October 11, 2015, Prescott- The air was a bit warmer and drier today- 82, in mid-afternoon. I had two gallons of water with me, so after tending to chores and visiting with friends, I headed out for the second installment of Prescott Circle. This jaunt took me from Pioneer Park Ballfield, through a stretch of Gambel’s oak and juniper pine forest, on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, to Willow Lake, a man-made reservoir that is lined by cottonwood trees. The lake area used to be the site of a Sinagua settlement, when Willow Creek was freely-flowing and there was plentiful game in the nearby Willow Dells, a western extension of the granite boulders that abound in northeast Prescott.
Now, one must go underneath the busy thoroughfare of Willow Creek Road, and cross two dirt fill yards, to get from the Embry-Riddle Preserve to the marshland that is drying up, south of Willow Lake. I have hiked out to the lake shore, and had to walk logs, in order to hike the 1 1/2 mile round trip on Cottonwood Peninsula Spur Trail. Today, the lake was a shadow of itself. Hopefully, late Fall and Winter will bring a wet change.
Here are some views of the scenes I encountered, going all the way to the Willow Dells parking area., a distance of 8.8 miles, round trip.