Friday, December 4—Finishing Up in Portal, AZ

Up very early, a few posts were made to FaceBook, and breakfast was prepared and eaten. Smoked turkey sausage was added to the frijoles and heated, and a tortilla was browned—that was breakfast, and it wasn’t very good! {NOTE: Farts were far and few between, maybe because of the hiking!) The dust in this area is unbelievable; despite an allergy pill each day, my eyes still itch and I sneeze constantly. Some had to have crept into the motorhome via wind, shoes, and clothes. Consequently, the interior of the coach was dusted and vacuumed, and a few windows were cleaned.

Frijoles and tortilla

Today, the plan was to complete the loop of Paradise Road, Turkey Creek Road, and Mountain Road, stopping at the George Walker House, and then hike the South Fork Trail. Again, it was cold and breezy, though not as windy as yesterday. After studying the birding map, a deviation to Willow Tank was made. I attempted several birds-in-flight photos of Flycatchers feeding.

Say’s Phoebe, Willow Tank
Say’s Phoebe, Willow Tank
Say’s Phoebe, Willow Tank

After a 5.5 mile drive on gravel to Paradise, AZ, the George Walker House birding area was found; it is in a couple’s yard. Ice was still surfacing the creeks in the area. A gentleman greeted me, and began supplementing the bird feed already in the feeders. He was a talker, and talked the entire time, mainly about birds and butterflies. He was interesting, but annulled the peace and quiet. I did pick up a LIFER: Arizona Woodpecker.

Arizona Woodpecker, George Walker House
Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay, George Walker House

The South Fork Trail was an unexpected pleasure. Though birds were few, the scenery was spectacular, and the hiking was on a slightly ascending trail. After the hike at Chiricahua National Monument, the South Fork Trail seemed effortless. And, I carried the small camera and lightweight lens, adding to the pleasurable hike.

Along the South Fork Trail, Cave Creek Canyon
Spotted Towhee, along the South Fork Trail, Cave Creek Canyon
Along the South Fork Trail, Cave Creek Canyon
Gould’s Turkey in Cave Creek Canyon

Dinner consisted of heated overnight oatmeal and blueberries, and pineapple and cottage cheese. And then, it was off to bed.

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