First Water

Patrick and David and I hiked to Charlebois Spring from the First Water trailhead in late February. We got a late start and the weather was threatening. But David wasn't about to let us off the hook. "The weatherman has announced 40% probability of precipitation," he said. "However, I personally am not predicting any rain."


The brooding black clouds made for a very dramatic sunset.


We camped that night in a cholla forest on Black Mesa. It was nippy overnight – we enjoyed that first dose of caffeine in the morning. We crossed into Boulder Canyon and then picked up the Dutchman Trail for the descent into La Barge Canyon. David and Patrick gave ranger John a tour of the old corral while I curled up on my pad in the sun.

Towards evening Patrick took a stroll to the top of Peter's Mesa, while David and I ambled over to Charlebois Spring ("Charly Boy" to some). There we amused ourselves by trying to separate potable water from enormous clouds of frog eggs.

The sky was still unsettled, so David rolled out his featherweight tarp, a gift from Number One Son Ian.

Here's David showing off more of his equipment.

We didn't build a fire. The sunset was glowing enough.

Patrick and David exchange a little at Bull Pass Trail junction.

From here there were very nice views of 4500-foot Weaver's Needle.

The Dutchman Trail drops into a well-watered valley that included a wide assortment of volcanic rocks.

Patrick was especially fond of this formation.

Patrick enjoys a short siesta ffter a side trip to visit an old mine high on Palomino Mountain.

Nerdy but nice. This trip included spectacular scenery, dramatic weather and scintillating discussions of bearing analysis, retained Austenite and material properties.