Fresh start to Rio Verde
The rays of the morning sun didn`t reach the rocky path leading to the valley of Rio Verde. The mountain air was still very fresh. I had all my layers on and kept my hands deep in my pocket as we were descending to the gorge.
Craggy mountains dominated the views and 50 minutes after starting on the narrow trail from the road we reached the Petrified waterfall. We stopped for a picnic, and staring at the water dashing down on rocks we recalled a trip from 8 years ago. We descended to the waterfall on dirt tracks and then followed a narrow path along the river in the gorge. The path we followed this time was considerably more picturesque than the tracks. I welcome the excitement that exploring a new trail brings. It is also great to re-walk some scenic trails. Especially if many years has passed since the last visit.
By the time we finished our sandwiches we had to shed one layer off as it was considerably warmer. From the waterfall – just like 8 years ago – we followed the narrow path on the mountainside.
Final descent to Rio Verde
Crossed the stream on rocks, and stopped to marvel at the water rushing down on rocks across the gorge. We then descended steeply, crossed the river and climbed up on its other side. The path levelled for a while and then after a steep descent we arrived at a `brilliant green pool`. It was a glorious day but we had the entire trail for ourselves. Thankfully we didn`t meet other walkers. The trail was busier on a hot summer day 8 years ago. We enjoyed the tranquillity. It was warm and the clear water was inviting so I decided to dip my toes. The water was so cold it hurt my feet. It took several attempts and strong willpower to keep my feet in the water long enough to take a photo.
The rickety hanging bridge was in a better shape some years ago. When we crossed it, the path continued a bit further down in the gorge. There were warning signs in place now, some planks were missing, others were hanging in a fragile way. We stayed away from it and spent almost a full hour by the river, sitting on huge rocks and staring at the small waterfalls and taking photos. The cool morning turned into a very warm afternoon and we climbed from the riverbed, with the fleece tucked in the backpack.