June 4-5, 2021
Meadow Creek was a last-minute improv after a more ambitious trip was quashed by a combination of overwork, dentistry and unsettled weather. In retrospect,
we couldn't have chosen a better place to spend the first few days of summer heat.
Less than 20 miles from town, Meadow Creek is a world away. Fortunately, the rough access road weeds out all but the most determined campers.
With our dear friend and fellow Four Wheel Camper owner Ann H, we located the perfect creekside campsite in a grove of Ponderosa pine with a few ancient cottonwoods and Arizona sycamores.
From camp, we wandered upstream along an old forest road, past the remains of an old Boy Scout camp known named "Camp Tuff Moses" after Horace G. "Tuff" Moses, General Foreman of the Chino Mine in the 1930s - 1940s.
We were delighted to find some small pools of water in the stream, despite our very dry spring.
Where the road disappeared, the canyon walls closed in, and then opened out onto a lush park.
We paused frequently to photograph summer wildflowers and some interesting wildlife ...
.. including lupine ...
... Rosa Rugosa ...
... a red-spotted purple butterfly ...
... and robins (of course).
But most interesting was this damselfly, covered in what we thought might be eggs. But the red spots are actually water mites hitching a ride on the damselfly!
The canyon abruptly narrowed to a slot, and rough grey walls rose up sharply on either side. Here we found a bottle green pool just big enough for a refreshing dip.
Ann wandered a bit farther up the slot and located an enticing punchbowl with a tiny waterfall on one end (photo by Ann H).
It was a deliciously cool night. We actually turned on the furnace for a few minutes in the morning! We wandered up FR 89 (aka Aztec Park Road), crossing over one of the many
branches of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT). We ate lunch on a rocky outcropping offering glimpses of the Piños Altos Range and beyond, marveling at how close we were to Allie Canyon,
Cherry Creek, Skates Canyon, Twin Sisters and so many other destinations on our "to do" list. And it's all right on our doorstep!