I wouldn't take a dog on a leash on the Echo Canyon Loop that my neighbor and I hiked two years ago. Even the trail going up from the Visitor Center was no fun when another friend and I tried it with Sarah. But from Faraway Ranch to the Visitor Center an easy trail beckoned, and the other day I tried half of it, beginning at the Visitor Center and walking halfway to Faraway Ranch. Had I not left my phone at home, I could have walked the whole distance and called David to pick me up at the other end, but when I left him at the parking lot I didn't know how long the trail was or how much of it I wanted to explore that day.
It was so lovely! Chiricahua Monument was busier than we expected on a weekday (spring break?), but the trail was wilderness-quiet and empty. I saw the deer before I had time to get my camera in position -- and then didn't want to alarm them. Just stood and watched. They stood and watched back. Magical moments with time standing still.
There were, however, signs of not-so-peaceful times: forest fire struck here not all that long ago.
Most trees, though, were flourishing, and many were gigantic, especially along the bed of the creek, dry at present.
Occasional openings in the canopy give way to spectacular mountain views.
There were stretches of lovely, open stretches of savannah, but whether in these parklike areas or along the dry creek, the trees are the stars of the trail.
Though sometimes my eye was attracted to smaller scenes at ground level or only slightly above.
Silver Spur Meadow: evocative name, beautiful place!
Every so often a bench had been placed at the side of the trail, and a couple of interpretive signs gave some history along the way. The "tree army" sign brought my Uncle Paul to mind, as he served in the CCC during World War II while his brothers were in the Army and Navy. Paul, who had lost much of his hearing from measles in childhood, was not considered fit for the military, but he did good work for his country, and I was always impressed by his knowledge of trees.
Were these monumental twin fireplaces part of the old CCC camp? I should have read the sign more thoroughly, but I will go back another time better prepared to linger.
Next photograph may not look like much to you, but to my eye --. Look closely! Evidence of horses!!!
Were my boots made for walkin'? They did quite a bit of it on Thursday. The dust tells the story.
Maybe I'll start at the Faraway Ranch end next time....
This looks so lovely and peaceful. I hope you do the other end too!ReplyDelete