Saturday, September 1, 2012

Carr Canyon Hike Under the Blue Moon

A blue moon only comes once every few years so when the offer came to go for a nighttime hike with the Full/ Blue Moon I had to say yes on this Friday night!

There were about 15 hikers for this hike to the top of Carr Canyon which is right outside Sierra Vista. We arrived at the canyon at about 6:10pm. Here is what our trail at the beginning looked like.

Overlooking the outskirts of Sierra Vista

There was a wide variety of ages and nationalities for the hike.
Two allied soldiers joined us who are in training at Fort Huachuca. One is from Albania and the other from the country of Gerogia.  There was also a former Army dentist who has since retired from the Army. She did two tours of duty in Germany,one in Belgium and many other countries. She moved almost every three years.
Also, on the hike, was a young couple with their two year old son who rode on his dad's back for the hike, our coordinating hiking couple with their two school age granddaughters from Seattle, Washington; along with a retired couple, two young ladies who brought their "wierner dog" for the hike and another couple with a large, black dog. They put a reflecting scarf on him so he would not be mistaken for a bear and we could see him when darkness came and it did get dark at times when the clouds covered the blue moon.

As you can see, "BooBoo" wanted nothing to do with that hot dog of a dog who was very rambunctious!

We all came equipped with a backpack with water, gatorade, nutritious snack, flashlight or head light. Two of the men had a gun in case we came upon a bear as bears have been sighted in this canyon. In fact, this week there was a bear in the city of Sierra Vista on Laguna Nigel where we lived last year. He might have even walked past our house. He was in the neighborhood for about 2 hours till the police finally could usher him back across Buffalo Soldiers Trail, onto the Fort and back into the mountains. They thought he probably came down from the mountains looking for food before he hibernates. With the Monument Fire a year ago some of the bears' natural sources of food have not grown back yet. In July, there was a bear  sitting in a tree in the town of Hereford, about 7 minutes from our school, just eating the leaves. After an afternoon and evening of eating, he finally climbed out of the tree and went back up into the mountain peacfully as everyone watching him worried and fretted how to get the bear out of the tree. He was no longer hungry so he left. :):)

It was a 2.5 mile hike going up constantly to the top. Yes, I sweated because right now we are still in the monsoon season so we have humidity.
I finally saw where the waterfall is that everyone talks about. When the monsoons are really heavy,  a natural waterfall is created coming down the mountain on Carr Canyon. In fact, it sometimes floods part of the road we were climbing up.

On the way up the road we saw the area before the Monument Fire where many undocumented would walk into our country. There were plenty of trees to give them cover. Now, since the fire, the trees have not grown back-it is a wide open space-clear visibility.  We did see a border patrol vehicle coming down the mountain. He stopped to ask us what we were doing and what we were looking for. The couple that came down in the vehicle before him had set up cameras to look down into the valley and there in the tall grass they saw several bear.
As you can see the sky is getting darker as the sun begins to set and the blue moon is coming out.

 The blue moon first came out as a "blood moon" as they called it. Getting its color from the setting sun.
 The setting sun - Friday, August 31st  - as we climbed higher to the top.
 Some of the rock formations along the trail.
Cloud cover hid the blue moon for a short time.  This is when we really needed our flashlights and headlights. I learned my household flashlight isn't as good as an LED flashlight, plus the LED is a lot lighter to carry on a 2.5 mile steady incline hike.
 Hikers with walking sticks
A very bright blue moon to guide our way.

The 7th grade granddaughter from Seattle and myself, ended up leading the way back down the mountain. We were the first ones to reach the cars. It was a much easier hike coming down and it was a lot cooler.  The hike ended at 9:00pm and pizza and ice cream were served at our coordinating couple's home.
It was a beautiful evening under the blue moon.
Yes, I would hike again in the evening-under a full moon to guide us.

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