Finding Fall in the High Chiricahuas

October 13-15, 2017

It's the end of October and Tucson is still having high temperatures in the 90s. When Al suggested we head up to the high Chiricahuas for some ham radio "work", we jumped at the chance, and David and Adele also signed on.

At 8200' temps were only in the 70s, and overnight we enjoyed a light rain drumming on the roof of the camper.
Dennis and Al, against a lovely overcast sky.
Arizona is famous for its spring wildflowers, but the truth is we have wonderful wildflowers all year long.
We were planning to hike the old Bootlegger Trail, but Rustler Park was under one of its random, unannounced closures. So we bushwhacked uphill through a tangle of downed trees to see if we could find the trail from Rustler to Barfoot Park.
there, albeit defended by blackened stumps and scratchy brush.
The view from of Barfoot Peak from Buena Vista Peak, site of Barfoot Park, which burned to the ground in 2011.
In this high and wild place, we expect to see abundant wildlife, and we are rarely disappointed. Ravens, hawks and acorn woodpeckers were frequent visitors to our campsite, and a flock of Merriam's Turkeys hangs out in the meadow below us.
This young buck was far more curious than frightened.
Although severely damaged by a series of catastrophic fires, there are still pockets of senseless beauty in the high Chiricahuas. You just have to look (not always very far).