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Five hikers braved the weather—despite the forecast showing only a small chance of rain after noon, it was already starting to rain before we were even hiking—and drove into Sulphur Canyon before walking the road and, when that disappeared into a swath of rubble and flood damage, a series of cow trails up the canyon. We passed the water tanks at the original end of the road, which were both full to the brim and looking good.
After a while of traversing the main canyon, which aside from the flood damage is looking quite nice and healthy with many full size oak trees and open grassland underneath and on the surrounding slopes, the trail we were on swung into a side canyon and we decided to follow it for a while. Eventually it faded away and disappeared, and we didn't see much of a reason to continue in this direction, but it did get us up and out of the trees, with a broad view of the canyon. We dropped back down and continued up the main canyon, amazed by how deep floodwaters had cut the canyon bottom since we'd last been in here. We rockhopped up the canyon, from large boulder to even larger, eventually coming to an area sheltered from the wind, where we had lunch before heading back out. The weather alternated between sunny and rainy, back and forth, all day, even hailing briefly a few times. On our return, we found more of the old road and followed it for a while, enjoying the easier walking.
Next Thursday, March 30, we will be hiking the McCord Trail to the overlook rocks above Portal. Meet at the Silver Peak Trailhead at 9 (AZ) / 10 (NM) to carpool to the trailhead.
In three weeks, we will have our "hike" day be on Tuesday, April 11 instead of the Thursday of that week in order to correspond with joining John Sumner's trail crew working in South Fork. You'll need an up to date volunteer agreement with the Forest Service to participate. If you don't have one, fill out the attached form and either scan and email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Volunteer Form" or mail to:
ATT: Veronica Forrest
Douglas Ranger District
1192 W. Saddle View Rd.
Douglas, AZ 85607
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