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High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016

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Offline dprather

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High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« on: August 20, 2016, 10:38:49 AM »
First Entry

Sitting at my work desk and preparing for tomorrow, I'll add installments to this report throughout the day.  This will be a teaser.  I'll weave all of this into day-by-day entries

#1 - On Tuesday morning, August 16 at 8:00 A.M. in the Basin it was 59 degrees (and it never got much hotter).

#2 - Accidental meeting with fellow BBC contributor "WETFEET."

#3 - PARTY! at LM-1

#4 - Welcome to Smoky Mountains National Park

#5 - Lunch with friends along the Northeast Rim

#6 - Addiction in Cattail Canyon

#7 - Water/rain report

#8 - Lessons learned

I love my wife and I enjoy the life the Lord has given me here in Liberty, but I Am ALREADY Missing The Bend!


« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 08:10:54 PM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline dprather

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2016, 12:53:55 PM »
Second Entry - Tuesday, August 16

Our first day began with two great omens.  As we drove up into the Basin, the thermometer on the car read 59 degrees.  As we spoke to the volunteer at the Basin desk, the nice lady said, "The pipe at Boot Canyon is just dribbling, but (leaning toward us) that was before the rains.  You should be fine."

Before experiencing just how fine it was, we experienced the first of many delightful human interactions while at the Basin permit desk.  "Carl (my backpacking buddy), is that you?" asked a voice that just walked in the door.  The voice came from Thomas.  Carl and Thomas had worked in the same Houston office for twenty+ years before Carl retired a few years back.  You can't walk away from that kind of  chance encounter, so we spent some time enjoying Thomas' company.  Thomas' daughter was going through the junior ranger drill.

Then we met Lane.  A fifth-grader from Austin, Lane has to be one of the luckiest kids alive.  His twenty-something uncle, a Ft. Worth firefighter, was helping him fill-out his initial paperwork for his man card.  Lane's uncle had taken him to Balmorhea and taught him how to scuba dive.  Now his uncle was teaching Lane how to have a straight-up conversation with two older men.

"Do you mind if Lane asks you some questions?" the young uncle asked us as we were going through our final pack preparations right outside the Basin ranger office.  "Here Lane, ask them" the uncle said as he nudged the slightly timid Lane into our presence.  Prompted by his uncle ("Look at them when you talk to them," "Shake their hand," "Go ahead," and etc.) Lane asked us why this, what was that for, and where were we going?  It was pure joy to explain backpacking prep to Lane.  I concluded by asking, "Lane, someday maybe you'd like to spend three nights in the High Chisos?"  Based on the sparkle in his eyes, my money is on Lane entering the next generation of Big Bend romantics. 

Then we set out up Languna Meadows trail.  If it looked cool, we dropped packs and explored it.  If it deserved more than passing conversation, we stopped and discussed it.  I was so pleased that the pace of our trip was measured and fun.  I am glad to have reached the point that I no longer want to get  from here to there in a hurry.

Lesson #1 - instead of my regular rip-stop pants, I wore COLUMBIA trail pants.  The super thin and billowy pants Are The Way To Go!

Had we wanted to hurry, we would have been annoyed by WETFEET.  Trudging up Laguna Meadows we were overhauled by a 40-something day hiker (we are 60-something backpackers).  After exchanging pleasantries, I shook the then-unknown person's hand and said, "My name is Don Prather." After the day hiker walked about five steps he whirled around, pointed a surprised finger at me and said "Don Prather...are you DPrather?...Bob Marley!!!!...But you don't look like Bob Marley!??!"  As it was, we had a very enjoyable 45-minute BBC reunion right on the trail.  We would see WETFEET again.

Eventually we pulled off Laguna Meadows trail out onto LM-1 campsite.  That place is great!  It was so great that we decided to eat lunch and then siesta.  My lunch was a packet of tuna enlivened with a packet of BUCCEE's mayo and a packet of their awesome jalapeno relish smeared over RITZ crackers.  My bed was a tarp, and my pillow was a bottle half-filled with TANG-flavored water.  Can it get any better than that?   

