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Author Topic: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer  (Read 7615 times)  

Offline Al

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Re: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2011, 11:18:47 PM »
Flash, excellent demo of how to use a tarp for shade in the desert plus that is a real nice tarp.   :cool-thumb:  Well done!

Al

Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2011, 06:56:36 AM »
Nice campsite also, that is the famous "3 Dog" Campsite near the junction of Smokey Creek and the Dodson Trails.  Normally there is water available from a spring about 10-15 minutes down Smokey Creek but this spring was dry last April and cannot be relied upon except during wet periods or after heavy rains.  In normal years it usually does have water though and makes the 3-Dog that much better of a campsite to have water so close. TWWG

Offline Casa Grande

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Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2011, 07:05:45 AM »
Very cool :cool:

Offline Flash

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Re: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2011, 10:18:46 PM »
About the second mile out on our Dodson Trail hike,

We were working up the switchbacks before the summit prior to the Smokey Creek drainage, when I happened upon a poor draught-stricken prickly pear plant that had collapsed into the trail from the uphill side:

I turned around to warn my son that he would have to step over it, but he was a ways back, so I glanced back and suddenly my spidey senses kicked in and told my eyes to zero in on a certain spot:

My brain ordered a complete halt to forward motion and then I eased back a bit. I pointed the spot out to my son who had just caught up:

Snake! Perhaps he is waiting for his breakfast to come scampering along the trail, we thought. Excitedly, we discussed the best way to deal with Mr. Snake. The Son wanted to chunk rocks at it, so Dad threw one that bounced right in front of Mr. Snake, but that left him unphased. Another one ticked him off and produced a brief rattle. The Dad then tried moving him along with his extended hiking stick, but that attempt failed.  Mr. Snake liked his spot between the pads. Another rock annoyed him enough that he slithered slowly off, stopping under the larger prickly pear pile and holed up there. This was on the trail still, right where we wanted to go. While he was crawling away, we noted that Mr. Snake had a distinctly black tail ahead of his rattle. At last, it dawned on us that perhaps we might try another path:

We backtracked about 20 feet and headed uphill above Mr. Snake, working our way through just about everything that poked, scratched, clawed, or grabbed until we were about 25 feet above him. Then we angled back downhill to the trail again.

Next day, on the return trip back to Wilson Ranch, where indeed was Mr. Snake? Why right back in his cozy little spot between the two prickly pear pads! Again we hiked up and over, this time we didn't bother trying to mess with him.

Later in the day, at the Basin Visitor Center, a Ranger guessed it might have been a northern black-tailed rattlesnake as seen in this picture from Wikipedia:


Fun stuff! :icon_mrgreen:
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 11:03:29 PM by Flash »

Offline TexasAggieHiker

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Re: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2011, 10:54:20 PM »
Good eyes!!

Offline SA Bill

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Re: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2011, 05:44:02 AM »
Gotta love the Noah's Tarp! I bought one a while back and it is really handy for creating shade where there is none.

Good spotting with the rattler! He had a good place to hang out.
   Bill
Bill - In San Antonio

Growing old is mandatory.
Growing up is optional.

Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2011, 05:57:22 AM »
I probably would step right on it!  :willynilly: Nice job

Offline Homer67

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Re: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2011, 10:15:43 AM »
I recently bought a the 9' kelty tarp...we shall see how it flies this October. On another note, the only rattler we have seen in the park has been a black tail...it was on the Mule Ears Trail at dusk back in April.

Great photo of Mr. Snake!  Beauty that MUST be respected!
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

Offline Reece

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Re: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2011, 04:55:25 AM »
Great trip my old friend - intelligent too. I'm glad to see that you haven't lost any of the wiry strength that I remember you for - nothing but muscle, bone, sinew and nerve, lots of nerve!

Offline steelfrog

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Re: Outer Mountain Loop in the summer
« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2011, 02:24:37 PM »
Yes, that is a northern blacktail; little-known fact, it has the longest fangs compared to body size of any rattler.  It also has some of the weakest venom though

 

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