(Not Finding) Cargodera Spring – 11/23/2017

A tree over Cargodera Canyon. November 2017.
A tree over Cargodera Canyon. November 2017.
Map showing Cargodera Spring. November 2017.
Map showing Cargodera Spring. November 2017.

Thanksgiving – I am standing in the spot marked as Cargodera Spring – a tree hangs over the canyon, there are deer tracks in the sand and a hazy white stain reveals where a bird perched above the canyon floor – we have already worked up and down  canyon from this spot, there are water stains everywhere, but nowhere surface water or signs of Cargodera Spring.

It is really no surprise that we don’t find the spring – topo maps are always best considered beautiful works of historical fiction, often correct, current, and recognizable enough that it is easy to forget that they are frozen in time while the details of the real world constantly change – any blue marking on a map of the Santa Catalina Mountains is suspicious at best…

We watch a single Coati work up canyon standing still until his tall tail disappears – after one last glance for the spring we hike back to the Sutherland Trail and enjoy the sunset on the way out.

Water marks in Cargodera Canyon near where Cargodera Spring is marked on the map. November 2017.
Water marks in Cargodera Canyon near where Cargodera Spring is marked on the map. November 2017.
Another sunny and clear Thanksgiving in Tucson! November 2017.
Another sunny and clear Thanksgiving in Tucson! November 2017.
Sunset near the Sutherland Trail. November 2017.
Sunset near the Sutherland Trail. November 2017.

Conjuring – 7/27/2016

Conjuring 1. August 2016.
Conjuring 1. August 2016.

 We are surrounded by what seems like an infinite variety of insects – walking this trail in the daylight, just hours earlier, there was little hint of the magnificent horde that would be conjured from the darkness…

Conjuring 2. August 2016.
Conjuring 2. August 2016.
Conjuring 3. August 2016.
Conjuring 3. August 2016.
Praying Mantis. August 2016.
Praying Mantis. August 2016.

If you enjoy insects certainly don’t miss Arizona: Beetles Bugs Birds and more!

Death, Wildflowers, Rescues, Falls – 2/28/2016

A Saguaro floating above the shadows on the slopes of Pontatoc Canyon. February 2016.
A Saguaro floating above the shadows on the slopes of Pontatoc Canyon. February 2016.

The latest Santa Catalina Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction Project update was recently released:

  • Ewe #39555 was killed by a mountain lion 2/14 or 2/15 – the lion was pursued but not found/killed.
  • 44 collared sheep are known to be alive – with a number of collars out of battery life and continued breeding in the range this count is less relevant than it was 12+ months ago – although the information from this subset of the population is still very interesting.
  • 18 lambs have been seen this season!

Look beyond poppies for additional worthy wildflowers – Arizona Daily Star, Best places to see Arizona’s wildflowers – Arizona Republic: Wildflowers!!! Notes on some of the flowers that are blooming and a mention for Catalina State Park as a great place to see wildflowers.

Hiker injured, rescued from Seven Falls on horseback – Tucson News Now: A leg injury left a hiker unable to walk in the Seven Falls Area – the hiker was taken out on horse by the Southern Arizona Mounted Search and Rescue.

PCSD rescues hiker off of Windy Point – KVOA.com: A hiker fell and suffered a broken leg in “a remote rocky area” near Windy Point – the hiker was flown out by the Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter “SHERIFF 1” – video from the helicopter of the nighttime pick up.

Seven Falls: A magnet for waterfall watchers – Arizona Daily Star: Some details on the popular hike to Seven Falls with a few pictures.

Rescues/Accidents/Incidents including information from the SARCI Newsletter:

  • Sutherland Trail 2/12/2016 – A hiker intended to go up Sutherland and then come back down via the Mount Lemmon Trail and Romero Canyon Trail but lost the Sutherland Trail in the snow and was not prepared for night hiking – the hiker was able to hike out with an escort.
  • Romero Canyon Trail 2/21/2016 – A hiker called saying he was ill and in Romero Pass – the hiker was able to hike down and refused help other than gatorade.
Sunset in Pontatoc Canyon. February 2016.
Sunset in Pontatoc Canyon. February 2016.

Baby Jesus Loop – 2014/5/11

1405 50 Year Trail Dusty Conditions
The view from the 50 Year Trail – the wind/dust almost obscuring the view of Pusch Ridge in the middle of the day! May 2014.

The windy/dusty – slightly cooler – day pulled us out to the west side of the Santa Catalina Mountains for the Baby Jesus Trail Loop.

Golder Ranch Road Parking Area – 50 Year trail (a counterclockwise loop today), the single track of ends too soon… Dirt roads and gunfire as the background… Trail Link – Sutherland Trail, I barely paused at the junction with the Baby Jesus Trail, the thin track thru the desert was marked but seemed too small, thankfully Alison corrected our path.

The Baby Jesus Trail seems to get surprisingly little use near the junction with the Sutherland Trail – cows – the Wooden Trough Spring Tank has clear flowing water, a great surprise!

1405 Wooden Trough Spring Tank
Wooden Trough Spring Tank – we were surprised to see the water, running and clear. May 2014.

The cows have taken over trail building in this area and at times following the trail is a bit of a guessing game, today we are glad that the last hiker on this trail seemed to know it rather well and left us beautiful foot prints to follow.

The lower stretches of the Baby Jesus Trail are especially beautiful as it follows a ridge and canyon past beautiful rock formations – easy to see why the lower portion of the trail receives more use.

1405 Moon with Samaniego Peak and Mount Lemmon
The moon rising between Samaniego Peak and Mount Lemmon. May 2014.

A short section of road – single track on the 50 Year Trail – the moon rising between Samaniego Peak and Mount Lemmon – Pusch Ridge – home…

1405 Pusch Ridge from the 50 Year Trail
Pusch Ridge. May 2014.