Our half-hour snooze was awakened by a 40-something man and wife who had also come to LM-1 for lunch.  They were first-time backpackers/Benders who were on their way down after two nights in the High Chisos.  His pack weighed 71 (!!!!!!!) pounds and he was most definitely experiencing a teachable moment.  So we enjoyed lunch with them while they asked what they should and shouldn't pack (no - you don't need two JETBOIL stoves). 

Then WETFEET arrived.  For the next hour we had to kind of great times that one would expect to have while eating dinner with old friends.  Two or three conversations whirled together at the same time.  The love of the Bend and the ways of backpacking were the subjects.  It was all smiles, laughs, and hugs and hand shakes when it was over.

And then alone, Carl and I had another laugh.  We came to a remote place for lunch and a siesta and attracted a crowd.  Carl chanced into an old friend.  We enjoyed conversation with Lane.  We met WETFEET.  Truly awesome; truly amazing.

Afterwards we advanced to our base camp at Boot Canyon #4.  The clouds kept the oppressive sunshine away and kept the temps low.  Our only sweat was the mild sweat of exhilarated exertion.  We never suffered from sun or heat the entire trip.

Near the intersection of the South Rim and Colima trails,  we met Dean.  About Lane's age, Dean was day hiking with his dad and was seriously rattled.  Dad explained that Dean had happened upon a rattlesnake earlier in the day and was still shaken.  Dean looked at me with yearning eyes that demanded a reassuring explanation.  I knew I had to say something, so channeling my best Augustus McCrae I said, "Well Dean, it's kinda like a lot of other scary things in life wasn't it?  It wasn't as bad as you feared, you survived, and now you've got a story to tell."  Dean's eyes also sparkled when I asked him if he thought that anyone else would have a better "What I did over the summer" story when school began.  My explanations had to come from the spirit of Lonesome Dove because I'm not that smart.  After Carl and I shared our own rattlesnake-encounter stories, Dean lightened up considerably.  Dean's dad beamed in that special sort of way that dads beam when they have received some necessary, high quality, not-from-dad help.  We were happy to oblige.

As the day's final great experience, we went to the pipe at Boot Springs to fill water bottles.  We had not depended on "found" water before.  Boot Creek was gurgling and the pipe filled 1 1/2 pint bottles in less than twenty seconds. 

Going to sleep, Carl's last words were "We should go buy some lottery tickets."  Yes - we were that lucky.

   
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 07:51:44 AM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline dprather

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 01:00:00 PM »
Second Entry - Tuesday, August 16

Our first day began with two great omens.  As we drove up into the Basin, the thermometer on the car read 59 degrees.  As we spoke to the volunteer at the Basin desk, the nice lady said, "The pipe at Boot Canyon is just dribbling, but (leaning toward us) that was before the rains.  You should be fine."

Before experiencing just how fine it was, we experienced the first of many delightful human interactions while at the Basin permit desk.  "Carl (my backpacking buddy), is that you?" asked a voice that just walked in the door.  The voice came from Thomas.  Carl and Thomas had worked in the same Houston office for twenty+ years before Carl retired a few years back.  You can't walk away from that kind of  chance encounter, so we spent some time enjoying Thomas' company.  Thomas' daughter was going through the junior ranger drill.

Then we met Lane.  A fifth-grader from Austin, Lane has to be one of the luckiest kids alive.  His twenty-something uncle, a Ft. Worth firefighter, was helping him fill-out his initial paperwork for his man card.  Lane's uncle had taken him to Balmorhea and taught him how to scuba dive.  Now his uncle was teaching Lane how to have a straight-up conversation with two older men.

"Do you mind if Lane asks you some questions?" the young uncle asked us as we were going through our final pack preparations right outside the Basin ranger office.  "Here Lane, ask them" the uncle said as he nudged the slightly timid Lane into our presence.  Prompted by his uncle ("Look at them when you talk to them," "Shake their hand," "Go ahead," and etc.) Lane asked us why this, what was that for, and where were we going?  It was pure joy to explain backpacking prep to Lane.  I concluded by asking, "Lane, someday maybe you'd like to spend three nights in the High Chisos?"  Based on the sparkle in his eyes, my money is on Lane entering the next generation of Big Bend romantics. 

