Monday, March 25, 2013

Cave Creek Colors

I have decided Spring time must be the best time for desert hiking. I've hiked along Cave Creek between Seven Springs and Spur Cross before, and frankly there isn't much color to see; just a dead sea of drab. But in the Spring everything is different... Everything is growing... The flowers are blooming. The sea of drab is now a variety of browns and greens, and the California Poppy has painted the hillsides gold. It is a beautiful sight indeed.

Climbing into the Cave Creek trail system.

We started on the Skunk Tank trail with a little climbing. A slight breeze kept the scorching sun at bay. Not that we have reached summer temps yet, but just hiking under direct sunlight minus any shade can be tough (at least for a north-man like myself). But the wind was nice, and we made short work of the climbs. My new friend Dave Creech (aka Wilderness Dave) came along for the trip, and I had a fun time picking his brain. The talk was mostly about blogging and photography, and It made for some really cool conversation.

Skunk Tank Trail
Enter the poppies

Things turned serious really quick when we hit the poppy fields. The wildflowers were everywhere, and they turned the hills gold. It made for some excellent photo opportunities.

Covered in poppies 

Golden hills near Cave Creek

Eventually, after a little backtracking, we found a camp for the night. It was a pretty grass-covered spot on the banks of Cave Creek. The water was clear and blue and delicious, and it was surrounded by gold-painted poppy-covered hills. It was all very beautiful. 

Cave Creek
Cave Creek camp

Opposite direction view of Cave Creek near our camp.
It was an excellent, but short trip. I am always grateful to get out backpacking, even if its only an overnighter. The wildflowers really add a whole new dimension to desert hiking, and I encourage everyone to get out right now and enjoy them while they are in full bloom. They truly are a beautiful sight, and my photos don't really do the scene justice.

I tried out the Sawyer squeeze filter for the first time. It worked as advertised, but I haven't developed an overall opinion yet, so keep an eye out for the review sometime down the road.

Also used the Solo Stove again. Worked awesome. I'll have a review for it later this week.

 One last note, I did manage to slip on a rock and fall in the creek during one of our many crossings on the way out Sunday. I kept my feet underneath me, so I only got wet up to the knees, but it could have been disastrous, as I had my Nikon on my hip, in the camera bag, with the lid ajar for easy access.

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