Saturday, October 15, 2016

McHood Park on Clear Creek Reservoir

This was one of the best free campgrounds I have found this year. McHood Park, a city campground 5 miles south of Winslow. This was the view out my window. 
I enjoyed it so much, I stayed 13 nights...a record for me.
The upper level of the campground has long, paved pull-through sites. There is also a rest room with flush toilets.
This is my site on the lower level, right next to the reservoir.
There are lots of gravel roads to hike around the reservoir. Thistle and I took long walks every day. I picked up trash along the way, and hope I left the park even better than I found it.
Walking across the dam.
Campground on the right. The entrance to Clear Creek straight ahead.
View of my site from across the reservoir.
I was surprised to find a family of 3 beavers in the reservoir.
And many birds. Some were using the reservoir as a stopover on their migratory route. This is a Yellowlegs working the shoreline.
Beavers swimming around.
Loads of Swallows came at dawn and dusk to catch the bugs.
Just one of the pretty views out my window.
All the little dots in the sky are swallows at dawn.
Ring-necked duck
Late afternoon colors.
Beavers at dusk.

They were fun to watch.
White-crowned sparrow in the early morning light.
Green heron
It rained one day...followed by a double rainbow.
View from my window..
At the day-use park across the river, there is a boat ramp for access up Clear Creek Canyon.
Thistle and I took the kayak part way up the canyon one day. 
We saw a Belted Kingfisher on the cliffs. 
The water is calm with no current which makes paddling easy. 
There are large carp in the creek. This is their mouths skimming the surface. 
Swallows nest in the canyon. 
The remnants of an old windmill that was probably used to pump water for irrigation. 
The cliffs get higher as you go along. 

Cactus growing from a crack in the canyon wall. 
A Rock Wren... 
Lots of lizards basking on the warm rocks. 
Batman was here. This area is used by rock climbers...and graffiti artists. 
A dead tree clinging to the cliffs. 
A big fish just jumped right beside us. 
Rock gargoyle. 
Three large carp just below the surface. 
 Can you see the Swallow nests?

When my friend Birdie arrived in the area, we went out again with twin Hornbecks.
Birdie taking a picture of the Great Blue Heron perched on top of the cliff.
I Guess he didn't want his picture taken.
High cliffs on both sides.
You can see where the waterline has been much higher.

Fall color in the canyon.

Near the end...
We turned around when the water became so shallow we were getting caught on submerged rocks.
Dark-eyed Junco.
On the way back we met some other kayakers just starting out.
It was a perfect morning for kayaking.
Back at the campground, Thistle enjoyed watching bunnies out the window.
A large flock of American Avocets flew in one day.
Along with some White-faced Ibises. They all rested a day, then flew off on their southward journey.
I saw one Roadrunner.
Snowy Egrets came and went. The Blue Heron stayed.
White Pelicans landed for a day of rest.
And the sunsets were noteworthy.