Saturday , March 24 , 2001
Unbelievably we slept a full eleven hours until 6:30 am. A minor screaming incident during the night awoke Terri and Pat who immediately realized Anna Marie was just dreaming...so they promptly turned over and went back to sleep. So much for compassion!
Terriís trek to the Colorado started at 8 am. Soon afterward Pat and Anna Marie broke camp and were all packed up and on the way to Obi Falls by 10:30. The walk took about 40 minutes each way and was delightful. Terri had indeed aptly described it as reminding her of a Japanese temple, a serene flow down a variegated, grooved rock face until it disappeared as if into a drain. Dennis and Terri reported the trip to the river to be more difficult than the falls, however, they were pleasantly surprised by the nonskid surface of the rocks. For Terri, the serpentine, rock-hopping trail ended at a fifteen-foot slick rock pour-off. Sanity prevailed and Terri wished Dennis good luck as he down-climbed the rock face and trekked another fifteen minutes to the river. This gave Terri time to gaze at the distant form of Brahma Temple and marvel at the narrow canyon walls of black Vishnu schist. During her leisurely lunch, she observed a Canyon Tree Frog. Dennis admitted later that his adventure by the river was a bit scary, since any fall would have instantly swept him into the rapids. He didnít stay long. The hardy souls returned to camp at 2:15 and after a short nap in Dennisís string hammock, Terri ate and prepared to depart.
Much need for repair work was promptly discovered. Dennis patched Terriís water bottle with PVC glue and Pat and Dennis labored to mend a broken shoulder strap on Anna Marieís pack. Thank heavens Terri had an extra carabineer! Many photos and handshakes later, Anna Marie and Pat started back up the hill at 4:10 toward a campsite that Pat had spotted on the way in near Demaray Point. Although Pat and Anna Marie distinctly heard the bleating of a Bighorn sheep they were never able to spot the source.
Along the way we were treated to a magnificent display of new opened cactus. The Banana Yucca was showing off itís creamy white magnolia-like blossom. Terri joined us before too long and at 6 pm the sunset-lit canyon walls provided a perfect background for our evening campsite on a wide flat stretch on the Tonto Platform. Recalling the horror stories Ranger Pam told us of the many fines due to inadvertant distress signals, we tried not to develop "flashlight mania" while enjoying our evening. At this moment, 7:15, we three, surrounded by the vastness of the Tonto are anxiously awaiting the evening stars. Our panoramic bedroom is simply indescribable.
Clear Creek at the campsite
Wandering upstream on Clear Creek
3 views of Obi Falls
Narrowing Clear Creek Walls of Vishnu Schist Terri waits at the 16' slickrock pouroff
Dennis downclimbing around the pouroff Clear Creek at the confluence with Colorado
Departing the Clear Creek wash area...looking down on the GCI group's campsite
Blooming Banana Yuccas
Dry camp on the Tonto