Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hike to a Willow Creek tributary

In looking along Willow Creek on Google Earth, I saw an area that looked like it had to be interesting. It's actually a tributary of Willow Creek and it looks like there is a narrow canyon there. I wasn't exactly sure how I would get to it, but that's what makes this interesting.

I had to cross Willow Creek. This is looking back over Willow Creek, but if you don't know where it is you can't tell where it is. This is part of how people get "lost" in the desert.

The sun sets about 7:20 these days. That's enough time for a decent hike close to home. By the time the sun is setting later, it will be too hot to hike immediately after work so there won't be any more daylight to use for hikes. But I digress. I got out there as quick as I could and headed for the hill I knew I had to climb. I had to climb further than I though I would but the scenery was fantastic. At one point I decided that I needed a 360 degree panorama. I should really carry a tripod along for those. I didn't hold the camera at quite the same level all the way around and the stitching software got confused. It produced an interesting result.

This is what Microsoft ICE thought my panorama should look like. I like it better than the correctly stitched panorama produced by the Canon software.

There were gnarly rocks all over the place.

It was fairly easy to get to the canyon that was my destination. It was more interesting than I had thought it would be. I could only explore a short section of it, though. I was blocked in both directions by sudden drops and tinajas.

Just entering the creek bed.

I felt a little claustrophobic here. Maybe it was the humidity. Sunset was approaching and the breeze had stopped blowing.

Rock climbing would be required to get around this. Nothing requiring equipment or great skill, but one little slip could spell disaster.

A short video at the tinaja.

I'll have to see if I can find a way around that tinaja at the upstream end. I'll probably have to descend to the stream bed further up stream. Much further up stream. It's too steep on the right bank for a long way. Maybe. It's hard to tell on Google Earth and my DeLorme topo maps don't have enough resolution. Well, you probably can't get a topo map with 4 foot intervals. Anyway, after being stopped going upstream, I headed downstream. I hadn't gone far before another steep drop and tinaja blocked my progress.

Short video of the downstream tinaja. I need to figure out how to do a better job of this. The videos are shaky so I let YouTube smooth them out, but then they have strange distortions.

I started climbing out of the wash then, thinking I would head back to the truck. Instead I found a way around the downstream tinaja. I could see that I would be stopped again soon by a much larger drop and so I headed back to the truck from there. Pictures of things like that usually can't show what it's really like and that's why I've been making videos of them. The video of that last drop was terrible (and you thought the other two were bad!) so I didn't upload it.

A nice view on the way back to the truck.

Click below to see all of the pictures.


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