November 4, 2017, Cave Creek-
I was due for another visit to SunFlour, today, but the notice was clear: Closed for Vacation. I wish the ladies a special, relaxing time-off. Today is Wild West Day, in Cave Creek, and there is much that’s joyful about a visit to Local Jonny’s, especially in the evening, so off I went.
Looking for a trail, to get back in the groove, I followed Spur Cross Road, noticing a trail that hugged the road for about 1/2 mile, before veering off towards the mountains to the north of town. I wasn’t going to take on a lengthy route, so on towards Spur Cross Ranch it was.
About 1/4 mile shy of the Ranch, I came upon Jewel of the Creek Preserve. This 26-acre unit is owned by Desert Foothills Land Trust, which is dedicated to augmenting the conservation efforts of the State of Arizona and Maricopa County.
Dragonfly Loop turned out to be perfect, for what I wanted to accomplish. I chose to stick with the eastern half of the Loop, and thus got some good vibes from the dry Cave Creek. The trailhead is here, and I encountered a family of four, who were having a professional photo shoot, not far from here.
The mountains to the west are part of Cave Creek Regional Park, which also has Go John Trail, a moderate trail that introduced me to Cave Creek, two years ago.
The area that is drained by Cave Creek features Gray Basalt steps and short walls.
Here, the Dragonfly has a mild ascent, before going back down to Cave Creek, crossing the dry wash. It’s not always so, but Aug-tober saw zero rainfall.
Swallows and other desert-nesting songbirds have left for the season. They left a couple of last season’s domiciles behind.
After passing by another hiker, who was reading passages from the Bible, I came upon this little cave, in the creek bed wall. No animal seemed to be using it as a den, but I didn’t examine the facility too closely.
An abode of a different sort beckoned, just beyond the trailhead. I believe this is the old Spur Cross Ranch House, now a caretaker’s residence.
I will be back, over the next several months, to further explore the Preserves and Regional Park, as well as to give Local Jonny’s more business. The slaw sliders, accompanied by mellow guitar tunes, were a perfect little ending to this exemplary Fall outing.