Before leaving, I read reviews warning visitors to purchase parking passes as citations are regularly issued. Upon arrival, I stop at the ranger desk to see if my annual park pass covers it. "Yep, just put it on the dash" I'm told. Love it! This little piece of plastic saves me coin, unlike all the rest which just spend it.
Seven Falls is an 8 mile r.t. hike with a 650' elevation gain. My day starts early, as I want to make it to Phoenix this evening, for a dance lesson.
There is an option of cutting off 1.5 miles by taking a shuttle bus to a closer trail head, but why would I want to hurry and pass this up?
This is my second reminder, (first by the ranger) that mountain lions have been spotted in the area.
In addition to pepper spray, which now rests in my palm, I arm myself with the following protocol, should an encounter occur:
Make myself appear as large as possible.
Make eye contact.
Never run, bend or crouch down.
Slowly create distance.
Fight back, protect the neck and throat.
I'm more vigilant on this hike, scanning the high ledges where they're known to hang out.
Something as simple as removing your sunglasses can make a difference, as a hiker discovered in 2013. http://tucson.com/news/science/environment/hiker-mountain-lion-survive-close-encounter-on-tucson-trail/article_cf0ab911-8fb6-574a-ab3a-2edf4d22112e.html
Although I never completely forget about the cats, I become more at ease, stowing the pepper spray in my pocket.
It's warming up as the day wears on, having me shed layers as I go.
I'm well into the canyon now having made 5 or so river crossings. I know I'm getting close.
And then I arrive. I've seen some beautiful sites on this trip, and this rates among the top. I stand in awe, marveling at the chiseled pulchritude before me.
It is simply jaw dropping.
|Yes, there are 7 falls.|