Thursday December 8, 2016
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Today I took a hike with my dog in the area just east of Tonto Fish Hatchery, following the Highline Trail to the Dick Williams Creek, a tributary of Tonto Creek. It was in the heart of Zane Grey Country and as I walked I knew that Grey, the Haughts, and so many other area pioneers had likely walked in the same area.
This is a great time of year to hike in Rim Country as things spring back to life. Grass is starting to grow along the creeks and buds are forming on wild raspberries. It’s picturesque, and I can only imagine how it was for folks in the old days to come across scenes like I saw today. A creek with grass along it was a chance to water the horse and let him graze. The spring gave the pioneers some of the freshest tasting water, water coming straight out of the rock. As Grey said in his book Tales of Lonely Trails:
“By and bye we reached the bottom of the thicket where we crossed a swift clear cold brook. Here the smells seemed cool, sweet, wild with spruce and pine. This stream of granite water burst from a spring under a cliff. What a roar it made! I drank until I could drink no more.”
So when you go hiking this year, don’t just hike, get to know the heritage behind the area you’re going to be in, and it’ll enrich your experience. After all, many have likely been there before you.
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