Sunday, March 15, 2015

Percha Creek Box and Beyond


The balance of our hike( when not in the side canyons) was, of course, along Percha Creek, which had many of its own features to  delight us. There were the 100 -150 foot ribbed cliffs of pink conglomerate. One of the ribs, we discovered, had a natural arch, well more like a hole, that Doug climbed up about 60 feet in a  steep swale of rough rock to photograph. Closer to the ground there were some small arches in a  thin wall of rock at the mouth of a side canyon on the south side.

Further  along there was  the lovely ruin of  cabin built of river stone. Along lower cliffs on the south side were alcoves and hackberry trees with huge multi-branched trunks. The large cottonwoods and the streamside willow were barely budding and watercress was only here and there in the stream,and I thought of braving the heat  and snakes on some future day to visit this place when it was leafed out and green.

 We finally made it to the Box where springs gushed and dripped from the bottoms of cliffs.The stream narrowed considerably here as it rushed along polishing the boulders and bedrock to high sheen. The stream bottom was quite altered since my last visit- the abundant sand and mud stripped away by floods leaving once calm creek flats a jumble boulders mixed with much organic debris.

 We followed the road up out of the box and back to our car.  We had probably hiked close to a dozen or more miles and had been out for 7 hours. I looked to the east and finally the light was perfect. I took a shot of the rolling hills that border the creek, and then another to the dark Caballo Range in the distance. Important Note: most of the land in the Percha Creek bottoms east of the Box, although not posted at this time, is shown as private property on official maps.

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