Thursday, June 06, 2013

Where I meant to go last time

I made it to the place I intended to go that day that I got distracted by a balanced rock. It was prettier and more interesting than I thought it would be. It wasn't as hot as I was afraid it would be, either. 97 when I got in the truck after sunset. I forgot to look at the thermometer earlier. It was dead calm most of the time. The most amazing thing was that I did not see or hear a single gnat the whole time. Hallelujah.

It was pretty right from the beginning.

See that truck that is so plain it stands out? I saw another one exactly like it as I was driving home. Play Twilight Zone music here. I guess it could have been the same one if the guy was just driving back and forth and back and forth on Apache Trail.

This area has a LOT of these round rocks. The don't get that way from weathering. They form that way.

I found a bunch of junk like batteries, a flashlight, a convex mirror, a bottle of salad dressing, etc. around this bag from the "International Conference on Design and Construction of Deep Foundations". Odd.

I just kind of wandered around out there. I would see someplace that might be interesting and head over there but get distracted by something else and take a side trip, and so on and so forth.

A picture of my wanderings.

There was a ridge to the south that I wasn't even looking at because it seemed much higher than I wanted to climb. As I got closer to it, though, I kept seeing signs of a faint trail. No cairns, just places without grass that should have had grass. Also narrow paths where the thin veneer of desert soil had been damaged by careless footsteps and then washed away in a rainstorm to expose the solid rock beneath it. I had seen so much strange stuff already, I had to follow it to see what else there was. As I approached the top of the ridge I realized that the path I was currently following was actually an ant trail. Yes, those big red ants actually clear vegetation from their heavily used paths. Fortunately it was getting to be late in the day and most of the ants had returned to the mound, so I didn't have to try too hard to not step on them. Well, they've never bitten me, so I don't want to step on them.

I had a nice view of Canyon Lake and Four Peaks.

I took a lot of pictures of this view. You can tell that the sun is getting low.

As I approached the top of the ridge, I got excited like I always do about what the view might be like from up there. I topped the ridge and, lo and behold, there was ... Apache Trail. Oh well. I was catching my breath and looking around when I spotted a structure of some sort.

My first thought was "swing set" but I quickly ruled that out. Then I wondered if it was some sort of mining contraption.

I took a picture of it and started to move to my left to get it from a different angle. A person that has been hiking in the desert for a few years does not move his feet without looking first. Good thing. I was standing next to a very deep hole.

I guess I should have taken an HDRI. There's a ladder down there. I couldn't seem the bottom. Well, I just couldn't get very close to the edge. This is about 7 feet long by 2 feet wide.

I hung around for a few minutes up there enjoying the view, then had to hurry back to the truck before it got dark. Yes, I'm sure there's a faint trail now. Maybe made by the same person making repeated trips, and he doesn't want to be followed (no cairns). He needs to learn how to walk more carefully, though. Click below for all of the pictures.


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