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Thursday, March 9, 2023

Destination: Clear, Running Mountain Water

The day's goal --

[Note: This is the second of two outdoor adventures from February, the first having taken place on Saturday, February 18, and posted on Monday, March 6. We made this hike featured in today's post on Saturday, February 25. Sunny and I also made another expedition, mostly by road, but that one also included a walk along (and, for her, into) Bonita Creek) on March 1. Soon another batch of photos will take us on Cochise County's Ghost Town Trail, and then there there will be a trip to Italy. You won't want to miss Italy, I'm sure!]


Today I give you the payoff right at the beginning, in the top image, rather than beginning with a road shot, because the objective of Friday’s hike, Dragoon Springs, required first of all finding the way into the section of the Coronado National Forest where the springs are located, and that took us longer than anticipated. 

Getting to the beginning

After a couple of false starts, however, we found our trailhead. The morning was overcast, my friend bemoaning the lack of blue sky, but the dogs didn’t care. As always, they were happy to be together and ready for adventure. 

It didn’t take long for Sunny to find her first bone of the day. It wouldn’t be the last for either Sunny or Yogi. 


Where the road branched, we eschewed the direction leading to the old stagecoach station (there are some old stone foundation walls and the final resting place of the only Confederate soldiers to die in Arizona, which you can see here), because it was running water we wanted to see. Our destination was only a mile away – but remember, these are mountain miles. We also had to get by a big bull and several curious cows (no, no photos of the cattle -- I was otherwise occupied), but employing leashes and sticking to the road, we passed by safely. The bull moved off the road when Sunny barked. And our road curved through beautiful hilly grassland.

BIG FIND! ...Maybe too big?

Next dog treasure was a seriously exciting find, but Sunny decided it was too big to bring along. Anyway, the jackpot lay yet ahead….

Jackpot! Deer leg!

Now the dirt road began to twist and turn. A deep cut down below to our left held the creek, which we could glimpse now and then from our lofty edge, and you wouldn’t expect to reach a creek by going upslope, but we were going to its source, the place from which it flowed – or at least as close to the source as an old lady (moi) would be able to get. 

Twisting road

Looking over the edge... water far below.

And now, here is my friend, as far along as she’s been before, which turned out to be far enough for me. We stopped long enough to take some nourishment and rest and enjoy the sight and sound of the running water….

We are there!

It is cool and beautiful!

I love it!

But then (not my idea) we went some distance farther on what quickly became a veritable goat path: a very narrow trail, all loose stones, and no “shoulder” whatsoever, which meant that one slip or false step would mean a precipitous and painful downhill slide. I managed a few photographs (largely because I was so much more comfortable stopping and standing than forging ahead) but finally admitted I needed to turn back. Thus a full day’s expedition was truncated to half a day. 

"I'm not afraid of heights. It's edges I don't like."

Looking over the edge, I was ready to turn back.

I was happy with everything I’d seen, though, not only the grand mountain vistas – always thrilling – but also the little things along the way. 


And the next day, Sunday, brought high winds, cold, wind-driven sleet and horizontal snow, so it was good we used the grey morning to seek out the springs. It was a beautiful place, a beautiful hike – and I have an idea for taking a new and different direction the next time we go.

Beautiful day!

Beautiful scenes!

Good dog!


Karen Casebeer said...

I enjoyed your hike through your pictures and commentary, Pamela. I especially loved the images of the grasses. They were so striking.

P. J. Grath said...

Aren't the grasses beautiful? Glad you liked them, too. I love the sight and smell of grasses so much I can easily imagine living another life as a horse. But then, I imagined that countless times as a girl....

Anonymous said...

All so interesting and beautiful! But with my collector personality I would have scooped up that wonderful backbone and headed home.

Marolyn said...

Everything was very beautiful! With my collector personality (which gets me in lots of trouble) I would have scooped up that backbone and headed home. Love

P. J. Grath said...

Marolyn, you should see the bone collection we already have!

marolyn said...

I can imagine, post pictures!