Snow Hike in SE Arizona,
November 24, 2013.   About 2 Miles.
(24Dec2013)

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.

Ciricahua Mountains, Portal, AZ
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.