Friday, September 11, 2015

The Grand Enchantment Trail ~ Part 6

One of the most fascinating little creatures was that of a caterpillar carrying what looked like a cocoon.... She was like a snail connected to its own home just itching for metamorphosis to bring it into a more expansive reality. Stacey picked the little guy up and it had the capacity to retract itself within its shelter and even close it up on demand.

Piles of giant Rocks challenged our own ability to scale and weigh our sense of reality.

Our second and last water cache on the Arizona Trail was equally stocked and with the pleasant addition of many varieties of Costco snacks. Trail Magic comes in many forms.

With a coyote running away from us and a road runner scurrying off ahead, we thought ourselves to be in a cartoon. 

With the aerial acrobats of an American kestrel above us, we said our farewells to the AZT and descended a long wash to the east as we approached rest and relaxation in Mammoth, Arizona.

From Mammoth, Arizona, we climbed steadily through some healthy state trust land filled with prime specimens of Saguaro cacti that were accented by orange, yellow, and purple flowers. 

Even the creosote bush was blooming where we were delighted to find yet another Gila Monster to talk to. High in the sky we were witness to a military cargo plane fueling two helicopters in mid air.

Now it was time to test our navigation skills by traversing cross country through various washes and ravines. Water would surface and then sink back into the sandy soil until it popped out again in especially rocky places. 

Finding old jeep roads, we finally ascended Little Table Mountain where we could easily see the route through the desert we came through over the last couple of days. 

The Black Hills, Oracle, and even the Santa Catalina Mountains where we passed through on the Arizona Trail could be easily seen on the horizon. Summerhaven and Mt Lemmon even appeared to have some snow upon its Crest. Amazingly, from the pass, we could even make out Saguaro National Park.

Saying farewell to the Santa Catalina's and the greater Mammoth region, we descended from the saddle into a unique Canyon overflowing with oak trees. 

We were now on the Rug Road, named for having to use rugs and carpets on the steep hills going up and down very slidey canyons all the way to Turkey Creek. The road was made for what appeared to be a turquoise mine where ruins still stand today.

At Parsons Grove, an old Ranch home lay abandoned. While for comparison on Turkey Creek, a cliff dwelling saw its last occupants 600 years ago.

In these expansive canyons, Stacey and I decided to make rope cordage and a bracelet from yucca fibers to show the creative spirit that exists here in this remote water blessed wilderness.

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