Sunday, September 18, 2011

Willow Creek to the Salt River

I was very curious to see what the rest of Willow Creek looks like. I went back to it on Saturday afternoon. A long time ago, somebody must have dumped a lot of 50 gallon drums near where I parked this time. They were scattered all along Willow Creek and the wash I followed to Willow Creek. Made me wonder what kind of toxic wastes might have been dumped into the water supply.

Old tires, 50 gallon drums, and shot up cans, bottles, and hub caps define this hike. One of the reasons I don't like hiking so close to busy roads.

I had trouble with my DeLorme PN-40 on this hike. Since I was in a narrow canyon, it couldn't acquire enough satellites to navigate. That shouldn't be a big deal, BUT the PN-40 asks if you want it to continue searching for satellites or give up. Since the receiver is in a pocket of my backpack, I don't know it's waiting for an answer. Still, that shouldn't be a complete disaster. I mean, I should have the GPS track up until the point that it was unable to navigate any more, right? Wrong! The two times that my PN-40 has gotten into this situation, it deleted all the track data it had collected up to that point. I might as well have never tuned it on. Seems like a serious software flaw. I'll have to check online sometime and see if there's a fix. This time, not only did it delete all track data (which is stored in non-volatile memory, so it wasn't deleted because of what I had to do next), but it froze up like a Windows PC. None of the buttons did anything. I had to pull the batteries out before I could do anything with it. This behavior is really aggravating. Good thing I don't rely on it for anything other than geotagging pictures. For some of Saturdays pictures, I knew exactly where I was when I took them. For a lot that I took in Willow Creek, though, I had to guess.

This PN-40 and the track it had saved until this happened are toast.

Anyway, back to the hike. I stumbled across some javelinas. There were at least 3 and they all ran different directions. I tried to get pictures but they didn't turn out very good.

Here's a javelina leaping through the air.

The closer I got to the Salt River, the steeper Willow Creek became and the larger the boulders in Willow Creek. I took me almost 15 minutes to cover the last 200 feet of the hike. It would have taken some rock climbing equipment to go any further than I did.

A view of the river, which is good since I couldn't go any further.

I didn't stay there long. The sun was getting low and so I had to get close to the truck before it got dark. Also, I wanted to be able to see the javelinas if I came across them again. Not because I like seeing javelinas, but because I like to keep an eye on animals that can tear me up if they feel so inclined. Click below to see all of the pictures.


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