Snow Hike in SE Arizona,
November 24, 2013. About 2 Miles.
After our successful road trip in 2012 to the Desert Southwest, we decided
to repeat it this year. However, we went a month later than last
year with the goal of spending Thanksgiving with my brother and his wife
who have a place in the Phoenix, AZ area. We started the trip with
another visit with the Laceys at their winter get-away in Portal, AZ.
All of us were in for a surprise when we discovered that it started
to snow shortly after we arrived. Their place is on the eastern
slope of the Chiricahua Mountains at an elevation just under 5000 ft.
This view shows the eastern edge of the Chiricahua Mountains.
It was taken with a telephoto zoom from Jon and Mary's place. Most
of the lower elevation snow had melted when this photo was taken on November
26th, but some can still be seen at higher elevations. Click the photo
for a larger view.
After a couple of days, it stopped snowing, leaving about 3 inches on
the ground. Jon and I decided to take a short hike above their place.
It would provide us with a new perspective on Arizona and a little
exercise. We followed the dirt and rock road out of their place and
headed up the hill. After perhaps a quarter of a mile, the road crossed
a creek bed of sorts. We left the road to follow this feature.
This was a surprise. We had hiked in the same area a year ago
and had found the creek to be mostly flat with a
bed of small rocks. Now we found a gully filled with boulders and
rocks up to 100 pounds. All of this evidently happened last summer
in the usual August "Monsoon" season. Jon said that his neighbors
told of the noise that they could hear from all of the moving rock during
this event. Some of the rock spilled out onto the road, but one
of the neighbors plowed the road after the Monsoon damage. Click on
the photo for a larger view.
After climbing over the rocks and going through a fence gate (there are
sometimes cattle in the area), we decided to climb out of the gully.
This put us up on a ridge, away from the trees and brush next to the gully.
We enjoyed the contrast of the snow and the numerous cactus types.
We also found a few deer track.
Although short, it was a fun junket. I'll be anxious to see this
country again. Many thanks to Jon and Mary Lacey for the hospitality.