The we set out up Languna Meadows trail.  If it looked cool, we dropped packs and explored it.  If it deserved more than passing conversation, we stopped and discussed it.  I was so pleased that the pace of our trip was measured and fun.  I am glad to have reached the point that I no longer want to get  from here to there in a hurry.

Lesson #1 - instead of my regular rip-stop pants, I wore COLUMBIA trail pants.  The super thin and billowy pants Are The Way To Go!

Had we wanted to hurry, we would have been annoyed by WETFEET.  Trudging up Laguna Meadows we were overhauled by a 40-something day hiker (we are 60-something backpackers).  After exchanging pleasantries, I shook the then-unknown person's hand and said, "My name is Don Prather." After the day hiker walked about five steps he whirled around, pointed a surprised finger at me and said "Don Prather...are you DPrather?...Bob Marley!!!!...But you don't look like Bob Marley!??!"  As it was, we had a very enjoyable 45-minute BBC reunion right on the trail.  We would see WETFEET again.

Eventually we pulled off Laguna Meadows trail out onto LM-1 campsite.  That place is great!  It was so great that we decided to eat lunch and then siesta.  My lunch was a packet of tuna enlivened with a packet of BUCCEE's mayo and a packet of their awesome jalapeno relish smeared over RITZ crackers.  My bed was a tarp, and my pillow was a bottle half-filled with TANG-flavored water.  Can it get any better than that?   

Our half-hour snooze was awakened by a 40-something man and wife who had also come to LM-1 for lunch.  They were first-time backpackers/Benders who were on their way down after two nights in the High Chisos.  His pack weighed 71 (!!!!!!!) pounds and he was most definitely experiencing a teachable moment.  So we enjoyed lunch with them while they asked what they should and shouldn't pack (no - you don't need two JETBOIL stoves). 

Then WETFEET arrived.  For the next hour we had to kind of great times that one would expect to have while eating dinner with old friends.  Two or three conversation whirled together at the same time.  The love of the Bend and the ways of backpacking were the subjects.  It was all smiles, laughs, and hugs and hand shakes when it was over.

And then alone, Carl and I had another laugh.  We had come to a remote place for lunch and a siesta and had attracted a crowd.  Carl had chanced into an old friend.  We had enjoyed conversation with Lane.  We had met WETFEET.  Truly awesome; truly amazing.

Afterwards we advanced to our base camp at Boot Canyon #4.  The clouds kept the oppressive sunshine away and kept the temps low.  Our only sweat was the mild sweat of exhilarated exertion.  We never suffered from sun or heat the entire trip.

As the day's final great experience, we went to the pipe at Boot Springs to fill water bottles.  We had not depended on "found" water before.  Boot Creek was gurgling and the pipe filled 1 1/2 pint bottles in less than twenty seconds. 

Going to sleep, Carl's last words were "We should go buy some lottery tickets."  Yes - we were that lucky.

 
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2016, 03:15:20 PM »
Great start dprather!  Wetfeet is indeed a great guy, he helped us with a shuttle in 2014 and it turned out we even went to the same high school in Houston!  Looking forward to the rest.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
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no shade, no water
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Offline dprather

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2016, 03:41:16 PM »
Third Entry - Wednesday, August 17

Slowly stirring in our bags and noisily unzipping our tents, Carl said, "Welcome to the Great Smoky Mountains."  Peering outside my tent, I understood why.  The High Chisos were sheathed in shifting, swirling clouds.  Thick wisps even entered the trees surrounding Boot Canyon #4 and joined us for breakfast (see footnote).

If our first day on the trail had been a day of chance people encounters, the second day would be for critter encounters.  The first was a critter who also joined us for breakfast.  "Look here" said Carl.   He opened the sure-fire, welded steel, bear-proof, expensive government contract box to show me a mouse nest - and a mouse within the nest.  Yep - the deep thinkers who designed a box to withstand curious bears had left the tolerances too loose for the bolt tab at the front, right, bottom of the box where the locking bolt held the door.  The tolerances allowed for a mouse to shimmy in (I've got pics).  We didn't disturb the mouse.  In fact, we used the other, older bear box for our food and were not careful at all about leaving him the crumbs we dropped.

