Our epic monsoon continues so when I was invited to join a small group to a previously unvisited, by me, location in Sabino Creek having waterfalls and pools, I gladly accepted. First, we had to trek about 3.5 miles on Sabino Canyon Road, having numerous stream crossing where often, the stream had risen above the road. My companions mostly wore something other than their "first string" shoes while I had not considered that. Hope that isn't a mistake as I trooped through water plenty of times.
Currently, hiking in Sabino Canyon and elsewhere is like walking in a lush arboretum. Flowering plants abound.
The frequent stream crossings provided wonderful looks up and down stream.
Much of our hike was in the shade on a day having a forecast high in the upper 90's. Plenty of humidity so this isn't one of those, "yeah, sure it's 100 but it feels like 85 degrees". No, the conditions felt like hiking in July in the midwest.
The sun begins to crest above Thimble Peak. What a great hike to the top of that earlier this year and due for a return visit as soon as the temps cool. Upon reaching shuttle stop #8, we leave the road and begin....
....hiking upstream. I thought this a particularly beautiful image with the sun shining on the nearby slopes. There were a lot of rocks and boulders, bordering the creek as we continued and soon, glancing to my right....
.....I saw not one but two, black tail rattlesnakes. I suspected a den and other snakes could be in our midst so I let everyone know. Each of us froze, checked our surroundings and determined the snakes were newly emerging for a morning hunt. Both snakes were retreating home so I didn't get the best image...this time.
My eyes are always looking for snakes and I am careful to see where my hands and feet will be before I take a step. On this hike, once alongside the creek, it seemed like a rich environment for rattlers so I was especially vigilant as Diane works her way ahead of me.
We reached our destination and some of us waded in. Since the stream is not fed by snow melt as it would be in the spring, the temperature was refreshing.
We did not linger for too long, regathered our things and unfortunately, the only way to return was past where we had seen the snakes. Oh, while I was waiting for the group, I had been sitting on a ledge and while pushing myself up, dislodged a rock and beneath it, a scorpion scampered away....nice! We approached where we had seen the rattlesnakes and strode cautiously. Sure enough.....
....one of them had reemerged and was laying exactly where we were required to step. The buzz of its tail was rather faint but it was pissed off because once more, it headed back into the den. Since it was taking awhile, most of us dropped down to the stream as an alternative.
We reached a spot that our hike organizer, Bill, described as the criss crossing falls. A guy was posing as his girlfriend took a pic. Some of us again....
....entered the water and even went into an alcove beyond the falls. We eventually got back onto the road and finished with a little over 7 miles. Good times with good people.