Sunday, August 9, 2009

Paradise Found

August is probably the one month of the year that I tend to like the least all year living in Phoenix. It isn't the heat which is no worse then July, but more the fact that it is a time where work becomes somewhat more stressful, Torrey is just around the corner but not here, and the Tour is over for another 11 months.

Nick, just back from the Land Down Under, is a bachelor again for a few weeks and we decide to take a trip to Fossil Springs this morning for a chance to see if we can find a swimming hole. Temps this morning are in the mid seventies as we meet at 6am.

After a quick gas stop in Fountain Hills where I see a few of the local moto folks headed North, we are on our way. Knowing that I have several BMW motos in front of me screaming up 87 ahead of me allows me to not worry about the cops

A first NO DPS along the road at all this morning! This is the first Leo I see

We stop for some provisions at the one place I know Nick will eat. Having custody of a picky eater is not easy let me tell ya!

So as we drive up, I tell Nick, I know of a place sort of that is rumored to be as nice as Fossil Creek but is a bit more remote.

Nick looking at my recently reclaimed AZ Gazetteer to see if he can find out a fix. I have in my email, a vague set of directions and we decide to forgo Fossil Creek in order to see if this new Mystery Area is worthy. You all know how much I love a good adventure!

Pretty soon we find our way onto a forest service road and heading into part of Arizona I haven't spent a lot of time exploring. Very Cool

We find a few cars parked along the road in the area where we think the trail should be. We hop out and get ready to go scout it out!

Since this is a pretty steep decent to the water, I take the hiking sticks. Also this is a great chance to use my little GPS with the Topo Maps loaded. This is gonna be great!

This may be the only level section of the trail. Right away we head down about a 5% grade and the trail is pretty rocky.

As we get closer to our target it gets steeper. If you look in this picture, you can see that in the distance there are the tell tail signs of a steep valley dropping off.

Nick and I are having a glorious time though! We saw 2 cars up where we parked and so far on the trail we have had the forest to ourselves! Very Worthy

We come to a section that has a series of switchbacks and I worry about them more then stopping to take a picture. So you have to trust me when I say while not super high, they are challenging to descend. Nick being more agile then me gets down about 5 minutes ahead of me. Since he is the first into the valley, we are going to call this place Nick's Swimming Hole. It is amazing!!

Nick makes short work of finding a place to soak it all in and claim the place as his own!

The water is crystal clear, cool and seems to go on forever!

Real Pebble Tech

Nick is still being very possessive of his swimming hole.

He won't acknowledge the neighbors even. Actually they were very nice people who had camped here the night before. He said he saw a bear near the camp site around 3am. I explain that with me in the valley, no bear will show. As usual, I am correct.

I put the gear down on the sand and take out the big camera and we set off to explore some more of the area.

We wander along the creek bed some exploring the great geology and each corner along the river bed reveals some wonderful things.

Incoming! I get buzzed by this monster! He was amazingly beautiful though and I watch him for several minutes.

It is about here that Nick and I realize that we are feeling ZERO stress and this was the best decision we have made in a while. The place is a hidden gem for sure

There is even a pretty cool water slide!

The only other neighbor we see is working really hard on his fishing skills.

Our Hero is one happy hiker here.

We pack up and head up the big climb. Riding the mighty Schwinn to nowhere every day is paying off big time about now. I set a pretty good pace and while my heart rate is about 130, I make good time up back to the Jeep. In the end it is just over 2 miles and I have had a great workout. Within about 10 min my heart rate is back to normal.

Nick finds some shade at the top by the car.

It is still only about 80 degrees at the top and we take some time to really cool down before heading back to town.

The road out is pretty rough for the first bit but nothing for the Jeep.

Our Hero very happy with the discovery of Nick's Swimming Hole. It will be a trip he makes again real soon as there is still a lot more to explore!

See ya next time.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photography as ususal Tommy. That was a serene oasis you found, I wish I had a spot like that as there has been a jack hammer outside my apartment all summer long from 7:30 am-5 p.m.. Your post allowed me to escape for a few minutes. Thanks so much it was a treat as ususal.