More critters came later.

But first...

After breakfast (see footnote) Carl mentioned something about it being a good morning to go back to bed.  So we did.  Until 10:00.  It was great.

One of our purposes for this High Chisos trip was to explore the Northeast Rim.  We usually come in the winter when that part of the Rim is closed due to Peregrine Falcon nesting.  We had never visited that part of the Rim.  That was to be today's project.

It is obviously and considerably less visited than other places up top.  Following the Northeast Rim Trail that leaves Boot Canyon Trail, we found that trail to be obviously underused.  We found the Northeast Rim area to be thicker and more lush. 

We found something else.  About half-way up Boot Canyon, attached to the west wall of the exposed rock canyon bottom, there was what appeared to be the wall footings of an old dam.  Concrete and rock was all that was left.  Anybody got an explanation?

The whole park was wonderfully thick, lush, and green.  So green was Juniper Canyon and the back side of Crown Mountain that we had to look at our map to convince ourselves that we were seeing what we were seeing across the way.  The greenery was so stunning.  The only way our minds allowed us to accept that the verdant green mountain and brimming valley were normally dry Crown and normally desiccated Juniper was recognizing the looping arch of Hays Ridge creeping away in the distance.

QUESTION FOR THE REAL VETERANS:  is the greenery we saw this week typical of the pre-drought Park?  Or, did we luck into a truly rare August?

We also recognized that as we were walking the edge of the Rim, we were following the inside arc of the Dodson Trail - there was the beginning of the Dodson, there was Elephant Tusk, there is Fresno, there is Smoky Creek, etc.  It is much easier to walk that line up on the Rim as compared to walking that line along the actual Dodson.

Watching five or six falcons playing right in our faces in the updraft off of the Northeast Rim, we sensed movement very close behind us and to the right.  Then came one of those precious, precious, precious happenings.

Two deer came VERY close.  First, a young doe.  Then, a young buck with horns in velvet that looked like they just might fork. 

The doe investigated us THOROUGHLY.  We did not try to be quiet and talked gently to her, assuring her that we were not a threat.  They came so close, nibbling lichens (they liked lichens) off of oak limbs.  They were always within 20 feet of us and usually were much closer than that.  We heard them crunch and munch and thought we heard the doe burp.  This went on for more than thirty minutes as we sat there and enjoyed a close encounter of the critter kind.

Two moments stood out.  First, occasionally, the doe would stop eating, lift her head, look straight at us and stomp her right forehoof on the ground.  She did this maybe a dozen times.  Experts - what was she doing?  She had already checked us out and was eating comfortably.

Second, at one point both doe and buck jerked their heads up and looked off to our right (their left) back into the forest.  They stared off for several seconds and we just knew something back in there had startled them.  Then she looked at us quizzically as if to ask, "Did you hear that?"  Then they continued eating.

Leaving the Northeast Rim, we first checked out the watercourse that crosses the trail just below where Boot Canyon Trail starts down from the Rim Trail.  The trickle that crosses the trail was quite full, as were the ponds up and to the left - lotsa water!  Also, all of the Boot "little pots" were actually a flowing stream from pot to pot.

Our plan was to slowly descend Boot canyon in the gathering dusk as we inched back to Boot Canyon #4 and camp.  We set up in several places to critter watch, JUST KNOWING that some kind of animal would be seen in the empty late-day depths of Boot. 

At our last stop, we sat quietly in a natural blind, waiting, watching, and then hearing...a shrill human whistle.  We assumed that a group of mixed young men and women were coming up Boot to wreck our critter watching.  What appeared instead were three college-something girls from Austin.  When the first one spied us, she immediately blushed red.  Explaining her loud whistle, she sheepishly said, "We're afraid of Mountain Lions."  Not being NEARLY as handsome, as young, nor as rich as their dreams, the three girls left us after pleasantries and trudged on up Boot to their Rim campsite.   

Obviously defeated in our critter watching, we eased on down Boot and back to Boot Canyon #4.  Dinner was a yummy potato soup mix concocted by the most patient woman in the world. 

That night it began to rain.  Tents magnify the impression made by falling rain, and we were serenaded to sleep by a steady drumbeat.  Thus ended day #2.

