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Posts Tagged ‘Waterfall’

This is my fourth summer working as a guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon for Arizona River Runners. My first trip launched on June 9th and I was pretty concerned that I hadn’t adjusted to the heat yet. My trip to Portland and trying to get things squared away with my Arizona Trail job meant that I hadn’t quite acclimated yet. Little did I know, I needn’t have worried- there was a tropical storm that came in that made it unseasonably cool and rainy!

On June 8th, I arrived at the warehouse in Flagstaff to pack up the boats and put them in the water at Lee’s Ferry. The crew was Joe as trip leader, Brie as second boatman, me as the swamper and Brie’s friend Nick as our work-your-way. The morning of June 9th was cool and overcast as the passengers arrived and loaded onto the boats. It’s always a flurry of activity, with lots of questions about the adventures to come. We headed downstream and I was excited to have returned to the Grand Canyon for the summer.

Lee's Ferry Sunrise

Lee’s Ferry Sunrise

Passengers getting ready to get on the boats at Lee's Ferry

Passengers getting ready to get on the boats at Lee’s Ferry

I was on Joe’s boat and did most of the interp- telling stories about the people, plants, animals, and geology of the place as Joe drove. It stayed overcast and got so chilly that I had to put on a fleece in the middle of the day! Never before seen- we started calling it Junuary.

Cold enough for fleece on June 9th? Crazy!!

Cold enough for fleece on June 9th? Crazy!!

At North Canyon, we pulled in and made camp and folks got settled in to their tents. We made salmon, broccoli, rice and salad for dinner and most went to sleep early. I went for a little hike up North Canyon and listened to music and played with my headlamp and camera. The crew sleeps on the boats, and I had been looking forward to sleeping under the stars, but the strange weather meant I put up a tent. The rain started in the middle of the night, big drops and intense at times.

North Canyon

North Canyon

The next morning, I was trying to cook breakfast when it started raining again. We put up a canopy and went about our business. We had to go through the Roaring Twenties, a series of rapids that are one after the other and people got cold. Joe made the decision to stop at Redwall Cavern after the Twenties were done and make hot soup. It was a real crowd-pleaser and morale booster- amazing what a little hot soup can do for the soul. Of course there was the fact that it was June 10th- a day that historically would have had us running into Redwall Cavern for shade- crazy! Joe and I must have said “Crazy” to each other a hundred times that trip because of the weather. Didn’t get a pic of the soup stop, but here’s one from another trip of Redwall Cavern.

Dramatic clouds at Fence Fault

Dramatic clouds at Fence Fault

Mist and low clouds

Mist and low clouds

Redwall Cavern

Redwall Cavern

After our soup stop, the mist and clouds began to clear and the sun came out. We stopped at the Little Colorado River for a hike and swim. The LCR was a milky whitish blue from the storms. Camp was at Crash Canyon, a short distance downstream.

Little Colorado River

Little Colorado River

Set up the tent and it rained again that night with a second morning of cooking breakfast under the canopy. The clouds cleared again and it warmed up, which was good because on the third day we were going to run the Gorge, the biggest concentration of large rapids on the whole river. Joe and Brie maneuvered through the rapids with skill and we had an amazing day. There is no rapid on the river more fun than Hermit and we hit it just perfect for the optimal ride! Here’s a video taken by one of my coworkers a couple of years ago of a run through Hermit:

Arizona Trail crossing the Colorado River on the Black Bridge

Arizona Trail crossing the Colorado River on the Black Bridge

We stopped at Shinumo Creek to check out the waterfall, I was interested to see what it looked like, it is a side stream that flash-flooded several times recently. The waterfall is very different and the swimming pool at the base has been graveled in, but it’s still a great place for a stop. Camp was at 110- I could see my camp spot from my 2010 Royal Arch Loop.

Shinumo Waterfall

Shinumo Waterfall

And there's our perfect Tonto Point Camp, hanging above the Colorado and North Bass Beach

October 2010- And there’s our perfect Tonto Point Camp, hanging above the Colorado and Bass Camp. 110 is the beach to the far left of the picture

The next day we commonly call Waterfall Day- how could you not like a day like that? We started with the sublime Elves Chasm- a two-tiered waterfall with a perfect cave to climb up and jump off! This place exemplifies the differences between rafting and backpacking in the Canyon. When I visited on foot, it took three days of a rugged route and 20′ rappel to get there. Rafting, we pull up and it’s 1/4 mile from the boats. It’s great to give a wide range of folks the opportunity to see these amazing places.

