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An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond

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Offline BIBEARCH

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2019, 09:18:30 AM »
Glad it worked for you!



Is the darkened outer layer of the rock exfoliating naturally or is it vandalism or something entirely different I wonder? I get that someone might have sighted in their rifle on the circle with the slash.

- Flash
Yes, there is quite a bit of exfoliation. And, those bullet holes show in a photo from 1931.


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The opinion expressed above is my own and not that of the National Park Service or the Federal government.

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2019, 09:53:44 AM »
You may think you're not good on that flute, but when I visited Chimneys, that's the music I heard in my mind.  Heard it at Swirl and Indian Head and another place or two which I will not name.

Another great story HMoD. 

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Online Reece

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2019, 10:28:52 AM »
Thanks for taking the time and doing the work HMOD! You take me there like no other.
Every Indian needs a plains style flute. I've been trying my hand at making them for years, still not very good at it and still worse at playing the darned things. Now that my DNA turned up a 2% Native American strain, I'm going to have to get back at it, even thinking now about putting a hawk feather in my hat, Ha!
Thanks again man! I'm going to have to make it to the Chimneys one day. I'll skip the springs search but if I may, I'd like to camp on your little perch under the overhang.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2019, 04:15:07 PM »
Just, wow. Vicariously following you inspires me to gather my now 71 year old butt and walk it out into the desert. You are as stricken with Chimneys as I when I first hiked there as a younger park archeologist in the early 1980s. Loving your story...  Keep it up!

Thanks, Tom. That means a great deal to me. Often when I'm out and about in The Bend, I think of the work you and Betty have done out there. I'm always aware that I'm moving through a world that you two have helped preserve and interpret. Kindred spirits, for sure. Our butts belong in the desert and the mountains and not in a chair.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2019, 04:28:08 PM »
You may think you're not good on that flute, but when I visited Chimneys, that's the music I heard in my mind.  Heard it at Swirl and Indian Head and another place or two which I will not name.

Another great story HMoD.

Awww, man. Thanks, Hang10er. I hoped you'd find it worthwhile. I know what you mean about the flute music. It may not be historically accurate, but it's definitely emotionally on the money, isn't it? I don't think any of us (well, maybe BIBEARCH) can really wrap our minds around what went on out there one or two or fifty hundred years ago, but the flute seems to help open the mind a bit. I'm not a "noble savage" kind of guy: some of my relatives were killed or wounded trying to settle the west AND I've got close friends from several Native American tribes. I understand that both aboriginal life and settler life in the west was no picnic: often as brutal as it was beautiful. But on the other hand, the flute speaks to something in me that seems right.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2019, 04:45:59 PM »
Thanks for taking the time and doing the work HMOD! You take me there like no other.
Every Indian needs a plains style flute. I've been trying my hand at making them for years, still not very good at it and still worse at playing the darned things. Now that my DNA turned up a 2% Native American strain, I'm going to have to get back at it, even thinking now about putting a hawk feather in my hat, Ha!
Thanks again man! I'm going to have to make it to the Chimneys one day. I'll skip the springs search but if I may, I'd like to camp on your little perch under the overhang.

Right back atcha, Reece.  I go over your trip reports with a fine-toothed comb.  You're a few steps further down the road than me and I listen carefully to elders. 

One thing I have to point out, though, is that The Chimneys themselves, while perhaps the world's BEST camping spot, are not legal: "Be at least 0.5 mile and out of sight from any road and at least 100 yards from any trail, historical structure, archeological site, dry wash, or cliff edge." Sure, you and I could do it respectfully, but can everyone? I think it was Marufo that once offered up Kant's Categorical Imperative here on BBC, which basically says, "Don't do it, if you're not willing to have EVERYONE IN THE WORLD do it, too." It's tough, but I follow the regs and usually camp near the spring. That said, once out there, I spend as much time (day and night) at The Chimneys as I possibly can. You should, too, my friend. And bring a flute!!!!!
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline BIBEARCH

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2019, 05:35:10 PM »
Amén, brother!!

