October 20, 2012

10/14/12 – West Fork Trail Hike

You never know when or where you’ll meet a new friend.  We went to Ace Hardware last week, and started talking to an employee, comparing notes about retirement and travel.  John invited us to go on a hike on the West Fork of Oak Creek with him and his wife Mary.  Between us, George and I’ll talk to everybody! 

The West Fork Trail is a popular one—especially in autumn—so you need to get there early to get a parking place.  We met at 8:30; George had to get up earlier than he has in quite a while!  It's good for him occasionally.

Near the start of the trail is where the Mayhew Lodge used to be.  It burned in 1980, so there’s not a lot left there.
We just naturally split up with Mary and I usually taking the lead.  Apparently we can walk, talk AND take pictures.  The trees are ablaze with the sound of music.  Um, no, wait!  I don’t think that’s quite right…anyway, the trees were real pretty. 
So were the canyon walls.
 Saw some interesting fungi too. 
We seemed to be doing a do-si-do with a woman who was taking as many pictures as we were.  Eventually we got to talking about more than just colored leaves.  Turned out she had been an avionics engineer; now she’s a medium.  (After working at PAC, I knew avionics is a stressful industry, but that’s quite a career change!)

The trail is 3 miles long.  You cross the shallow creek several times, on rocks if your balance is good.  About halfway in, John and George decided to wait for us at an overlook while Mary and I continued on to the end of the trail.  Actually, you can go farther down (up?) the canyon, but you have to wade.  We went as far as we could on dry land but since we didn’t want to get our feet wet, we turned around back to wake up the guys.
Hope we can do this again!