Elves Chasm

Elves Chasm

A beautiful day!

A beautiful day!

After Joe and Brie had great runs through the technical Bedrock and Deubendorff Rapids, we stopped at Stone Creek. The warm, clear waterfall was welcome after days of the icy and silty river.

Deubendorff Rapid

Deubendorff Rapid

Micro Chicken at Stone Creek

Micro Chicken at Stone Creek

Then it was on to the main event: Deer Creek Falls and the hike up to The Patio. Deer Creek is a 174-ft. cascade just minutes from the boat and is a destination in and of itself. My favorite part of the day is the hike up to the Deer Creek Narrows and the Patio. It’s usually pretty warm for the hike up the hill, but once on the Tapeats Sandstone, you get wonderful views up and downstream. The trail turns into the canyon above the waterfall, a slot canyon with the sound of the water rushing below. The trail narrows in a couple places that make it very challenging for the acrophobic. I have ushered countless people across this piece of trail and love helping people overcome their fears to get through the journey. The destination is certainly worth it- the Patio is a wonderland of cottonwoods and waterfalls. It is a place sacred to the Paiute Indians and there are small hand outlines where the ancients used reeds to blow paint over their hands along the trail to the Patio.

Hiking the Ledges at Deer Creek Narrows

Hiking the Ledges at Deer Creek Narrows

Deer Creek Patio

Deer Creek Patio

Love this place.

Love this place.

Handprint in Deer Creek

Handprint in Deer Creek

Hiking down to the boats at Deer Creek

Hiking down to the boats at Deer Creek

We spent some time at the Patio and then hiked down to enjoy the big waterfall for a while before making camp across the river. It was Fajita Night for dinner, a crowd favorite.

Deer Creek Falls

Deer Creek Falls

My representation of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with fajita condiments

My representation of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with fajita condiments

In the morning we went through the narrow Muav Gorge and visited Havasu Creek, a tricky place to park and tie up the boats, because we park in a rapid. It’s often called the Swamper Olympics because there are numerous extra lines that have to be tied to make sure the boats are secure. Everyone enjoyed a swim in the blue-green waters of the refreshing creek.

Havasu Canyon

Havasu Canyon

After Havasu, we had a couple of hours before the grandaddy of all rapids, Lava Falls. The river falls 37 feet over the span of several hundred yards and it can often be quite a ride. Other times, you hit it a certain way and it doesn’t feel like much. On this day we had a giant full-boat soaking wave cover every inch of the 35-foot rig- it was fantastic!!

Lava Falls

Lava Falls

We pulled up at Angel Camp for our last night and cooked up a steak dinner and celebrated one of the passenger’s birthday with a dutch-oven cake. Afterward, everyone sat and shared their reflections of the trip. It’s always fun to see what parts of the journey stand out to each person.

I snuck away, because I had a surprise for the passengers. If the group is right, the camp is right and I’m not too tired from working all day I put on a short bellydance performance on the beach. This beach was perfect, there was a spit of flat sand that extended along the shoreline. After the group was done, I invited them down and surprised them with a show, complete with music from a portable speaker. It was quite the venue- as I danced I could see the walls of the Canyon and the sky scintillating with stars. Everyone agreed it was a great way to end the night.

The next morning we only had a short distance to go to the Whitmore helipad, mile 187, where the six-day journey ended for our group. The river brings people together and there were many hugs given and promises to keep in touch. We waved as the helicopters took the folks to the Bar 10 Ranch.

Approaching Whitmore Helipad

Approaching Whitmore Helipad

I feel so fortunate to be able to call the Canyon my home- it is the place that inspires me like no other. I enjoy seeing people from all over the world come to experience the Canyon at a deeper level than just peering over the rim for a day. Seeing people get that sparkle in their eye when I point out something beautiful or interesting or the look of satisfaction that comes from a great hike. What an infinitely fascinating place.

To find out more about the different river trips offered, visit www.raftarizona.com.

In Wildlife Rehab news, we got a Crested Caracara that was hit by a car down by Kitt Peak. The Caracara is a Falcon that acts more like a vulture and is only found in Arizona, Texas and Florida. What a treat to see one up close! To donate to help feed and house the animals at Wildlife Rehabilitation Northwest Tucson, use the link below.
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Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara

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In May, I attended the International Trails Symposium in Portland, Oregon to give a presentation about my work with the Warrior Hike program that puts veterans with PTSD on the National Scenic Trails to “Walk off the War”. I presented with folks from PATH International, who help veterans through equine therapy, and Ride 2 Recovery, who help veterans through road and mountain biking. It was a very uplifting experience to see these other programs that are helping our veterans and I would highly recommend the short film Riding My Way Back that chronicles one soldier’s journey back from the brink of suicide and the horse that helped save him.

