Friday, November 26, 2010

Mountain Rescue Training #12

No, I didn't have to get rescued.

Things have been kind of tumultuous around here lately. I think the crisis has passed, though. It was good to be back out in the desert today. It's the time of year when the birds are mostly quiet, and it was very quiet. Even the hawk that circled overhead for a while didn't screech at me.

I thought it was a red tailed hawk, but that tail isn't very red. I need to find the bird book.

I parked at the First Water trailhead overflow lot and headed south. I've been meaning to do that for a while, to see what's over there, but I always seem to get sidetracked. Well, most of my hikes are sidetracks. I wanted to see if I could get within sight of the Massacre Grounds.

I'm going kind of in that direction.

I halfway thought I would come across a trail out there. There are popular trails nearby, so I figured there were probably trails criss-crossing all over the place. I saw evidence that people had camped out there, but not for a long time. The only footprints I saw had almost been obliterated by the last rain a few days ago. I saw what looked like a couple of cairns but the only trails were made by rabbits.

This is a quiet, isolated area not too far from the road.

Bare rock is so easy to walk on.

I'm kind of out of shape (as usual), so I got tired pretty quickly. I didn't go quite as far as I wanted to. I wanted to go a little further and see what I could see from a saddle up ahead but I didn't eat enough lunch. All I could think about was left over turkey and dressing and sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. To get to the saddle I would have had to walk in shade. It was uphill but I was just too hungry to walk in the shade on a cool day.

The last little climb, but I'm too hungry.

I did go a little further, and found some puddles.

As I was wandering around looking at things and trying to decide if I should turn back, I spotted a small orange flag. That's a rare sight out in the desert. It reminded me of those little flags the utility companies put out to mark buried pipes and power lines, etc., so you don't dig into them while you are putting in your sprinkler system.

I wonder if the rescue trainees ever found this.

I got a couple of pictures that I like on the hike. There's nothing outstanding about them; I just like the way they turned out.

Cholla skeletons always look cool.

BTW, I figured out how to fix the extra redness in pictures I take near sunset. This was way too red until I adjusted the white balance.

Click below to see all of the pictures.


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