Sunday, July 08, 2012

Bishop Creek treasure hunt

It was looking like it wasn't going to cool off enough for me to get some photo point pictures, so I decided to try something different. I went early. I left the house around 6, but it takes a long time to get all the way out there. The photo points I was going after were on a little-traveled road (my tracks were the only tracks on it) that was very rough, so it was slow going the last couple of miles.

A funny looking cloud on the way out there. This was taken on Bloody Basin Road, which is in very good condition.

The rough road was at an elevation of almost 5000 feet and I went through some pine and juniper forests. It was just 84 degrees in the shade. The places I took pictures was much sunnier and warmer, though.

At the first place I stopped to take pictures, I decided to back the truck off the road. I know, why bother when mine are the only tracks out there. Well, experience has taught me that the quickest way to find other people out in the middle of nowhere when you haven't seen anybody for hours is to block the road. You will immediately find people and they will be in a big hurry to get somewhere. Anyway, I was on a slight incline. Barely enough to think about. I started backing up and the tires started spinning. I went forward a little and the tires spun. I tried to go back and the tires spun. It was ridiculous. I couldn't go forward or backward. I did manage to rock the truck a little and it backed off the road. I took the pictures and drove back up the incline without any trouble.

I couldn't see the road to the next place I needed to go. That's because it crossed Bishop Creek and nobody had been on it since the last time the creek flowed, which looked like it was weeks ago. Even if I had known where the road was, I wouldn't have driven on it. Lots of soft sand. I did know where it was when I hiked to the photo point. It was only about a quarter of a mile away. The temperature wasn't too bad. It might have even been comfortable if you could stay out of the sun. Except for one thing.

Actually, lots of things. Not gnats this time, but flies. Small, striped flies. They were noisy and kept buzzing around my head and landing on my hands. One eerily quiet one kept landing in the center of my sunglasses. They didn't bite or sting or anything like that. They just drove me nuts. I know, it's a short drive. I should have put my gnat net on. I did spray insect repellent on my ears and hands and arms. Didn't seem to have much effect.

The road to the second photo point. Not much shade.

I had to drive past the place where I almost got stuck to get to the third photo point. The sticky spot isn't very steep, but it's like it's covered in marbles. As I drove up in on my way out, I kept having to back up a little and try again. Took a while.

I didn't make it to a couple of photo points for a couple of reasons. One of them requires a half mile hike in a creek bed. I'm not going to try that in the middle of a sunny day. Also, there were some potential storm clouds starting to form. That area would be a bad place to be if it started raining. If I didn't get trapped by flowing creeks, I probably wouldn't have enough traction to drive on muddy roads. I had enough food and water to spend the night but Sweetums would have been worried, especially since a hiker younger than me just died in the Superstition Wilderness. I was thinking I might get some good cloud pictures, but they didn't get very big before I left.

I've been playing around with making clouds really stand out in pictures. It looks interesting but if you use these pictures as desktops, they get annoying after a while.

Click below to see all of the pictures.


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