We've made the hike into Turkey Creek six times, but I confess the trek of October, 2018, was a nail-biter. We had an unusually rainy fall, when monsoon storms
merged with backwash from several tropical storms. On the morning of September 2, 16 hikers stranded on a ridge in Aravaipa Canyon were rescued by helicopter. Little did we know that
at the same
the eastern end of the canyon, two of the people signed up for the Turkey Creek trip were also caught in a flash flood and had a very long walk out because their car was buried in mud.
On October 1, Tropical Storm Rosa dumped over two inches of rain on Phoenix and flooded many southern Arizona streams. Tucson received 2.65 inches of rain that month, making it the fifth
wettest October on record. Another storm pounded the Southwest on October 22nd, and with the soil already saturated, the Gila River near Gila, New Mexico, spiked at over 250 cfs. And now just days
before our trip, we noted with increasing alarm that instead of the usual spike and dramatic decline, the stream flow was actually continuing to climb.
We did our best to gather information on road conditions and water level. As usual I phoned the the Gila National Forest offices in Glenwood, New Mexico, but was told that
noone there could provide any information regarding one of their most popular recreation sites. "Oh I don't think anyone has even driven that road this year," replied the twit
who answered the phone. Wow, remember when actual rangers worked for the Forest Service?
We then called our friend Ann H. in Silver City, who kindly put out the word to friends who lived along the Gila and learned that the roads, at least, were in reasonable condition
despite the rain. So off we went, gathering at the post office in Gila, New Mexico, so we could travel together over the rough road into Brushy Creek Canyon.
Of course we were very concerned about the water crossings, but by then the water level had dropped slightly, plus we had perfected our deep water crossing technique.