Saturday, May 17, 2008

Up Workman Creek

5/17/08

Nice jaunt today. We headed up to Workman Creek with Jean & Larry. The road had been closed for the winter so we wanted to check out the conditions since it reopened.

Unfortunately, since the huge Coon Creek wildfire back in 2003, so many of the trees were damaged and have since rotted and are in the process of falling across the road in many places. Some of the roads were impassable because of fallen trees blocking the road. A few of the smaller trees we managed to crawl over in the Jeeps, but we had to turn back when a series of large pines blocked our way. We turned around and continued up to Aztec Peak and the fire lookout tower. Since the wildfire season is just beginning here, the tower was manned by a retired hotshot fire Ranger named Red and his dog, Roper. Roper was the official greeter and came running happily to say hello to us as we arrived. Red said that he'd retired from fighting forest fires and had landed his dream job of manning the lookout tower, a job he loves doing. If you want solitude and enjoy being alone in the midst of nature, it would be the ideal job indeed. Because of my fear of heights, I was glad to remain on the ground when Red invited everyone up the tower steps to take a look around from his bird's eye view on the tower platform. Ralph, Larry & Jean took him up on the offer, while I enjoyed the scenery on terra firma.

The air was crisp, clean and clear up there at the 7748 foot elevation, a nice change from the low desert where summer is slowly creeping up on us. (100┬║ expected tomorrow) 
No critters were spotted today except a few lizards and a Red-tailed Hawk, unless we count the group of men and boys who were getting ready to rappel the 75 foot waterfall at Workman Creek.