Water in the desert is such a rare thing — it is almost sacred. Coming from a place where you have more water than you know what to do with (the Ohio River Valley) it was hard to grasp the preciousness of water in the southwest. However, having lived here for just two years I have learned to appreciate water in almost any form; rain, snow, sleet, river, well, bottled, tap and I could go on. Whenever we are out on a hike, if I see even a trickle of water or puddle that hasn’t quite dried up I get giddy with excitement. Well, you can imagine my state when we hiked in Cargodera Canyon a few weeks ago where you could hear the water rushing from over 100 yards away! Okay, so at some places it was more of a gurgle and it never got so fierce that we had to wade through it but, it was flowing the whole way down the canyon — in the desert that is something to get excited about.
So on February 27th, Lance, Erin (friends of ours), Aaron and myself set off for Cargodera Canyon in the front range of the Catalina mountains just north of Catalina State Park. We hiked up the Sutherland trail a ways and then dropped down to the creekbed of the canyon and essentially boulder-hopped our way out of the canyon. As I mentioned the water was flowing down the entire canyon. If you do enough hiking in the desert you learn that water likes to play disappearing acts . It will be trickling along then all of a sudden it is gone and you are looking at sand. Then maybe another 100 feet or even a 1/2 mile later it shows up again gurgling along. So to say there was water flowing down the entire canyon is rather profound.
looking down Cargodera Canyon
Our hike was absolutely wonderful — I was ecstatic hopping from rock to rock over the water. Smelling it, hearing it, watching it tumble, swirl, and cascade over rocks just made me smile the whole way. The day was awesome, partly cloudy with big puffy dark clouds threatening the sky, adding an element of excitement to the hike. Everything was fresh and alive with all of the recent rains. Lance and Erin as always were such a pleasure to hike with, sharing all kinds of information about the landscape and history of the area. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the day any other way.
water cascade in Cargodera Canyon