The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WWMW - French Joe Canyon

On Sunday afternoon, the weather was just too perfect to stay home. The temperature was nearly 80 and there was a good breeze blowing about. In fact, had there been no wind, it would have been too warm to hike comfortably.

We took a hike we had not known of previously, but having seen it mentioned in the local paper piqued our hiker's curiosity. French Joe Canyon is in the Whetstone Mountains of southeast Arizona. If you do an advanced search on Google you can find several interesting sites with historical and natural information. Apparently this is quite a site for birdwatching.

We didn't want to drive the car all the way in on a poor road, so we parked by the highway and walked in. The sky was perfect and clear and wonderfully blue. It's been very dry here so it was pretty dusty. We weren't sure where we were going and there really weren't any signs to guide us. We wandered part way up a dry riverbed. The water has cut quite a gully into the earth and one can see how the ground under the few inches of soil is nothing but rocks. No wonder hardly any thing can be cultivated out here, at least not without a lot of excavating.

At the end of the first turn we took we came across several old corrals and a tumbledown stable or shelter of sorts. I wouldn't say that this site was abandoned; I can imagine it still being used for cattle or horses. This particular trail went no further than this, so we turned around and went back to the last intersection in the road. It seems that this turn was the one we should have taken in the first place; we found ourselves heading up into the main portion of the canyon. The wind was quite strong coming down the canyons and over the top of the mountain range. The cloud formations were really unusual.

About an hour later we finally found ourselves up on the trail itself. The trail was taking a gradual upward incline and we found ourselves up in the trees, a very pleasant shady route. There were several dry creekbeds that we crossed and we found a concrete trough used for collecting spring water. Containers like this one were often built to collect the spring water for the use of both man and beast.

Unfortunately it was starting to get too late in the day to go much further up the trail into the canyon. We had lost too much time on the wrong road. However, we did not regret the wrong turn. We enjoyed the exercise, the sun, the fresh air, and the serendipity of exploring the area. I'm sure we will soon return better prepared to explore further up the canyon.

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Blogger The Knitting Blog by Mr Puffy the Dog said...

Wonderful pictures. I feel like I was actually there!

11:13 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I miss the sunshine! Here we go with your wonderful pictures that i NEED through april around here! More snow tonight. The water basins were very interesting to me. Thanks for that

4:44 AM  
Blogger thegabbyknitter said...

It looks and sounds like a great hike. It's all gray and muddy snow where we are. So I really enjoy seeing all your beautiful pictures.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

Yes, this is sthe BEST time for Southwestern pictures. Thanks for the sunshine!

9:16 AM  

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