Hike report for Nov. 19, 2020
By Al Bammann, photos from Elaine Moisan & Rolf Koford
On a beautiful fall day 7 hikers gathered to enjoy a hike up the South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon and do some repairs to the trail beyond the junction with the Burro Saddle Trail. And what a great time of the year to do both!
The Creek is very low but there was a nice pool in the “bathtub” and upstream there were long stretches of flow. Native long-fin dace are concentrated in the pools and were very active later in the day.
Last winter there was a few days of heavy rains and floods damaged some of the upper crossings. Dead trees continue to fall and brush continues to grow into the trail so we had our work cut out for us. We found several creek crossings needed to have a ramp built to get down the terrace. Rocks were stacked upstream to protect our work from high water (assuming it will rain one of these days). About ten trees needed to be cut or pushed off the trail. One huge log was left in the middle of a creek crossing but we channeled the flow towards it hoping it will float away.
Even though the work was hard the incredible show of maple trees gave us a lot of energy. In a small area the leaves varied from bright yellow, pink, red, orange, to purples. Where the sun hit the trees with dark cliffs behind it was a kaleidoscope.
Some trees have lost their leaves so the ground was covered by a carpet with the same mix of colors, and we enjoyed the soft crunch of dry leaves and the babbling creek.