Staff Sergeant Aaron Heliker, star of Riding My Way Back, talks about the importance of outdoor therapy programs for veterans to help them regain a sense of self and brotherhood.

Staff Sergeant Aaron Heliker, star of Riding My Way Back, talks about the importance of outdoor therapy programs for veterans to help them regain a sense of self and brotherhood.

Presenting at the International Trails Symposium about my work with Warrior Hike

Presenting at the International Trails Symposium about my work with Warrior Hike

I had some time to hike the local Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and a quick hike in Forest Park with my friend Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa and his dog Karluk. Great outings so close to town!

Karluk and Allgood in Forest Park

Karluk and Allgood in Forest Park

After the conference was done, I had scheduled some time to explore the area. Lucky for me, my gracious hostess, fellow blogger and good friend Kimberlie Dame had the same days off, so we planned on going backpacking in the Columbia River Gorge. Hard to believe, but I’d never been backpacking outside of Arizona before- dayhiking, yes- but not backpacking! Years ago, I’d seen a picture of Kimberlie at Tunnel Falls and was mesmerized by the exotic beauty of the place. We put together a loop that went up Eagle Creek to Tunnel Falls, to Wahtum Lake to intersect with the Pacific Crest Trail to Cascade Locks and the Bridge of the Gods which marks the WA/OR border, about 29 miles.

Map I found online of the Eagle Creek area

Fun map I found online of the Eagle Creek area

We made a quick stop at Multnomah Falls on the way out to Eagle Creek Trailhead. It was Friday of Memorial Day Weekend and we wanted to make sure to secure a campsite- this area is very popular with both dayhikers and backpackers.

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

I started out with a liter and a half of water, probably the least I’ve carried in a long time but still overkill in this wet and overcast environment.The trail was wide and fancy and soon we came to the Metlako Falls overlook and took the side trip, followed by Punchbowl Falls. Everything was so totally different than the desert environment that I’m used to- so many plants and wildflowers that I wasn’t familiar with and this strange wet stuff everywhere!

Starting out on the Eagle Creek Trail

Starting out on the Eagle Creek Trail

Metlako Falls

Metlako Falls

Punchbowl Falls

Punchbowl Falls

Kimberlie and me

Kimberlie and me

Eagle Creek Trail

Eagle Creek Trail

We passed Loowit Falls and then came to an amazing slot pool- it was begging for a return trip in warmer weather with my inner tube floatie. We entered the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness and the trail was lined with giant ferns and trees dripping with moss. I could hear Tunnel Falls before I could see it- the sweet sound of rushing water dropping a large distance. Then I turned the corner and there it was in all its glory- the giant cascade, the fern-lined tunnel, the mossy columnar basalt framing the pool below. What a place!!DSC03414

Loowit Falls

Loowit Falls

Amazing long slot pool in Eagle Creek

Amazing long slot pool in Eagle Creek

Mossy tunnel

Mossy tunnel

Tunnel Falls

Tunnel Falls

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The full length of Tunnel Falls

The full length of Tunnel Falls

DSC03492

Micro Chicken and Skoonichuk Falls

I wanted to hang out for a while and so we set up for a break and watched folks go by while I explored around. After we saw several groups of backpackers, we decided it would be a good idea to go claim a campsite along the creek. We hiked a short distance away and found a wonderful spot for the two of us. It was close enough to Tunnel Falls that I went back for another visit which included a dance party for one in said tunnel. I could hear the soothing sounds of the creek as I went to bed.

Tunnel Falls- a magnificent place to be!

Tunnel Falls- a magnificent place to be!

In the morning, we had a leisurely start and continued climbing up Eagle Creek. It was outrageously pleasant hiking, winding back and forth across the creek before ascending the Benson Plateau. As we gained elevation the scenery and the vegetation changed and we hiked into a misty cloud. So very Pacific Northwest- exactly what I had been expecting.

So beautiful!

So beautiful!

Hiking up to the Benson Plateau

Hiking up to the Benson Plateau

Into the Mist

Into the Mist

We ascended the gentlest switchback I’ve ever seen and then reached a sign for the PCT. My first time on this legendary trail! All day, I’d been making jokes about having a hot dog at a Memorial Day BBQ when we got to Wahtum Lake, but alas, there were some campers, but no hot dogs. Our view of Wahtum Lake was confined to the first two feet off the shore.

