I was driving in to the Park the other morning, and as I approached Lost Horse Road, I was struck by the light on the line of rocks in the distance. These rocks always remind me of Asian Scroll Paintings, so fluid and emotive. I always imagine them in misty weather and fog swirling around. As I was walking toward the rocks, I noticed there were still so many flowers blooming in this area: Dogweed, Pincushions, Brittlebush, Phacelia, Larkspur and plenty I can't name. I decided just to walk along the base of the rock formations and see what I could find. It was such a beautiful morning, nice and cool with the scent of flowers in the air. I walked up as far as Hemingway, moving in and out of the rocks and little canyons, just enjoying looking at everything before me. Before I knew it, it was time to head back for breakfast, so I slowly made my way back through the valley, enjoying every moment.
One of our guests at Spin and Margie's tipped us off to this hike, so we gave it a shot. It's a great hike with lots of interesting vegetation, views and rock formations to see. It's also a good alternative to the Pine City hike, because that parking lot gets full on the weekends. Lucky Boy pullout is about a mile before you get to the Pine City parking lot. There's only room for four cars, so go early. Check it out on line so you know what the hike entails. It's a nice, moderate hike of about 3 miles round trip.
Everyone had been telling us to go and see the flowers at Whitewater Preserve recently. So, we jumped in the car with some lunch fixins and headed out to spend the afternoon exploring. We stopped first at the Ranger Station/Visitor Center and then headed out on a trail where you could see one of the Desert X Sculptures set dramatically against the cliffs. After exploring around in the valley by the river, we decided to get back in the car and head down to where the road crosses the river and hike up into the flowers from there. On the way up to the top, we saw a nice little depression in the grass that was perfect for our repast. If you've never been out to Whitewater Preserve, make it a point to go. It's the sight of a former Trout Farm with the pools still intact, a beautiful sight, even saw some Trout! There are picnic areas with tables, grassy lawns and easy river access and some very nice hikes, so there's plenty to do there. It's also a wonderful place to go and hike in the fall when all the Cottonwoods show their golden colors. www.wildlandsconservancy.org/preserve_whitewater.html
Last week Margie and I went down to see the blooms at Cottonwood, what a sight for the eyes! At that point, the flowering was up as far as Twin Tanks, so this week I decided to explore the area around the Window Rock Trail to see if there were any flower displays. I spent a couple of hours hiking around in the rocks on the Northern side and only touched the tip of the Iceberg as it were. There are still plenty of burgeoning plants just waiting for the warm weather to show their colors. We should have a nice bloom all through April and May, so get out and do some hiking!