AZ|| |
Rug Road via Oak Grove Canyon, AZ
|Hiking||6.70 Miles|| 5 Hrs ||1.41 mph|
|1,227 ft AEG|| 15 Mns Break||20 LBS Pack|
|After the 4 hour drive from Mesa we were eager to hit the trail... as soon as we could limber up our legs from sitting so long.
Although I had mapped out a number of possible GPS routes in the area, I really had no idea exactly where we would go so it was a matter of let's explore this small box canyon... not realizing it WAS oak Grove Canyon and it continued around the bend. Ok, we're heading the right direction now, let's continue until we can exit up and out one side or another, or keep going until it's time to turn around.
(At least that's what I told Tracey)
Even though we missed the peak colors by a week or two, there was plenty of beautiful scenery that conspired to keep our pace in scenic-mode... and we enjoyed it immensely!
After passing through a few tight/wet spots in which we endeavored to keep dry, I noticed some javelina trails running some distance up the western wall of the canyon. They seemed to be well-used so I figured one way or another they probably continued up and out of the canyon.
So, giving Tracey a little encouragement we began climbing. First through the thick brush with plenty of cat's claw and shin daggers to avoid, then the steep, loose-rock slopes and finally climbing boulders through a series of small pour-offs.
By this time Tracey was wondering what's the point? along with I don't want to go back down, there better be a way back to camp!
And once we reached a saddle with another deep canyon ahead of us, she quickly set off around on a ledge seeking an escape route, only to end up at a dead-end. Along with the dead-end she realized her two-way radio battery was also dead and she couldn't get a response when yelling to me... because I was scouting out a route to continue climbing even higher as I believed there was a route which would allow me to spring my original plan on Tracey... since she refused to ride along Rug road, I figured we could hike the worst part and she could see what she was missing.
But now, where is she? I haven't heard anything so I better go see if she dropped over the 100'+ cliff she had been skirting.
Thankfully she hadn't, and now it was time to tell her my original plan... especially since we were actually able to exit the canyon where I hoped. Following the route I mapped out before leaving home, by now we were closer to the road than taking that awful route back to the canyon floor so Tracey was all for it... if we could continue.
I was pretty sure we were quite close to Rug Road but with another saddle to cross that may reveal another drop, we had our hopes up. And once we saw three dirt-bikes ripping along Rug Road we knew we had it made.
As soon as we hit the road we looked for a large boulder to sit on and have our PB&J lunch before the 3-mile hike along Rug Road back to our campsite in Turkey Creek. (Technically our campsite was in the first part of Oak Grove Canyon.)
Anyway, Tracey got to experience Rug Road, albeit on foot, and all it did was reinforce the idea she doesn't want take a drive on it. (Any time soon maybe, but I have hopes I can wear her down due to some destinations I know she would like to reach without too long a hike)
On the last many-stepped hill back to Turkey Creek, I noticed a towel laying in the road, and immediately thought someone had thrown-in-the-towel and had given up trying to drive up the hill.
BTW, the towel and the hill are in the photoset.
Back to camp it's time to set up then spend a relaxing afternoon-evening, thinking of what to do tomorrow. Another secret plan of mine... but you'll have to wait for the next triplog to find out.
Again I'm posting the full set of photos on HAZ.
Only one short video today:
Water dripping from a wall in Oak Grove Canyon