Sunday, May 04, 2014

To the Mule Ears

I don't know if that's what it's really called. It reminds me of Mule Ear Peaks in Big Bend National Park, so that's what I call it. It's one of those places I've been meaning to hike out to for a few years. You can see it as you approach Canyon Lake on Apache Trail. Just last year I found myself very close to it and realized it wouldn't be very difficult to get to.

My destination. It was a dusty day.

I saw some Iron Cross Blister beetles near the beginning of the hike.

The wind had been blowing for a couple of days so the air was kind of dusty. It was cool and the wind would keep the gnats away, so I went hiking despite the dust. Between the dust and being out there in the middle of the day (I had no idea how long it would take, so I started early), the pictures aren't very good.

It rained just enough to make some small puddles out here the night before.

There was a faint trail out there the last time I had been there. It seemed better defined now, and there were more cairns. The trail seemed to go where I was going most of the time. I stayed on it because the grass was downtrodden there. That grass is almost as annoying as gnats. I had my gaiters on but the seeds still worked their way through my shoes. I had to stop three times to take my shoes off and remove seeds. It's really aggravating to have something jabbing you in the foot with every step.

There is a trail all the way up to the far side (the side you can't see from Apache Trial) of the Mule Ears. It's possible to climb up to the saddle between the peaks from the far side. It's about a 10 foot climb. I'm sure I could have done it but since a slip could have been disastrous, I didn't.

A pile of rocks in the saddle. I didn't climb up there.

Four Peaks through the dust.

The wind was blowing so hard, I thought my exposure-bracketed photos might not be combinable into HDRIs. Photomatix is pretty amazing at lining things up, though.

Weaver's Needle is usually easy to see from this area, but not this day.

One reason I wasn't in any hurry to hike out to the Mule Ears is because you can't get pictures of something like that when you get close to it. I wanted to do it just so I could say I had been there. Well, that's out of the way now. As expected, I saw some other things I want to look into the next time I'm out there. It sure is nice having such a large area to explore so close to home.

Click below for all of the pictures.


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