Deep in the night, during a lull in the rain, I relearned that there is really no such thing as a waterproof tent.  Yanking back the fly to take a bathroom break, water splashing off of the fly thoroughly drenched me, my sleeping bag, and most other contents of my tent.  I might sue Kelty for false advertising.

-----------
Gritty Gravy recipe - breakfast of old guys with roots in the South.  This stuff is great!

One package instant grits.
One heaping tablespoon of white gravy mix.
One heaping tablespoon of real bacon bits.

I convinced myself to eat three meals a day (even though I eat much less while on the trail).  I did this to limit the amount of junk I'd crave.  It worked.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 11:47:28 AM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline Imre

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2016, 04:21:28 PM »
Quote
About half-way up Boot Canyon, attached to the west wall of the exposed rock canyon bottom, there was what appeared to be the wall footings of an old dam.  Concrete and rock was all that was left.  Anybody got an explanation?
Is this the remnant you are referring to? That is indeed the remains of an old dam. It was intact in 1985; I believe it washed out in the spring or summer of 1992.
-Imre
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

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Offline dprather

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2016, 04:23:46 PM »
Quote
About half-way up Boot Canyon, attached to the west wall of the exposed rock canyon bottom, there was what appeared to be the wall footings of an old dam.  Concrete and rock was all that was left.  Anybody got an explanation?
Is this the remnant you are referring to? That is indeed the remains of an old dam. It was intact in 1985; I believe it washed out in the spring or summer of 1992.
-Imre

That's it - what is it?
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline badknees

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2016, 06:55:12 PM »
Not to be to repetitive, I've said it before.....Summer is good!!!

It is not unusual to have the mountains as green as you described. Timing of your visit was optimal coinciding with a rainy period. It dries quickly, but August is probably the greenest month in the high Chisos.

I have photos from many summers and  the Quemadas are intensely green during the peak rains. . Did I say summer is good? :icon_smile:

The foot stomping behavior of the deer is very common. They are trying to elicit a response from you. If you react, they may bolt. Does do it more than bucks, but I've seen this many, many times.


Oh yeah Marley....where are the photos????
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline dprather

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2016, 07:43:28 PM »
Fourth Entry - Thursday, August 18

Our Day #3 dawned drippy.  Enough rain fell that I woke up in a puddle.  Enough folks have camped at Boot canyon #4 that the tent sites have depressed into small bowls. 

Our goal for the day was to explore Cattail Canyon, another first for us.  After breakfast we humped over Colima and down the short section of the South Rim trail to Laguna Pass (?) and then down to the Laguna West sites.

What we found was really nice.  Humping over the ridge to LW 2 and 3, we found a very lightly visited canyon.  LW-3 looks like a great place for a solo backpacker to find some serious solitude. 

It's pretty clear that the powers that be don't want much travel back into Upper cattail.  For fun, Carl had bought a bandanna with a High Chisos map on it.  Where Cattail Canyon is, there is only a picture of a cougar.  There was no map detail at all of Cattail.  The invisible ink read "Beyond Here Be Dragons."

Following the super-secret instructions provided by the discreet contributors of BBC, we dropped in behind LW-3 and quickly came to a small pool of water at the foot of a small pour off.  There would be water all the way down from there. 

We followed an intermittent trail.  At times very distinct, but at times invisible, the trail basically followed the Cattail water flow down canyon.  Perhaps this is a "once was but now isn't" trail?

Cattail was the physical definition of addiction.  "Just a little more, and we'll stop" we told ourselves over and over again.  We finally put a hard cap of one hour on our down-canyon exploration.

As the trail played out and the cougar poop increased, the canyon grew more rugged.  It was really special to be able to enjoy such a remote and relatively unvisited location.  May the Lord keep it so.

Returning back toward Boot Canyon #4, the weather set in.  At first, billowy trains of low-hanging clouds chugged up from Blue Creek canyon, across the pass, and down Laguna Meadows trail toward the Basin.  The clouds were so thick that Blue Creek Canyon was not at all visible, filled in with clouds.

