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Thread: San Carlos Waterfalls II 7-4-14

  1. #1

    Default San Carlos Waterfalls II 7-4-14

    I knew I had to go back after last visit. Especially after Steve looked at the drop in after hiking all the way out there and then said, "Nope," and left me to climb down the 800' by myself. It was a huge area down there and I didn't feel comfortable exploring a lot of it alone especially with a storm coming in. I did manage one good pic from it that sold framed a few times
    http://www.higherground4x4.com/forum...hlight=believe

    2 years later I returned with Noel in hopes to see more and to share it with someone else. I'm not one to embellish on how difficult locations are to get to. In fact, I believe it's safe to say, based off of friends' (and x friends') comments, that I tend to forget the hard parts and leave it out in the description on the invite. This adventure is different- the obstacles are memorable. Sure Part 1A is a short flat 2 mile hike, but it's hot, exposed, ugly, the dirt is soft (almost like hiking in sand) and the hidden rocks in the grass are stumbly. Make it this far and then you have an off-trail 800' canyon drop. We'll call the first 1/2 of this drop-in Part 1B. You are going to get scratched up, you are going to have to navigate through cacti to keep from falling down. You will go down to avoid catclaw and then have to go back up to avoid the next ones and still be battle torn in the end. Part 1C, is a dirt slope or a boulder slope, whichever you are more comfortable with. I've done both and am not sure even which one I like better. Make it far enough out and down and you're golden. You've arrived at a place few others have seen and your hot season choice is rewarded with excellent swimming.

    Noel always impresses the crap out me. I usually worry constantly about an invitee, how they're holding up, if they are sure it's still worth it to them, will they make it in and out? She's "in it for the following of you" and says, "This is fun," when I'm not sure it really still is. She even liked the hot lava rock boulder slope hopping.

    Once down we blew up our tubes and jumped in. The water here is a good 25 to who knows how deep. We swam up into the slot grotto area and then climbed around the waterfalls. It was just one of those things I had to do so I climbed up and behind the large waterfall. It really hammered down on me but I managed not to slide and fall. Any injury would be bad down here. I really don't know how that would pan out well.

    After we'd had our fill of that spot we climbed a little out and then over to the other falls. We swam and floated about for a good while until the clouds worried us too much. She encouraged me the whole time to take as many photos as I wanted and busied herself with enjoying doing nothing in the beauty.

    The hike out is reverse of the down. It is somehow easier if you just first gear it and go straight up. We opted for the free climb near the top instead of the cacti and thorns and were treated to some good petraglyphs on the rocks. Then the traverse out happens and you feel your knees and legs protesting. You make it through the 5 stands of cholla forest, finally come upon the rattlesnake you knew had to be lurking somewhere in the tall dead grass fields all aong, and then you're back at the vehicle.

    From there we drove to a great camp where suddenly huge trees appeared, beautiful smells, and many different birds calls. She set up the blow up bed in the back of the X while I set up the tarp to extend our living space. Dinner was cooked and then the skies opened up and we got out the homemade limoncello and playing cards and then retired. The rain sounded amazing on the roof and tarp for much of the night.

    The next day was Part 2 of the waterfall hunt. While a much shorter hike (less than .5mi), it is poison ivy city. It is everywhere. It might not be so bad if not for the blackberry vines in between, helping the poison work it's way under the skin. I tried to cut as many vines back as I could for her; I knew from experience no matter what I did, the ivy would get me.

    I always expect to find a rattler out on the hot Part 1 hike, but not on Part 2.
    When you can find one, you can hike on one of the game trails. These still have very low lying branches so you know nothing tall has been making the trail. Once you start seeing the bear poop it all makes sense, you are walking in some dark footprints that can't be too old. At one point I did one of the good guy things of stopping and looking back without looking like you're stopping and looking back to see how she's doing behind you. After confirming our closeness I turned back around, refocused and saw the black rattler less than a foot away from me coiled up in the dark wet leaves pretending like it was another poop pile. I hope God heard the thank you amidst all of my other loud words and that the snake will actually rattle next time.

    Part 2 is quick enough over and I'm doing my best to remember not to scratch the bug bites I got yesterday to not help the ivy along with its task. I can hear the water and.. we're at the top of what I call green falls. We stayed at the top for a while taking it all in, watching the trees come alive as the bugs, bees, and hummingbirds went to town on the pollen, musing about Adam and Eve's lives. It was still morning so we let the sun come out a little more before hiking another bear trail up, over, and down to get to the big swimming pool. Tubes got reblown up and we relaxed in the water for a long time before calling it quits.

    Once we hiked out, we baby wipesed down and changed in hopes of staving off any more PI exposure but I still managed to get a good spot in an ok place. We drove back, stopped at Apache Burger (much recommended) and made it back in time to see peeps at Matt's Higher Ground party even thought we were all tuckered.

    Here's a smattering of real camera, cell phone snaps and Insties:

    San Carlos 1 by No Stone Unturned Photography, on Flickr
    *Shot in partial cloud cover with wide end of Tamron 17-55 with B+W Kaesemann CPL and B+W 10 stop at 46 seconds of exposure at f/5.6.


    San Carlos 2 by No Stone Unturned Photography, on Flickr
    *Shot in cloud cover with wide end of Tamron 17-55 with B+W Kaesemann CPL and B+W 10 stop to allow 110 seconds of exposure at f/5.6

    Scale after getting to the other side of the falls








    Hiking out




    Camp










    Last edited by Skatchkins; 07-08-2014 at 03:04 PM.
    Disclaimably quotastic
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    armchaircrisis.com

  2. #2

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    Oh and this shot was so wide, I used 9 separate panned photos to merge and capture it

    Original Size: http://hikearizona.com/t2014/07/07/O...4756334-10.jpg
    Disclaimably quotastic
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  3. #3
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    Awesome! Did you bring the shed home?
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbob309 View Post
    Awesome! Did you bring the shed home?
    Nopes. Do you want them when I find more?
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  5. #5
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    Only If they are not a pain in the butt to pack out.
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbob309 View Post
    Only If they are not a pain in the butt to pack out.
    I'd go back tomorrow if I could
    Now I know though.
    Disclaimably quotastic
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  7. #7
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    So much awesome. Always amazes me how much beauty like this is hidden in the AZ desert. So cool.

  8. #8
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    dibs on any extra antlers after bobs filled up

    cool pics too, looks like you had a great time
    Zombie Caving
    Siblings are like sausages. Itís better not to see them being made.

  9. #9
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    Still worried about the shot where all of your clothes are on the rock... ;-)

    Killer report, Mike.
    The Dusty Gnome / White Collar Publishing
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  10. #10
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    Dibs on the xtra shoes in the pics.
    <><

    No plan B.

    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger except for bears, bears will kill you.

    #Ibelieve

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