Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Hiking the Desert => Topic started by: Reece on March 21, 2013, 09:12:57 AM

Title: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Reece on March 21, 2013, 09:12:57 AM
Anybody ever heard of a spring on the north fork. I'm planning a hike there and a water source other than the river would be nice. I found this on Google Earth.

httpwww.panoramio.c omphoto69184057.kmz
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: RichardM on March 21, 2013, 10:09:18 AM
Anybody ever heard of a spring on the north fork. I'm planning a hike there and a water source other than the river would be nice. I found this on Google Earth.

httpwww.panoramio.c omphoto69184057.kmz
I assume this is the picture you're referring to?
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/69184057
Location is allegedly here (http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=29.245529,-102.910121&t=t2&z=16&hillshade=18&coord=latlng&directions=off&label=off&layers=off&streetview=on): 29° 14' 43.90" N  102° 54' 36.44" W

I certainly wouldn't count on it as a water source, especially if all you have to go on is the caption on a picture posted online. Who knows, maybe he meant that it was taken in the Spring? If you go to the photographer's profile (http://www.panoramio.com/user/1340028?with_photo_id=69184057), there is an option to send him a message (probably requires you to log in to panoramio). If he responds, talk him into signing up here. ;)
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: mule ears on March 21, 2013, 10:24:00 AM
There is no spring listed anywhere near there on the NPS spring database.  Juan Cuatros Lados may have more information but he did the spring survey. 

I think Richard may be right, it is Marufo Vega in the spring.

Using the river water is not that bad, just filter or treat or both.
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: TexasAggieHiker on March 21, 2013, 10:29:53 AM
There's no spring there.  That canyon is very dry.  Carry all the water you need, or filter from the river.
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Reece on March 21, 2013, 01:20:05 PM
Yeah, about what I thought. I did message the guy through Panaramio to see if he actually found water there but he hasn't replied yet. You have to admit, the picture does look like it could be a water source. It's not that far to the river but a sweet spring would be nice.

I'm done with rushing through my trips. Here's my leisurely Dead Horse plan. Cover less ground and enjoy it more.

Day 1 – Rise early, drive in from Houston, register at Panther Junction, drive to Rio Grande Village and car camp for the night. Big tent, big bag, fat mattress, canned food

Day 2 – Break camp, park at the overlook and backpack the Vega trail up into the southernmost part of the Dead Horse Mountains (I just like the sound of that) carrying 3 liters of water. Take the North fork down to the Rio Grande River and make camp. Filter water for the night and morning.

Day 3 – Explore down river, perhaps to Marufo’s river bottom. Break camp and take a leisurely backpack along the river canyon portion of the loop. In the late afternoon, slowly backpack up from the river to Split Rock Camp with 4 liters of fresh water for the night and morning.

Day 4 – Break camp and backpack out, take a dip in the hot springs. Drive to Chisos Mining Co. Motel for cleanup. Take dinner at the Starlight and sleep the night at Chisos Mining.

Day 5 – Rise early for the drive back to Houston.

Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: randell on March 22, 2013, 10:36:11 AM
I've camped in that canyon twice and never seen any water.  However, on my last trip on the Marufo in January, we did find water just past the North/South split going South in a wash (N29.23616 W102.91253).  Of course, it had rained/snowed the week before.  There was a dam just upstream from the trail in the wash as well.  It was full of rocks, though, not water.

(http://rzerr.smugmug.com/photos/i-2BBnLnB/0/XL/i-2BBnLnB-XL.jpg)

I lucked out on the Mesa de Anguilla in this same manner - it had rained a week or two prior to my trip and we found pools of water in many places and never had to use the tinajas.
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: billh on March 22, 2013, 10:57:49 AM
no water there when we were there a couple of weeks ago. Beautiful spot.
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Reece on March 25, 2013, 06:16:48 AM
The mystery continues with Roland's reply:
"I got the name Marufo Vega Spring from a sign that is at the site. No surface water when I went but clearly a spring underground that supports a lot more vegetation than in the immediate surrounding. On rainy years there must be surface water. Thanks for your interest. RG"
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: RichardM on March 25, 2013, 09:22:22 AM
The mystery continues with Roland's reply:
"I got the name Marufo Vega Spring from a sign that is at the site. No surface water when I went but clearly a spring underground that supports a lot more vegetation than in the immediate surrounding. On rainy years there must be surface water. Thanks for your interest. RG"
Your mission is to find that sign and verify any indications of a spring.  :icon_cool: Also, check out those small caves up near the top left of that picture. Make sure they're not occupied before you go poking around. :icon_wink:
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Reece on March 25, 2013, 08:28:22 PM
Roland turned me over to his hiking partner, Tom.

