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TR: Salome Jug

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Tom Gendron, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. Tom Gendron

    Tom Gendron Guest

    Four of us went thru the Jug Saturday, 4/5/2003. Todd and Stephanie, Anna and me. This was one of the very best Jug trips I've ever had. The company was great but the high water really made it lots of fun. Thought I'd do a quick report for the Rendezvous folk.

    For those who attended the Globe Rendezvous a couple years back: The water was even higher than then. In the middle it seemed like there was maybe a little more swimming, but the big difference was how high the water was flowing at the very top and it was also flowing out of the bottom all the way till it crossed the road miles below.

    We arrived at the trailhead around 11 a.m., headed down the trail before 11:30. There was one other truck besides us at the trailhead. We'd come in two vehicles and my Dad (a young octogenarian) was with us. Our plan was for Dad to meet us in my Jeep down at very bottom where the dry creek crosses the road, around 3:30 or 4PM. He was going to spend the day hiking around with the dog (Zeke) and taking digital pictures.

    The Sonoran desert is in a fantastic bloom this spring. Lots of flowers and Strawberry hedgehog in bloom along the easy decent to the creek entry point. The trail in seemed to be overgrown compared to my memory of the trail, nice. It was a wonderful day, low to mid 80's. Along the trail we could see the lower portion of Salome Creek, so we knew that there would be plenty of water flow.

    We started down the creek rock hopping to keep out of the water, quickly after entry we came to a chest deep obstacle. We donned wetsuits, 2 in full 7mm suits, me and girlfriend (Anna) in 3mm shorties. I believe everyone was comfortable in their respective suits with the exception of Anna; she got cold toward the end. I'd also add that I wasn't exactly loitering and would have seen more if I had been warmer.

    Shortly after suiting up we encountered 3 other people in the canyon. We'd heard there screams earlier and had thought they were school girls (or was that just my secret fantasy) but the 3 adults had just been playing in the creek without wetsuits and were now trying to warm up in the sun. The one guy was studying what I guessed was a map or some guide to the Creek. I just said "Hello" in passing, more because I didn't want to be disturbed, than not wanting to disturb. Later regretted that.

    The Jug is a beautiful spot, dirty summer wading can sometime distract from its shine but it's a charmer in the spring. There is one spot that's a down climb in low water that we rigged a rope for. Basically we looped our rope around the horn (canyon right) of a BFR and rapped on the double rope, fun, easy to get the fire hose in your face as you rap.

    Between that first rap and the last dark clouds had passed over us and we'd heard some rumbling, NOT my stomach. It was just enough to get us thinking about it.

    Last rap at the pretty falls had so much water that it was a little crowded getting out of the water. Water was so deep that it inspired one of us to jump that last rap. Not me, too late, but if the water was high enough anytime, it was then. 3 more swims and we were out.

    At this point we discussed the planned trek down the creek to the road. With the water this high, we agreed it would be cleaner to hike out the normal way then go find my Dad with the other truck.

    The trail up and out also seemed to be overgrown from what I remembered. But there also seemed to have been some improvements to the route. There were some orange streamers marking its beginning and end plus some of those erosion busters have been dug into the trail.

    After a leisurely hike back to the trailhead, again thru the fantastic desert bloom, we were surprised and concerned to see that the truck we'd seen before was still there. When we saw those schoolgirls, errrh people, in the canyon we'd assumed they'd be turning back at that point. It was about 4 at this point. The water level had slowed us down some plus once we were out we were enjoying the desert bloom. We left the trailhead and found Dad and Zeke right were they were supposed to be. Quickly got into some dry clothes and after brief chatting under chilly skies we headed out.

    Passing the trailhead again, the strangers' truck was still there. Now it's after 5, we couldn't possibly go thru there again to find them, what could we do? Without lights even if we'd hiked back in to yell from the rim we couldn't do much. Maybe they didn't know about the short exit, maybe they were hiking to the road and it was taking them a long time. All kinds of "maybe" with no answers. Wished I'd talked to them in the canyon. Left the experience with a twinge of helplessness and more disturbed than seeing and talking with other people in the Jug would have.

    Tom Gendron

    Cave Creek, AZ

  2. > All > kinds of "maybe" with no answers. Wished I'd talked to them in the canyon. > Left the experience with a twinge of helplessness and more disturbed than > seeing and talking with other people in the Jug would have

    -On our way out, we did stop and call the local sheriff's office to have them check it out if possible. I called yesterday for an update and was told that the party made it out okay.

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