My first PCT marker

My first PCT marker!

Wahtum Lake

Wahtum Lake

Trillium

Trillium

The trail climbed toward the Chinidere Mountain junction, which is supposed to have amazing views of five glaciated volcanoes- we took a pass because there would be no views from the top today. The trail undulated along the ridge and it was a long day of hiking to set us up for a short day the next day to make it back for a BBQ.

Crazy fungus

Crazy fungus

Very much what I was expecting- hiking through the mist and tall trees

Very much what I was expecting- hiking through the mist and tall trees

We were famished when we finally reached our campsite. When we’d started, we weren’t sure if we were going to spend one night or two out. We had enough food for two nights, but just barely- it would mean hot oats for dinner. Now I haven’t been able to even look at a pack of oatmeal since my thru-hike last year, but I devoured those hot oats like they were my favorite dish! Kimberlie was nice enough hike down to Teakettle Spring for water and I played around with my headlamp and took pictures. We were amazed to find that we had taken the exact same picture of the trees above our campsite.DSC03648

Campsite View

Campsite View

I slept well, even though it was punctuated with wet “plops” from the misty trees on my tent. The trail descended steeply down the hill and then came to a sweet open ridge where the clouds parted and I got a quick view of the Columbia River. Before long, we were below the mist in the big green ferns again. DSC03654

Ridgeline

Ridgeline

Slug.

Slug.

DSC03683

Columbia River

Columbia River

We reached the Gorge Trail and took it to the Bridge of the Gods, but instead of crossing it, we immediately went looking for food. After a half-hour wait at a roadside burger stand, we ate and drank milkshakes and managed to score a ride back to the Eagle Creek TH with some friendly vacationers. It was a stellar introduction to backpacking in the PNW! DSC03700

This way to the PCT!

This way to the PCT!

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Bridge of the Gods

Bridge of the Gods

On Memorial Day I visited the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood and did a little hiking. Unfortunately my sweet new Sony A6000 took a tumble and needs to be replaced. Thank goodness for warranties! I was going to drive back to Portland for the night but the traffic was awful so I went to Trillium Lake and car-camped. I was treated to an amazing view of Mount Hood and a pack of ducklings the next morning before I left.

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

Ducklings at Trillium Lake

Ducklings at Trillium Lake

I am really looking forward to returning to Portland in September, when I will be giving a presentation on the Arizona Trail at the American Long-Distance Hiking Association-West (ALDHA-West) 20th Annual Gathering. I have plans to explore Olympic National Park while in the area and I can’t wait!

Until then, I am working my fourth summer as a guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon with Arizona River Runners. Just finished my first trip and it was a surprisingly chilly one for June- I’ll take it! So great to be back in the Canyon, the place that truly holds my heart, once again.

Little Colorado River

Little Colorado River

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Canyoneering Montrose Canyon- December 20th, 2014

I had been swamped with work and needing to get out, so when Russ put out a call for folks to go canyoneering, I jumped on the chance. There had been a big winter storm and while most would avoid canyons flowing with snowmelt in December, I was willing to brave cold temps for the reward of seeing this place I’d looked down upon on my way to Romero Pools. Immediately out of the parking lot, the big wash was running and we knew the canyon was going to have a great flow.

We hiked the Romero Canyon Trail to the ridge that separates Montrose from Romero canyons and had a short bushwhack down to the creekbed. Took a break to gear up- I hoped my 3/2 wetsuit was enough for the icy waters. It was a beautiful day and bright golden ash trees dotted the canyon. My waterproof camera has a cracked screen and wasn’t too happy about being submerged, so the pics are all from Dan’s camera.

Montrose Canyon 1st Rappel- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon 1st Rappel- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon- Photo by Dan Kinler

Photo by Dan Kinler

Photo by Dan Kinler

The canyon wasn’t terribly narrow, but still very attractive. We made our way through polished granite boulders and pools filled with amber-colored Catalina tea. The tannins in the water made it hard to see the depth.There were three rappels and quite a few mandatory swims. We had sun to warm up after the first rappel, but it eluded us the rest of the day- just around the next corner. It was a really fun day out, if a little chilly. It was worth it to see and hear all the water.

