ALL PHOTOS ARE FROM OUR CHIRICAHUA MOUNTAIN HIKE TODAY…..A FEW MORE PHOTOS TOMORROW
We never have been folks to spend much time on planning things. Each day is new & a lot of times ideas for the day are not hatched until our morning walk. We tend to avoid structure & schedules & prefer to wing it on how we are feeling at the moment. This morning just kinda felt like a Chiricahua Mountain hike so without further ado we piled ourselves into the Jeep & off to the CHIRICAHUA NATIONAL MONUMENT we went.
After Ramsey Canyon’s leg burner on Sunday we figured we better not push our luck so picked a trail this morning that was rated as easy. The Rhyolite Trail begins at the Visitor Center & gradually ascends up along the north side of the Rhyolite Canyon. We didn’t realize it when we started out…..but this was going to be a bit of a problem later.
TRAIL ALMOST HAS A TROPICAL FEEL TO IT STARTING OUT
Right from the parking lot the trail begins rising so it is a gradual up hill hike. Nothing like the Hamburg trail at Ramsey but we knew we were heading higher alright.
A FEW SKIFFS BEGIN TO APPEAR
Path was bare, dry & easy walking as we meandered through a thick forest of Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, Manzanita, Juniper & many other kinds of trees we couldn’t identify. Agave’s, Prickly Pear Cactus, Sotol & Hedge Hog Cactus are along the trail as well. The surrounding green forest forms a canopy overhead while White Tail deer were so close we had to whisper back & forth so as not to disturb them.
It is a beautiful forest & as the trail continued it’s ascent we came across our first few skiffs of snow. Being on the north facing side of the Canyon we were in shadow while a short half mile across to the Canyon’s south facing side, sunlight beamed onto towering rock columns. No snow over there but we soon came upon long stretches of hard packed snow & ice on our side of the Canyon.
STILL A FEW SNOW FREE SPOTS ON THE TRAIL
TRAIL DROPS RIGHT OFF ON THE SIDE
Our trail destination was the Echo Canyon trailhead where three trails converge. Sarah Deming, Rhyolite, & Echo Canyon trails meet at three small stone sign standards. We had slightly over a mile to hike in order to reach that point but the trail underfoot was very slippery. We could tell a horse & rider had preceded us at some point but we never did encounter another person on the trail & there were no boot prints in the snow or soft mud. We also knew heading up the trail was going to be much easier than coming back down but we pushed on anyway. Beautiful scenery as the trees thinned out a bit & we could see the majesty of the tall rock columns clinging to the cliff face across the canyon.
ACROSS THE CANYON
Kelly has difficulty on slippery surfaces & of course we left a perfectly good ski pole walking stick in the Jeep. Todays hike on the slippery trail was a good example of where a couple ski poles would have been very helpful for her, especially on the way down.
We did eventually reach the trailhead & didn’t waste any time in turning around to begin the treacherous walk back down the icy trail. We took our time, had a few minor spin outs & about half an hour later we had descended low enough to get ourselves some good old solid dirt under our boots. We both commented on how our legs were sore from trying to keep from slipping & sliding on the ice & snow.
OUR TRAIL HEAD DESTINATION
It was at the low end of the trail near the Visitor’s center where we saw all the deer. They did not seem too bothered by our presence at all but we walked slowly & quietly by them. Only sound that broke the serenity of the quiet forest was the sound of my digital camera clicking away.
WE TIPPY TOED BY THESE GUYS
We had begun our hike at 11:50 & were back in the parking lot about 2. And, as always, it was great to get back & flop our tired legs into the Jeep. An hour later & we were back home with another super great day under our belts. Ya just gotta love the great American Southwest.
IT FELT LIKE A FINE APRIL SPRING DAY
Kelly came across a solo ladies blog this morning that caught my attention. I like her post entitled, TO READERS. Liked her philosophy & approach to life. And, especially appreciate when writer’s write with some depth of thought & feeling.
The Bayfield Bunch welcomes our past few blog supporters, OUR COFFEE CAFE, Barry & Linda, DEAR MISS MERMAID, Bigie Malc, WHEEL LIFE WITH THE BRIGHTS, Kayjulia, THE GOOD LUCK DUCK & DANYSHULA. Thanks for dropping by folks & your presence on the blog is much appreciated:))
WE REMEMBERED THE GPS TODAY BUT FORGOT KELLY’S WALKING STICK
OK guys, how many of us have had this conversation with our spouse & why is it that the conversation is repeated over & over every year!! And ladies, you all know who you are out there. Check out Jenny’s post at ELEVEN FOOT RV. And heading south for the winter doesn’t really assure warm weather anymore as the folks at FIVE-JUST ROLLING DOWN THE ROAD have just found out.
JUST ANOTHER FINE DAY IN THE LIFE & TIMES OF THE BAYFIELD BUNCH
GROANER’S CORNER:(( And here’s one for all you Math heads out there……There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant, and the first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This goes to prove that the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.
EMAIL THE BAYFIELD BUNCH:))
Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.