The Hike - Pt 2

If you haven't already done so, you should read Part 1 of our hike up in the mountain of Payson, AZ.  Things will make much more sense that way.

Okay. So, after the whole getting over the high log with a cow poop on it, we just kept hoofing it (Get it hoofing??  I just crack myself up.) along the trail.

We stopped for a bit along the creek and S drank some cold, clear mountain water.  It was pretty hot by now (the weather report said it was going to be in the low 90's) so the cold creek water felt, and tasted, really good.

This was also where we weren't too sure where we were going.  Let me explain. 

There are several trails in the area.  Some easy, some difficult and some in between.  J found a site that described this particular trail, Wildcat Spring Trail, as easy and kid friendly.  Plus, it meandered through the forest and crossed the creek several times which we thought was much more interesting a hike than the other one she was thinking of.  Anyway it also had a trail description and kind of directions to follow.  We didn't really need to follow them much because the trail was easy to see and we figured out it pretty much ran along the creek.  Anyway, close to the spot we were at the description said;

At 0.7 miles, the trail crosses the creek for the last time and seems to abruptly end. Also at this point a side canyon joins the main canyon. Continue straight ahead about 20 yards and you will find an old road that will become the trail.
The going is easy along the old road. At 1.2 miles, the road turns sharply to the left (west). Another side canyon is directly ahead. Continue to follow the road for the last 0.2 miles. Wildcat Spring is on the left (north) side of the canyon. A concrete box marks the location.

We had no idea where these two canyons met, and exactly where this road was, so we kept following the trail hoping to stumble upon it.  Not to long after, we found the road.  We stopped here to decide if we should continue to Wildcat Spring or start back.  We figured since the creek wasn't running very full, the spring probably wasn't very full either, so the vote was to head back.  But not before some shenanigans from my oldest.

She felt the need to "dress up" my hair with some natural elements.  First she put tiny flowers in my bird clip.  Sorry, no pics of the accessory, but these were the flowers she used.

While J and I discussed what we were going to do, S climbed up the side of the mountain, messed with Zita, grabbed my camera for pictures, then came at me with some huge ferns.

She wasn't done with me yet!  I apparently needed a larger hair piece.

Gorgeous, I know.

I let S play with my camera for a bit more before we headed back down the mountain. 

On the way back, I let R take the camera to shoot whatever she wanted. 

And, by the way, going UP the mountain was so much easier than going DOWN.  I nearly fell more times than I can count.

As I was walking, this little red bug landed on me.  It was really pretty and kinda cute in a buggy sort of way!

It looked to me like a tiny red dragonfly, but whatever it was, it didn't bite!

So, R took pics of things like a Christmas tree S spotted.  S put the "star" on it to make it look more Christmas-y

She took some pics of another "waterfall" in the creek

And a robin who wasn't being very cooperative

At this point, we had gotten back to the log with a poop on it, but since her Aunt knocked it off, ruining her photo opp, R gave the camera back to me.

It always amazes me how you can walk the same path, or drive the same road, and it looks different going than it did coming. 

Like this side of the mountain; I didn't notice it going up the mountain, but it caught my eye as we headed back down.

So many straight lines, then the curve of the mountain.  I like the juxtaposition of the composition.  And R looking so tiny next to it all.

We came to a little watering hole and stopped so S could wash her feet, which was pointless, and I could get the entire contents of the forest out of my shoes.  I'm always getting rocks and dirt in my shoes.  Even when I wear my Birkenstocks!

Just ask D.  She'll tell you.

After S's attempt to wash her feet and my shoes were emptied, we continued on our way and I let S have a turn with the camera.

She took pictures of rocks, sticks, trees, the creek, and even a little orange bug-eyed butterfly!

There were a lot of butterflies.  The orange ones, bright yellow ones and tiny pale blue/purple ones.  They were all too fast for me to capture!

And of course she had to take pictures of  a  baby COW!  She really liked it's drool.  What can I say, the kid is weird. 

Very weird.

We had come to the end (or beginning, depending on how you look at it) of the trail and S was way ahead of me, so she walked down the hill to the creek to take pictures of things like water spiders.  Which really aren't spiders, they're bugs, but when we were kids we always called them water spiders.

I took the camera back to take a picture of the trees above us.  I think it looks really cool.

And this:

It's J's leg.  I don't know what the klutz did.  Something about falling down the hill and one leg going this way and the other going that way and her almost doing the splits which would not have been good and yada, yada, yada.

Can you tell I really listened to her telling me what happened? 

Oh.  This is funny.  I have to tell you this story!!  As she is cleaning out her scrape with a rag and creek water, I asked her if she would like some hand sanitizer in case there was still dirt in it.  She said sure, so I hand her my travel size bottle of  Purel, she dumps some in her hand then slathers it on her scrape.  Except she forgot that hand sanitizer contains RUBBING ALCOHOL!  In fact, it's pretty much all alcohol.  She screamed like a little girl and cussed like a sailor while I laughed my ass off. 

I cherish precious family moments like that.

Oh!  And this is so cute.  After J got over the sting of ALCOHOL in her scrape and while I was trying to whistle with an empty shot gun shell, Zita did this

Isn't that just the cutest thing?  She walked over there all on her own to sit perfectly under the arch made by the fallen tree.  J needs to get that printed and framed.  (As soon as I get the picture to her!)

By the end of our two hour hike, we were hot, sweaty, dirty, dusty, scrapped, bruised and tired.  All signs of either a really good day, or a really bad one.

I think we had a really good one!

To see a TON more pictures of our hike, click HERE.


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