Montrose Canyon 2nd Rappel- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon 2nd Rappel- Photo by Dan Kinler

Beautiful Fall Colors in Montrose Canyon- Photo by Dan Kinler

Beautiful Fall Colors in Montrose Canyon- Photo by Dan Kinler

Photo by Dan Kinler

Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon Slide- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon Slide- Photo by Dan Kinler

Gneiss! -Photo by Dan Kinler

Gneiss! -Photo by Dan Kinler

One nice thing about this canyon is that it is a very short distance out of the canyon to the Montrose Canyon bench, then an easy flat mile back to the car. We opted to hike out in our wetsuits and harnesses, garnering a couple of interested looks on the way. I had really missed canyoneering, there’s nothing like having all the waterfalls and pools to yourself while the trail above is swarming with people on a Saturday. Love it!

Hiking out in our gear- Photo by Dan Kinler

Hiking out in our gear- Photo by Dan Kinler

In Wildlife Rehabilitation news, our educational elf owls might become famous soon! There’s talk of them being filmed for a TV special. I’ll post an update when I know more. Donate and help feed these cuties so they look good for their close-up!
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Elf Owl

Elf Owl

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Three weeks ago at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Northwest Tucson, we had a cottontail rabbit brought in by a family who had found it in their backyard dragging a leg with an exposed fracture. The Miller’s work with several veterinarians in town who are kind enough to donate their services, and they took this cottontail to Dr. Laudonio at Acacia Animal Hospital. Dr. Laudonio performed surgery on the rabbit, pinned the fracture, and set it into a cast.

Broken-leg Bunny

A week or so later, he reapplied an external cast because the original was causing the rabbit’s leg to turn outward. Six days ago, on Friday, one of the volunteers went to feed the broken-leg bunny and came back to Janet Miller, asking, “Who put those tiny bunnies in with the broken-leg bunny?” Well, it turns out the bunny had just given birth to two bunnies, and as Janet came to see if she was okay, gave birth to a third.

Handful of 5-day old baby bunnies

What a testament to the resilience of this bunny, who had been through a tremendous amount of trauma! Mom and babies are doing well, their eyes should open on the 7th day. We had to remove the bunnies from their cage to clean and feed them, and had to make sure the mom bunny could see and smell her babies, so she wouldn’t think that we were trying to take them away from her.

Mom and babies- photo by Sue Jackson

The babies are generally piled up in a bunny-heap when not nursing. It is interesting to see how quickly they put on weight with their mother’s milk vs. the formula that we feed baby bunnies at the Wildlife Rehab. I will post updates next week when they open up their eyes.

Mom and a pile of babies

Baby season at the Wildlife Rehab is winding down, and some of the babies that we have nurtured throughout the summer are now ready for release. Since I am often going to places with shade and water to go hiking, I enjoy taking animals for release with me. Yesterday, we had a kestrel (smallest of the falcons) ready for release, so today I took it to Catalina, to the Cottonwoods near the Baby Jesus and 50-year trails. There are several washes that have water in the area and plenty of tall trees for shade and perching.

Kestrel deciding if he wants to come out

Play this video if you’ve never heard the call of a kestrel before- it does it right at the beginning of the clip:

Kestrel checks out his new surroundings

The little guy  hunted some ants and wandered around for a bit. I started to wonder if he was going to just sit in the wash all day, when finally, he took to the skies and perched in a tall cottonwood. I watched for a while to make sure he was ok, then went on a little hike on the Baby Jesus Trail before returning to the car. I hadn’t been to the Baby Jesus Trail since December of last year, and it was so much lusher and greener, with running creeks and tons of summer wildflowers. The blooming orange caltrop in places reminded me of poppy-filled hillsides of spring. I found a small waterfall at the second creek crossing, and got into the pool for a soak before hiking back out to my Jeep. Unfortunately, I had not taken the stuff out of my pockets, including my high-tech Jeep key. Oops! Thankfully, it had dried out enough by the time I’d gotten back and I didn’t have to face the wrath of my husband for ruining the key.

Caltrop Bloom opening

Morning Glory Vines

Behemoth Saguaros on the Baby Jesus Tr.

Barrel Cactus Blooms

If you’d like to donate to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Northwest Tucson and have a PayPal account, you can click the “Donate” button below to make a contribution.

If you’d rather mail a check, you can make it out to “Wildlife Rehabilitation Northwest Tucson” and send it to 3690 Hills of Gold, Tucson, AZ 85745 with “Hiking” in the memo. Janet and Lewis Miller rely on donations to supplement the $10,000 a year that they pay out of pocket to feed and house all these animals and birds, and a donation of any amount is greatly appreciated!

