Yesterday I went hiking in an area I hadn't been to in a few years. It's called Meadow Creek, and it's about 25 minutes from my home. There is a paved mountain highway to the turn off, then a 3 mile dirt road. The paved mountain highway will be busy a couple of days this coming week, with the Tour of the Gila bike race, which is a huge event around here drawing bicyclists from all over. Brings lot of revenue to our small town during the 5 day event. I always admire anyone who can pedal a bicycle up some of these climbing mountain roads because I could not do it. But anyway, back to the hike.
The sign on the road said high clearance vehicles recommended, which my car is not. I had not been there in a few years, like I said, and couldn't remember how bad the road might be. I've driven in there before, but its been many years. The last time I went there I parked at the turnoff and hiked the 3 miles down to the creek. Which is okay but the road goes down into a canyon and coming back out is a lot of uphill, which I didn't feel like doing so much of yesterday. So I carefully drove part of the way down. It wasn't too bad and I'm good and negotiating around rocks and ruts in the road. But the last mile down I was thinking was a little worse so I parked in a place where I could pull off the road and hiked the mile the rest of the way down to where the road comes to the creek. It wasn't as bad as I thought and I could have driven further down but what the heck, I was out to hike so what did it matter.
I always like some of the interesting big rocks in the area. Some are from a volcano that was active thousands of years ago not far from here. I parked by this interesting rock. There are a lot of these in the area and some way larger than this.
Then I started down the road. It doesn't show so well in the picture, but it was downhill, gently but gets a little steeper. Fine going down but I know I will have to climb back up.
I come almost to the bottom, and the main road curves t the left but there is a little side road that I've never explored so I head straight.
A couple of place the road crosses the little creek, which doesn't have much water in it right now because we haven't had enough snow in the winter and there isn't much runoff. Late summer rains are when it is better. I wouldn't try to drive my car in this part though. Too many rocks and ruts to hit the oil pan or something else on. The road only goes for less than half a mile then a trail starts. The road ends at a wide spot that some use for camping.
The trail follows the creek all along where I hiked.
I saw a lot of fallen trees back in this area. I had to step over a lot of them.
I really loved this little spot where you could hear the gurgling of the water. I stopped on the way in and on the way out for a little bit to enjoy it. I also have the Bible on my Droid phone in Kindle application and I like to do my daily Bible reading in places that are very peaceful on my hikes when I can. I did that here on the way out and just enjoyed the beauty and peacefulness of the place. There is also a big fallen tree with interesting roots attached to it here too.
Sometimes the trail seems to disappear but if I keep following the creek I always found it again.
Another interesting fallen tree. The path went around this one and I didn't have to go through it.
The green trees and grass looked so pretty to me.
There were places where the little creek disappeared underground and then it would come up again. But as I climbed up in this canyon (I was climbing uphill) I didn't see as much water.
There is not many flowers yet. We get more in late summer after summer rains start. But did find a few.
I thought it interesting how these little branches that had fallen but were still attached to their trees formed an X right on the trail.
This looked interesting to me also.
Tried to get a pic of a butterfly but it blurred. This was the only chance I got.
These little tiny purple flowers I almost didn't see. I zoomed in close to get pictures because they were really small.
Lots more trees down. I saw a lot of this. It was at this point I decided to turn around. I had gone almost 4 miles from my car at this point.
It was about 8 miles by the time I got back to the car. It had uphill to it in the canyon, but not steep and so was a pretty easy hike overall. Climbing the mile back up to my car was the most strenuous part.
I really want to go back today, and when I get to the point where the road curves and I went straight to go on this trail I will park and hike further down the road. I've been that way before. I'd never been this way. But it's been a long time and if I drive down to that point I can go further beyond where I've been before when I parked at the main road and hiked down.
I was wishing so bad I had my camping gear and was out there camping. I'm really wanting to go but need to do it soon. By June the fire danger gets very high until the rains start about mid-July and a lot more forest restriction go into place and there have even been a few times when it's been shut down except for the main highway to drive through it. It doesn't totally get shut down often but it has happened. Or restrictions about only camping or parking in formal campgrounds go into effect. And I wouldn't want to be caught in a forest fire anyway. So I really need to get my camping things out of the storeroom and plan on doing it quickly.
I just find so much peace and appreciate the beauty God gave us when I'm out in areas like this. Pictures can't convey the feeling of being there. But even though you can only go with me through the pics, I hope you enjoyed going along.
Have a great day!