Deer Creek — Flowers and a Sailors grave


Fridays’ hike was again in the Mazatlan Wilderness, this time the Deer Creek trail.  This was an easy hike, about 7 miles with only 200-300 feet of elevation gain.

The trail starts out on gently rolling terrain for a short distance, then drops down into the shallow course of Deer Creek, from which comes the name.

The creek had generous flow, but because of the gentle there are none of  the dramatic waterfalls seen in Barnhardt Canyon just a few miles away.  Here our two canine hikers enjoy a cooling dip.

Deer Creek 033

Wildflowers abounded on this trail.  Below are some examples, identified as best I can.

Doubting Mariposa

Doubting Mariposa

White Tackstem

White Tackstem

Cream Cup

Cream Cups

Mexican Poppy

Mexican Poppy

Globe

Globe Mallow

Mock Vervain

Mock Vervain

Blue Dick

Blue Dick

Blue Dick & Doubting Mariposa

Blue Dick & Doubting Mariposa

Spreading Milbane

Spreading Fleabane

What is it? Clusters grow on tall 12-18" stem

What is it? Clusters grow on tall 12-18″ stem

What is it?  Half-inch flower, whole meadows full

What is it? Half-inch flower, whole meadows full

Firecracker Penstemon

Firecracker Penstemon

About 3 miles into the hike lies the lonely isolated grave of David Gowan 1843-1926.

Old Davey was an Irish boy who ran off to England and joined the British Navy.  During a port call in western Africa he deserted his ship, signed on to a slave trader bound for the Carolinas, and ended up in the US just as the Civil War was about to start.  He joined the US Navy at that point, and apparently served his full tour.  After the war he spend some time sailing ships on the Pacific coast, but finally abandoned the sea and came to Arizona Territory to prospect for gold.  I don’t know if that was successful, but in the process he discovered the “Tonto Bridge” near Payson.  He homesteaded the land, but wasn’t the farming kind, so called a nephew over from Ireland who took over the land, build in a road and made it a tourist attraction. (It is now an Arizona State Park.)  Gowan returned to prospecting, and died near where he lays at the ripe age of 83.

Rest your oar, old Sailor.  I think the British Admiralty has abandoned its search for you.

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7 Responses to Deer Creek — Flowers and a Sailors grave

  1. CRE says:

    Wonderful story behind the grave stone. Thank You. Love the wildflower photos. Beautiful.

    Like

  2. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for the fabulous pictures and detailed research. You answered every question Kerri and I had about David and about the flower names and gave us a wonderful picture of our dogs as a
    bonus. Best hike yet.

    Like

  3. Marlene says:

    I have loved being an “arm chair” hiker with you this year. Great stories and photos. Thank you so much. Maybe I will go on a real hike with you next year.

    Like

  4. Bill Snyder says:

    Love your pictures and stories…keep up the good work..

    Bill

    Like

  5. Debbie says:

    Looks like we missed a good one. Thanks for letting us “see” it anyway 🙂

    Like

  6. Carol Silhan says:

    I think maybe the first “unknown” flower is a Sanddune Wallflower, the second could be a Fiveneedle Pricklyleaf, Parralena – source Richard Spellenberg’s Sonoran Desert Wildflowers – a Falcon Guide. We are back in rainy Washington State after our lovely three months in Canyon Vistas and love seeing your wonderful pictures! See you in January, 2014.

    Like

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