March (?), 2003
On the third attempt, we finally made it to Chivo Falls, off Reddington Road high in the saddle between the Rincon and Santa Catalina Mountains. Finding the normal route too torn up by ATVs, we approached via the backroad to Italian Falls. Even this road was pretty rough, and just overhead the peaks of the Rincons were shrouded in black clouds and swirling snow.
We had to ferry the bikes across two streams that were dry as bone on the last visit. Between the first and second stream crossings, it began to rain -- hard!
About the time I realized my rainsuit was no longer waterproof, I spotted a huge old cottonwood tree with a Marion-sized hollow.
The sun came out again and we climbed steeply over sheer rock, passing a stalled Jeep (20-somethings with very expensive SUVs are no match for two old farts on mountain bikes). Up here the whole world is silver, white and green.
Down an impossibly steep slide lay the path to the falls. It was worth the price of admission, tumbling nearly 100 feet from a banded gneiss bowl. Now we just have to figure out how to get back in here when it's 105°!