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Who says the desert is a dry place? Photo by Bill Bens

In the beginning of July, I hiked with my friends Bill and Mitch to check out Jammed Log Pool in Sabino Canyon. We were a little disappointed when we arrived to see the pools were very low, mucky, and algae-filled. We found a lower pool that wasn’t too bad, had a swim, and vowed to return after the monsoons had revitalized the place.

Bill, very disappointed at the looks of Jammed Log Pool

On August 5th, Bill, Mitch, and I returned to Sabino Canyon to log some quality swimming time after the recent monsoon rains had recharged the creeks. I invited another hiker to join us, my friend Wendy, who I knew would appreciate a good swim in a beautiful place. Wendy has a delightful blog called Doin’ the Wendy, where people show their exuberance for the outdoors by doing a certain pose all over the world in beautiful settings. Check her blog out- you’ll also see examples later in the photos.

We started at 5:30 am, but were rewarded by shade and cool conditions all the way up to the pools. After escaping the drudgery of walking up the paved Sabino Canyon Road, the rockhopping got interesting as we searched for water crossings to move up the creekbed. A month ago, it had been dry and much easier to walk upstream. We saw the most incredible thing- a small fawn crouched in the water underneath a bush. It lay motionless, not reacting to four people staring right at it 10 feet away. I got concerned, and thought that it might be injured, so I made my way toward it to check it out. I was hoping that I wasn’t going to have to abort my hike and carry a sick fawn back to the Miller’s Wildlife Rehab, where I am a volunteer. Thankfully, the fawn jumped up and ran past the rest of my group as it sensed me getting nearby.

Say it with me...Awwwwwwww

There was a bit more rockhopping and we turned the corner to see that the Jammed Log Waterpark was open for business!!

Rushing waterfalls, a long, beautiful pool below- it was time for me to inflate my $2 bright green innertube (aka “the floatie”) and get into the water! Mitch and Bill jumped right in:

Mitch and Bill take a dip

Wendy sat on the rocks for a bit, enjoying the view before getting in:

Not bad for a Thursday morning

After I got my floatie inflated, it was time for the natural Lazy River down the creek. We all remarked how you couldn’t design a better lazy river in any waterpark in the world! Of course, I had to offer the floatie to my hiking companions, and they took turns floating near the waterfalls and down the creek.

Wendy takes a turn...

...and then Bill

Mitch goes for the natural slide

There was a great little waterfall (left of Mitch in the picture above) that you could stand underneath and look through the falls- Bill is behind the fall in the picture below:

Bill is standing underneath the second waterfall looking out, but you can't see him!

Bill later climbed up to become King of the Jammed Log:

King of the Jammed Log

It is incredible to think of the powerful flood that jammed this gigantic log between these two boulders, 15 feet above the creekbed. Bill tried to shake it, but that log isn’t going anywhere…well until the next giant flood, at least. Unfortunately, we eventually had to leave, because some of our group had places to be later in the morning. Before we did, we “Threw a Wendy”.

A Jammed Log Pool "Wendy"

It’s an exuberant “I love where I am at this moment” arms-flung-out-in-excitement stance. Look through pictures of your favorite places- you’ve probably done it without even knowing it. Here’s me doing one before I had ever heard of the term, when I finished the Arizona Trail:

Lee's Ferry 2007

We resumed our rockhopping down the creek back the way we came, but made a small detour to check out an ephemeral waterfall. We bushwhacked to the base to find there was a clear way to scramble up to the higher pools.

Rockhoppin'- photo by Bill Bens

View of the falls- we counted at least 4 tiers

Mitch scrambling up to check out the upper pools

Looking down from the second tier- photo by Bill Bens

When we all reached the top of the second tier, we found a beautiful shower with a rainbow in it that dropped into a pool. Wendy, Mitch and I all got under the spray to wet ourselves down for the hike out.

A Rainbow Wendy!

Mitch at the base where the rainbow lives

One last look at the rainbow

A worthwhile detour, indeed! We got lucky with some intermittent clouds and a good breeze on the hike out on Sabino Canyon Road. Everything along the road was so green and we could hear the rushing of Sabino Creek below.

Greened up nicely from the monsoons

Wendy said this was in the tobacco family

Roadwalkin'

10:30 am and I’ve already hiked 10 miles, gone swimming,  ans seen a fawn, a waterfall and a rainbow- what a great way to spend the morning!

And now for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Fundraiser picture- we got this Cooper’s Hawk as a baby, and were able to release him nearby. I went to feed some kestrels and left a plate out to put inside the next cage. When I returned, this is what I found:

Recently-released Cooper's Hawk comes in for a free meal

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