"I'm Tom, Roland's friend and hiking partner on the Marufo Vega Trail.
Bring all your own drinking water. Local water is unreliable; either contaminated or dried up.  Do not hike in summer daylight.
In answer to your question about the springs we found on the south trail just as it drops off the high ridge into Boquillas Canyon, there was no National Park sign. This was the only springs we found on the trail (we did not hike all the way down to the river on the upstream/north leg). Roland's description is accurate - no surface water. We inferred this might be the springs named Marufo Vega but I've found no official documentation for the name of the springs we found, nor the exact location of Marufo Vega."

Looks like they were winging it a little with their naming conventions on Google Earth. Also looks like little more than an abbreviated day hike.

As for my mission; I think the sign exists only in someone's imagination so I won't be looking for that. What I will look for is water in any promising location. The caves appear to be inaccessible for someone of my skill and daring. In the event they can be reached, I'll explore in search of bones. The river is calling me and I fear not to drink its water. I may even build a driftwood fire on a sandy shore.
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: TheWildWestGuy on March 25, 2013, 08:58:02 PM
There are tinajas and I have seen water in them on the North Fork below the small caves but I would not call this a spring but there were snails and aquatic life in the tinajas.   
Good luck on your trip, it sounds fun and you should have enough time to explore around a bit.
TWWG
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Hayduke on March 26, 2013, 09:07:11 AM
So Roland & Tom saw vegetation but no water, and are calling that a spring, maybe even Marufo's Vega. That only describes a million places in the Park and almost none of them have real springs. Sheesh!

At minimum I don't think this is terribly smart. It's also potentially dangerous because someone could take the spring label seriously.

But it does raise the question, where is Marufo Vega, or perhaps, Marufo's Vega?

The only time I've seen this labelled on a map is on the 1966 Geologic Map of BBNP that comes with The Geology of BBNP, Texas box, publication 6711, published by the Bureau of Economic Geology in Austin. In that case the N fork of the Marufo Vega trail is shown as continuing N along the river to the mouth of Arroyo Venado, and the area near the mouth is labelled Marufo Vega.

Does anyone have any other info on the location of Marufo's Vega?

(Please don't say he left it parked at the trailhead.  :icon_smile: )
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Flash on March 26, 2013, 09:56:02 AM
Does anyone have any other info on the location of Marufo's Vega?

This very good question got pondered on a bit over in this thread...
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-book-reviews/found-ross-maxwell's-book-online/msg111058/#msg111058 (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-book-reviews/found-ross-maxwell's-book-online/msg111058/#msg111058)
 :icon_cool:
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Hayduke on March 26, 2013, 10:16:09 AM
Does anyone have any other info on the location of Marufo's Vega?

This very good question got pondered on a bit over in this thread...
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-book-reviews/found-ross-maxwell's-book-online/msg111058/#msg111058 (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-book-reviews/found-ross-maxwell's-book-online/msg111058/#msg111058)
 :icon_cool:

Thanks. That confirms the location given on the larger map. So he probably farmed the area around the mouth of Arroyo Venado.
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Flash on March 26, 2013, 10:20:21 AM
I think he grazed his sheep and goats on the grassy strips (vegas) along the River. Maybe there is/was a nice one near the mouth of Arroyo Venado...  ;)
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Reece on March 26, 2013, 10:33:07 AM
It helps to know a little Spanish, eh Flash?

I'm trying to be nice here.
My reply to Tom and Roland:

"You might consider renaming the "Marufo Vega Spring" photo since there is not a known spring there. I'm not saying that you couldn't have discovered a new or even intermittent water source but it appears that is not the case. Hikers in this land need information they can depend on. Since there was no corroborating evidence of water there, I did more research and there is no harm, no foul to me but others may accept the name at face value. Thanks for your explorations and wonderful pictures!"
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Hayduke on March 26, 2013, 12:29:49 PM
Reece, that's said very nicely. You should be a diplomat.
Title: Re: Marufo Vega Spring?
Post by: Homer67 on March 26, 2013, 01:43:36 PM
Man, I wanna go.