Sunday, May 10, 2015

C H A N G E . O F . P A C E

Earlier this week while farting around on Google Maps, I came across a really great looking hiking trail not too far from my new home out here in Carefree/Cave Creek, Arizona.  It would be called the 'Jewel of the Creek' trail.  It's pretty awesome, and links up with several other great trails in the area, but it's hiking only (no bikes) so I decided to take Kenji out for some exercise and brought my Canon along.

The trail starts off pretty mild and flat - Then you begin working your way down a pretty shallow hill and towards the creek.

Stay in the direction that leads you towards 'Dragonfly Trail' and before you know it, come across a really cool pool in the creek that opens up pretty wide.  You can see water lines on the rocks around you that show just how much water flows through this area when the rain is heavy.

 You snake back (towards the direction you just came down), and then walk through some sandy (and possibly  muddy) areas.

You'll be brought to this super simple bridge that allows you to cross over the creek, and continue onward!

A quick snap from the center of the bridge, facing north.

Once you're on the other side, things look drastically different somehow! - Like you're on Mars or something.

The trail leads you alongside the cut-away, rocky hill.

And after a brief trip through a dried creek-bed, you'll come out up top on the mountain opposite to where you started! - with a great view of the surrounding other mountains, to boot!

Kenji insisted on taking a quick break.

 On the way back, you come across this AWESOME little hole in the rock-side!  Not sure if it's an old mining shaft, if it's just a cave, if it's some animals' home - but it sure was curious.  This whole area is an old gold-mining region from the early 1900's, so it wouldn't surprise me if that's what this is!

 A little too sketchy for me to venture in on my own - and without a flashlight.  Haha but Kenji sure was interested in going further!

Now he leads the way - he want's to get back home at this point. . .

Stay on the Dragonfly Trail to loop you back around to the Jewel of the Creek.

I took a quick detour to check out the creek where I heard audible moving water.

Back on the trail again, you'll go through such different terrain.  At one point, there's a few knocked over trees and bent ones like these that make it feel like you're walking through a forest tunnel.

The trail opens back up a bit again!

And apparently spring time is the best time to hit this trail, as all the blooming flora and wildlife come alive!  Here's a bloomed prickly pear cactus flower!

Then the return bridge!

These awesome rock-stairs will take you back up to the fork to either repeat the hike you just did, or stay on the Jewel of the Creek trail, and take you back to the parking area.

One last quick HDR edit from Dragonfly Trail, just about where I had to make the call to turn around and head back.  I will definitely be returning to this trail often, as it's super adventurous and rather quiet in regards to other people on the trails.  I only ran into a couple groups of people, and everyone was super friendly.
武士道 - B U S H I D O!

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