I went up one of those bare rock ridges out there. If you can find spots that aren't too steep, they are easy to walk up because they aren't covered with loose rocks. On the other hand, they can be covered with marble sized pebbles that roll under the hard soles of my hiking boots. Progress can be slow on slopes with those pebbles. That was OK, though. I had donated blood in the morning and seemed to be getting out of breath more quickly than usual.
I crossed some sizable "flat" areas on the way up. It's nice to be on ground that you don't feel like you're about to roll down every now and then. Some of those areas were covered with thick grass about mid-calf high. It was tricky walking there because the softball size rocks were hidden. I almost twisted an ankle in one of those spots.
I took my time on the way up, partly because it was pretty up there and partly because I needed to catch my breath a lot. I also spent a lot of time studying optional routes to decide which way to go. You can't really tell which way will work out until you try it, though. I got lucky and made it to the top of the ridge on my first attempt.
I need to go in that direction, but I don't want to hike in the bottom of that draw. Vegetation will be too thick.
I steadily and easily made progress. It was a little strange not coming to any dead ends. The route I chose wasn't very steep, either.
I eventually got to a spot where I was going to have to go up a narrow channel that was full of plants. I expected to get ripped to shreds. There was no catclaw, though. I was able to get past all the other thorns without losing any blood.
At the top of the channel, it looked like I was almost to the top of the ridge. It was tempting to run the last few feet and check out the view. There was a chance that I would get up there and see that I had a lot more climbing to do, though, so I took my time.
It turned out that I really was at the top. The view to the other side was not what I expected. It was very nice, though.
I wasn't at the top of the tallest part of the ridge. I didn't see an easy way up there from where I was. I was getting a little tired of climbing, anyway.
I hung around up there for a while taking pictures and enjoying the view. I started back in plenty of time to get to the truck before dark.
On the way down, I came across a hole in a flat part of the rock. It was about 2 feet in diameter, and very dark. I couldn't see into it because of the bright rock around it. It seemed bottomless, or maybe full of water. I zoomed in and took a picture. Turns out it was much shallower than it looked.
It was a very pleasant hike. Click below to see all of the pictures.