A couple of weeks ago, local station KGUN, an ABC affiliate, contacted me about doing a story on group hiking in our region. I have no idea how they found me but over time, an arrangement was made for a station rep to visit us at the start of our hike to Tanque Verde Falls. I think each of our 11 member group got some time on camera and here is a link to the short video that aired on Wednesday morning: https://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/strength-in-numbers-group-hikes-gain-popularity-in-southern-arizona?fbclid=IwAR1FzOTpkBsgXK0AydyWLOAoyZil7jUxL-zHEh6UiiqieBTIxFJ58CTJB0A
We descend to the canyon floor. To the west, the canyon broadens as it becomes a wash to move excess rain or snow melt through Tucson. But to the east....
....oh what a wondrous boulder hopping, canyon crawling, slick rock walking experience it becomes. This is my 5th visit to the segment of the canyon that leads to the falls (another segment starts above the falls and leads to an honest to gosh, nude beach). Yet, it's such a jumble of boulders, turns and bewildering obstacles, prior experience doesn't count for much.
The first of many stream crossings is reached and How Bout That!?! Someone has left a couple of pieces of plywood to assist our crossing. Hiking buddy, Lorna, leads the way.
I think one of the reasons it appears somewhat unfamiliar to me is I've hiked it when the canyon is dry and one can walk straight up the middle with no problem. Other times. like today, the water flow is healthy and alternative route finding is required. Whatever, it's a very fun hike with wondrous views.
The sun begins to peak over a nearby ridge.
This is a full body workout rather than a typical hike as we reach and cross the stream, many times.
Amy decided to pioneer a new route and hoisted a boot as her reward.
So, so atypical of what we normally encounter during our hikes.
And then we reached this spot. The rock extended too far out to allow passage as Marcia gives it a good try. I stuck a foot into the water and crawling out, as did Marcia and Amy. Meantime, Marc and Lorna did some alternative exploring behind and above us and found a much better route. OK, I've filed that for next time!
Our 3, having waded through the water, were committed now to climbing this wall, on the right, where we would be reunited with the others who wisely took the workaround. The problem though, since our shoes are now wet, the rock surface becomes very slippery. Being the first one up, I benefited from dry rocks but of course my passing left behind wet rock. Amy....
....was next and began to have a problem as both her hands and feet were sliding. Having an obligation to this report, I took a couple of pics before leaping into action and saving her. And then....
...after 2 hours of hiking but having covered only 1.5 miles, we reach the falls. An amazing place to spend some time, soaking it all in. After awhile, we geared up and began the hike down canyon.
As we continued our descent, we observed an awesome sun halo!!! Note the rainbow around the perimeter of the sun.
At some point we became too spread out and had three different groups, looking for a different way down canyon. Lorna led one group on the opposite bank where she made it through. The others too made it but not before one, Marianne, slid about 15' but managed to catch herself before tumbling into the water. Ummm, did I already say that the majority of rescue missions and deaths in our region are sourced in this canyon?
It wasn't all walking over, under and around boulders, ha, ha. We all made it out and then, Amy invited the group for pizza and drinks.....
All but one of our group made the short drive where we ate, drank a little and enjoyed the company.