Sunday, November 18, 2012

The B5 to the Salt River

The Salt River on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation

I'd tried to find this spot before... unsuccessfully. So when I decided to go again in mid November, I was determined to find it. 

I had a fix on the mile marker and the terrain at the turnoff thanks to Google Street View. Road B5 is over 7 miles long and what I would describe as pretty sketchy. At points, the road almost disappeared. I'm positive we were the only ones all the way back there for some time. I saw no evidence of vehicle tracks. We did get lost a couple times and had to back track. A strategic rock cairn marked the way in one meadow. The exit was just as eventful. Most of the way was in the dark. We finally popped back out on the highway three miles further up the road from where we had gone in. It was quite the adventure. 

This part of the Salt River makes a complete circle around the bluff. There's even a 180 degree switchback on the other side upstream. Some crazy geography here... It was overcast all day. Then, the sun popped out just as I was setting up for this pano. I had a few frenetic moments before I started squeezing off frames.

Another shot of the bend on the Salt... Tamarisk were up and down this section of the river. They turn bright orange in the fall. Unfortunately, this invasive plant squeezes out more beneficial native plants like cottonwood trees

I am still trying to figure out what wash or spring this was. It was the only crossing on the B5 and very near the Salt River. Water was flowing through at a trickle, so there must have been a spring further up the canyon. The fall was over 15 feet high and would be pretty spectacular to see flowing nicely. And extremely dangerous. 

The sunset was spectacular, but probably missed the best of it over the horizon. This location was still down in the canyon surrounded by hills. Overcast skies finally gave way and the glow was perfect.  I'm not sure how great the subject matter is here, but the light couldn't have been any prettier.

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