April 2, 2017, Prescott- The second good part about yesterday, after being treated to a lunch prepared with love and caring, was a hike in the upper reaches of Queen Creek Canyon. The trail I took lies about a mile or so east of Oak Flat. A sign, at the bridge over Queen Creek, refers to Devil’s Canyon. I would rather use the name Spirit Canyon, in the same vein as those, who love Wyoming’s iconic towering butte, use the name Spirit Tower.
So, there I was, again almost totally alone, with the gathering wind and dark, but high clouds, and one Arizona gray squirrel. The canyon is as magnificent here, as it is closer to town. The trail here leads up to the feet of the Pinal Mountains, which include Picket Post Mountain, on their western edge.
As always, one can imagine the rhyolite spires as fortresses and sentinels.
This scrunchy-faced sentinel was “alert”.
This rock almost reminded me of ribbon candy.
Wild flowers, while still sparse, are popping up in bunches, here and there.
Atop the canyon, alligator junipers take over from cacti, oaks and mesquite.
The Pinal Mountains lie ahead, across a trail-less expanse of about two miles.
As if to say “Heads up, there are fiery days ahead”, a small patch of Mexican Firecracker greeted me, as I got close to my car, at the end of the hike.
Whether the days ahead are tranquil or turbulent, I know that I have plenty of friends, both human and spirit, in the vast expanse, of which Arizona is a central part.