Saturday, October 27, 2012

First Aravaipa Through Hike

Cindy and I have hiked Aravaipa, 4 times previously. But because you have to have a high clearance vehicle and a fair amount of coordination with others, we had not done a through hike. We finally did it yesterday! The above photo is from one of my favorite spots, towards the end of the day. The East end of the canyon is probably even more beautiful than the West end, but it's hard to get to.
A group of three, with a high clearance vehicle, left Phoenix at 1 am and drove the 5 hours to the East end of the canyon. The other 7 of us were supposed to leave at 4:30am. Due to me forgetting the permits at home, it was more like 5 before we left Phoenix. When we finally were ready to hike it was 8am.

 This is what the area looks like at the trail head at that time of day and this is our group, except me the photographer.
 The first couple of times that you step in the water, it was freezing, but then it was pretty comfortable for most of the day. Not that you felt like swimming. We had perfect tempertures for the hike. It was probably in the 50's when we started and stayed in the high 60's, low 70's the rest of the day.
 Lynnora with numb feet! She fell in once, but was able to get all dried off before the end of the day when it was chilly and she needed her jacket again.
Part of the narrows. This used to be my favorite part of the canyon, but now that I have seen it all, I have a new favorite area.

Not a good picture, but it's the only one I took of myself.

 Dale was brave enough to be our only male representative. We were glad to have him along.
 We saw some wildlife. Here is a blue heron drying it's feathers.
 Mid morning.
 We saw lots of these grey frogs.
 A colorful centipede.We saw a water snake and a garter snake, but they were fast and I didn't get any photos.
 My neice Keegan was in the front the whole hike. She was also the youngest.
 Pretty views

 We saw lots of butterfly's.
 I was always slow.....The rest of them got a few more breaks than I did, because they were always waiting for me.
 A little warmer Lynnora.
 Tam wanted to climb the rocks, but we vetoed her idea as we didn't want to render first aid.
 We met the other three after we had been hiking just over 5 hours. We were dismayed to hear that we still had 5 hours to go. We had hoped we would be farther a long than that. That's Cindi, there in the foreground. She brought a gourmet picnic with enought to share with everyone! Wes Yule is right behind her. He was the nice guy who volunteered his high clearance vehicle and to drive to the East end.
 Lunch break

 Bernie came with the East end guys. Everyone was very impressed with his preparedness. He had a little of everything in his pack and it was still small! He even filtered his own water from the creek!
 Darryl was the last of the East End guys.

 Part of my favorite stretch. It was beautiful, with large cottonwoods stretching over the water. I had never been in the canyon so late in the afternoon before. The afternoon light was beautiful.
 Lots of sauguro up on the hill side.
 Everyone started wearing out, not just me. As I caught up to them at this point, there was only one rock big enough to sit on and so they got as many people on one rock as possible.
 Late afternoon, early evening, beautiful stretch.

We all loved what the light did to these cliffs. It took us 10 hours. We were nervous it was going to be dark by the time we got to the vehicle. It was 6:05 and we could still just barely see. We felt very lucky to not have to try and wade through the creek or try to find the way out to the road in the dark. Cindy Tanner kissed the vehicle when she saw it! It took us about an hour and a half to drive the 43 miles of dirt road to the pavement. We stopped a couple of times on the way home, bathrooms and food and gas, and I finally got home at 1am. A really long day, but beautiful. Now we are all ready for Halloween. We are so stiff that we look like zombies when we walk!
After we finished, I said I wouldn't do the whole thing again. But this morning, I think maybe. If I was a little more fit and ready, I would. I really would like to do a part way hike from the east end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a wonderful trip. My first time in the canyon and loved it, hope to get back that way soon.

Wes Yule