Page 12 - Walks In The Black Range, Vol. 4
P. 12

 A few ash trees, five leaf ivy vines and walnut trees provided a bit of fall color. Willows and locusts crowded the stream. Just as things were opening up a bit I realized I was coming to the confluence with the Silver Creek.
Silver had a lot more water than Bull Trap, and I thought if Bull Trap had some small falls, maybe Silver Creek would have
some bigger ones. I began marching upstream, with the anticipation providing the extra energy my legs needed.
Soon I was in a bare rock little box confronting the steepest of several water slides. I put down my gear and went scrambling up, encountering more slides punctuated by small falls. At the very back of the box a waterfall of at least 40 feet
in three tiers was gushing from the gray rock. A wonderful, exciting discovery that certainly was one of the highlights of 20 plus years of exploring the Black Range.
These are just a couple more of those magical spots in the Black Range that, though not far from NM 152 as the crow flies, are magnificently remote, unknown and unspoiled.
On the return I flushed out the same spotted owl from his perch that I had disturbed on my way in. I saw what I'm pretty sure was badger down by the rock dam as he headed back up hill after getting a drink. Earlier on in the hike I had seen tracks with claw impressions in the sand at this same spot, and assumed they belonged to a small bear. Now it made more sense that they belonged to this seldom seen forest carnivore.
I found the trail leading up to the saddle easily where there was an actual gate in the fence. I then followed the real trail all the way back down, placing a cairn in the spot where I had gone astray on the way up.
I ate my snacks at an old picnic table under one of the many giant alligator junipers found in the abandoned campground, and then I was on my way with my spirit changed for the better, as almost always, by spending a day in the Gila.
A general depiction of this route on a contour overlay is shown on the previous page and the exact route discussed here is shown on the satellite view at the left.

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