Arizona is closed-

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Well not really but parts of it is. A couple of weeks ago when we drove up to check on Our Little Red House we were surprised to see closure signs everywhere where happy families used to be camping and out enjoying our woods.

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It was really sad seeing this on our drive up. It reminded me of the time some of the campsites were closed up north because of the bear attacks they were having one year. That was a scary time. The bears were starving because of the drought. This drought of ours has been going on for over  20 years now.

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“Look around kids, you are living and experiencing history,” my husband said while we drove down that old and now extremely dry dirt road.

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When we got into town we looked down Cherry creek and saw there were no puddles of water anywhere “Uh Oh “ I said out loud looking over at my husband. We both were shocked by how dry the creek was.

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Once we started getting closer to our place we noticed everywhere everything was yellow, not green. The town and area is in desperate need of rain. It was a dry winter up there, so not a lot of snow in the high country means a very hard summer.

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Our plan this trip was to go down to Haigler’s creek for some exploring and swimming.

Haigler’s creek has water year round and the farther you go up in it the bigger the swimming holes get with waterfalls and huge shaded trees. It is so beautiful down at the creek. Every year during the summer months we usually pack up a picnic lunch and head down to it. My kids have loved it while growing up. Here are some older photos from years ago.

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We always tell our friends in town if we are going to go out exploring in the woods, just in case something happens, always remember to let your love ones know your whereabouts when out traveling or hiking here in Arizona. Arizona has a lot of open land and it goes on forever and ever.

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When we told one of our friends up there our plans for Haigler’s creek she said to “ be very careful ”. The campsites are closed up there too, so there are not a lot of people out and the animals are getting desperate because they are hungry and thirsty. Our friend went on to explain to us about an incident up there where a bear charged some people but no one got hurt. Just the fact that the bear was not afraid was dangerous. Our friend also told us that she has noticed lion tracks around the property close to her home. Wherever there is water the animals will come and that includes mountain lions.

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We listened to her warnings and decided to leave our grown kids back at Our Little Red House the next morning. We were headed out to explore and collect nature craft supplies.

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My husband made sure to stay away from the grass when he parked because the forest is so dry anything can start a fire, plus the winds are very high right now. It would make a very dangerous situation if a fire started up there with the wind and dry conditions both at the same time. The day we drove up there was a fire up north that had started the day before, it was caused by a trailer chain that was dragging. The sparks from it caused a fire. By the second day it had already burned thousands of acres.

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Parking away from dry grass is the safest place to park in those conditions. The forest was peaceful while I gathered needles but I couldn’t help thinking about wild animals lurking around looking for an easy meal.

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I got my nature craft supplies and we left.

Cherry creek is just down the street from Our Little Red House and we decided to go exploring out there as well. There was a bear attack up by Cherry Creek a year ago that I read about in the local newspaper, no one was seriously hurt Thank God. The photos down below were taken a few years back when it was greener.

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We were exploring late in the day and we didn’t have any food with us, so I figured we were safe enough. This creek isn’t too far; in fact we could walk to it if we wanted. This is what it looked like that day.

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There were a couple blue herons out and once they spotted us they flew away. I wish I had a better lens on my camera to have captured them but these are the only photos I was able to take of that. If you look hard enough, off in the distance in the tree you can make out a tiny little outline of the bird, and another of it flying away. Guess this couple decided to stay here in Arizona instead of flying back to Canada.

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The creek was very quiet and spooky to me. I like to hear life out and about. Cars driving by, people walking around, whatever, just other human beings and my husband and I were the only ones out there.

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All the closures up in the high country are keeping everyone away, because the fire danger is very scary, so who’s to blame them. I remember when Cherry creek was greener and there was more water. It isn’t like Haiglers of course but still, it had seen greener and wetter days before. Some more older photos below of greener days when the kids were little of Haigler and Cherry creeks.

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Even though Cherry creek is pretty dry now we still found little pockets of water here and there, mostly mud but there were some little guppies swimming around in one puddle, which put smiles on our faces.

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There were also all kinds of tracks where the waterholes were. The animals were coming down to drink and by the site of the tracks there were all kinds of different animals using those waterholes.

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When I saw tracks that looked to me like lion tracks I decided to head back to Our Little Red House. The tracks were old but still gave me chills. I remembered my friend’s warnings. Maybe they were bobcat. I am not known for knowing tracks; I did not pay close enough attention to my dad’s lessons on that as a child. I was always too busy collecting stones off the ground to be bothered with figuring out tracks…sadly now I wish I paid better attention.

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Even though the creek and the area was mostly dry everywhere and cracked,

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There were still several flowers out in bloom in and around town.

When we got back home I had tons of craft supplies to make wreaths, baskets and some Swedish gnomes for Christmas later.

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I hope it rains soon up there. This post is pre scheduled so by the time it is posted we should hopefully have gotten some rain in the high country. The weather report said we have some rain clouds headed our way. Once the rain starts the place will be green again and the animals will be very happy. Please stay safe out there anyone who lives here in Arizona or is here during the summer, follow the fire rules and restrictions, and let everyone know where you are at all times but don’t stop exploring and loving nature. Happy exploring.

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Update on rain…It finally rained up there. This post was written a week ago and since that time a storm hit our area. We even got a little rain here in the city. I opened all the doors and windows and let all that fresh rain smell into my home early in the morning. It was so nice hearing the little drops. I imagine the animals up north were probably out dancing in the rain when that storm hit.

 

 

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