Going up from Laguna Pass toward Colima, hard cold rain his us instantly.  We got soaked in the time it took to yank out and put on our ponchos.  Just like that the trail was a torrent of run-off.

This might seem to be a bad thing.  But we've trained ourselves to love the Bend without hypocrisy.

Three years back we encountered the same thing out on Marufo Vega (and two years ago we got soaked out on Mesa de Anguila).  Along MV my buddy hollered "Bully! Bullier still!" and reminded me of what Teddy Roosevelt  might have said in similar circumstances.  That has become our habit.  Bring on the rain, "Bully!  Bullier still!"  This is truly not my nature, but the nurture of putting a happy face on "bad" weather.  Now I say bring it on because I'm prepared.

Passing Colima Pass (is that what the high point is called?) a thought hit us.  We had finished our list and the rain looked as if it was setting is.  Why not get to Boot canyon #4, pack up and do a late hump down Pinnacles?  We were not eager to leave, but even with a "Bully" attitude, sitting around camp in the rain is not very enticing.  Also, getting back to East Texas would be easier if we go an earlier start.  NOTE: the rain did not defeat us - we just followed a well-disciplined tactical retreat.

So another trip to the Bend was complete, but incomplete.  Leaving would be terrible were it not for our commitment to return again - and again.  Our bucket is huge because our list is long.

I'm left thinking of Lane and Dean as much as two young deer, of three puffing girls from Austin as much as billowy clouds surrounding Emory Peak, and of WETFEET as much as Cattail Canyon.  I guess I'm really beginning to get it.  The Bend is a striking physical place and a sure-enough physical challenge, striking enough and challenging enough to leave one with a sense of pride for climbing up and climbing back down in good order. 

But there is a "human" Bend that matches the physical Bend.  According to our experiences with the people we now meet in the Bend, Herv Dodson, John Rice, and Patricia Wilson musta been something else.    Everyone we met out there has brought us great joy.  Come to think of it, I suppose that we are melding into the human Bend too.

         

 



« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 07:35:24 AM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline badknees

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2016, 07:55:26 PM »
Did you make it as far as the dam in Cattail?

Photos?
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Offline Andreas

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2016, 04:11:23 AM »
Thank you very much for your TR, glad you spent a great time!
"Any time you're throwin dirt you're losin ground."

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Offline dprather

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2016, 07:28:38 AM »
Quote
About half-way up Boot Canyon, attached to the west wall of the exposed rock canyon bottom, there was what appeared to be the wall footings of an old dam.  Concrete and rock was all that was left.  Anybody got an explanation?
Is this the remnant you are referring to? That is indeed the remains of an old dam. It was intact in 1985; I believe it washed out in the spring or summer of 1992.
-Imre

This is what we saw.  Do you know who built it?

We observed what might have been the high water mark for water held by the dam.  It is also very possible that the line we saw as just another of the many horizontal strata lines separating geological elements.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline Imre

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2016, 07:32:39 AM »
Quote
We followed an intermittent trail.  At times very distinct, but at times invisible, the trail basically followed the Cattail water flow down canyon.  Perhaps this is a "once was but now isn't" trail?

In 1992 I followed an old stock trail straight to the small dam. In the summer of 2015 that stock trail was long gone. I also found trail fragments but they may be just game trails - maintained by the black bear and mountain lion.

An excellent trip report, thank you for sharing!

Imre
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

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Offline Imre

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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2016, 07:37:40 AM »
Quote
This is what we saw.  Do you know who built it?

Surely Homer Wilson? His ranch was about one-half of today's national park, including Emory peak. I believe that's the high water mark on the side of the canyon. It extends almost exactly to the height of the remaining section of the dam. If that's a horizontal strata it's a remarkable coincidence.

Imre
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

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Offline dprather

  • Mountain Lion
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Re: High Chisos Trip Report - August 16-18, 2016
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2016, 07:38:43 AM »
Did you make it as far as the dam in Cattail?

Photos?

No - we wanted to do that, but it must have been just a bit beyond.  We stopped where the canyon takes a hard right turn.  At that point, the low side of the curve makes a fairly large meadow-like feature.  Past that, the canyon appeared to get more v-like and deep.  Were we far from the dam?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 08:02:37 AM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

 


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