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Offline alan in shreveport

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2019, 08:50:30 PM »
Thanks House - got to get back to the Chimneys and check those bullet divets out first hand. Pre 1931, interesting.
Charlie horses are the worst - and yours sound like uber charlie horses.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2019, 02:19:13 AM »
DAY 2 continued…


The volunteer ranger had disappeared over the low horizon and my little lunch was done. With clouds blowing ominous and low overhead, I packed up around 1pm and headed down The Chimneys trail westward toward Pena Spring. Even with the inevitable struggle with this trail’s notoriously cryptic cairns, I was once again astonished at the difference between off-trail and on-trail hiking. There is simply no comparison. One is a constant physical and mental challenge and the other is, literally, just a walk in the park. I crested a slight rise, dropped down the other side, and dropped my pack no more than a quarter mile from where I first hit the trail. I had a bit of business to take care of. Somewhere to my south was Dos Spring. My data put it at a very unlikely spot, in the middle of the flats, about 200 feet northwest of a another southwest-trending wash like the one I’d just climbed out of. I roamed the flats for about a half hour but never found any sign of a spring. I think this was a case of funky mapping. This spring had been mapped in 1995, during a later generation of spring surveys. Interestingly, later in the week, over beers, Mule Ears and I discussed the possibility that the 1995 survey may have used a different datum, possibly causing its coordinates to be off by a few hundred yards when plotted on the earlier map put together with the original datum. Dunno. Maybe. As it was, I sure didn’t see any sign of Dos Spring. I suspect it sits down in the nearby wash, probably part way up on a bank, just as did \nearby Tres Spring. But the weather was looking increasingly iffy, so I bailed on any further search.


Feeling a little bummed by my failure to find even a remotely likely candidate site for Dos Spring, I returned to my pack (after a nervous five minutes of trying to remember exactly where I’d left it), and headed down trail westward toward my next target, Pena Spring. Three-quarters of a mile or so later, I arrived at my destination. In that short amount of time the weather had changed completely. Emblematic of the crazy weather on this trip, the clouds had blown away, the wind had died down, the sun was out, and the temps were rising fast. I dropped my pack, stripped off my insulating layers. Off came the smock, along with the down vest and fleece pants I’d been wearing since last night. The sunny skies looked like they were here to stay now and I knew I’d soon be sweating up a storm if I didn’t lose those insulating layers right away. Plus, I figured after Bee and Tres and Dos Springs, I was done with fighting my way through thorny scrub in search of springs. My fleece pants had been a huge help when bushwhacking through the meatgrinders. But, if I’d interpreted my maps correctly, the rest of this day’s hiking would be through wide washes and rocky canyons. So even though the temps were still only in the low 50’s, I stripped down to nylon trail pants, an REI polyester short-sleeve t-shirt, and an REI Sahara long-sleeved trailshirt.


Pena Spring was another of those places I’d been to many times before, but this time wanted to really thoroughly explore.  It’s a spring complex: and even though only two springs are marked on the map, I’ve always found the water to be welling up in many and unpredictable places along the drainages. Today was no exception. I exited the trail at the normal access point which I’ve always found to be well-marked by a prominent cairn.


Approaching Pena Spring Wash from the East by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr


Entrance is just off-trail under the large cottonwood to the left by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr


Pena Spring Cairn by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr


Heading down to the spring by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

I found water at the first stop I made underneath the second set of cottonwood trees. I moved deeper into the vegetation and further down wash toward the third set of cottonwoods. I noticed something in the grasses at my feet: it was fresh whitewash, bird-droppings.


Fresh whitewash by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr


More fresh whitewash by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

Then I noticed some whitewash on twigs just above the first batch.  Suddenly a large bird of prey flushed just above and in front of me from my right. Dark-backed with patches of russet, very dark tail with a white terminal band, short and broad and rounded wings with slow, powerful wingbeats, and something that – for just a moment – looked like it might be a pale facial disk.  A moment later a second similar bird flushed from almost the same spot. Then what looked like one of the first birds returned from the left flying low and near my head, and a third bird flushed from the right, and all of them disappeared, never to return.  I was a little stunned by all this sudden furious activity so close to me.  I’d been focused on finding the spring and wasn’t thinking about birds. Initially, I was flummoxed and tried to convince myself these had been owls, because first impressions can be very stubborn, but that just didn’t fit. Eventually, it hit me: I’d just seen a group of Harris’s Hawks and they’d been engaged in that breed’s diagnostic cooperative hunting.  They must have chased prey into the understory surrounding the spring and were hoping to catch it again when it flushed. The “facial disk” I thought I’d seen on the first bird as it flew away from me, was actually the large pale cere of a Harris’s Hawk.  This was a fantastic find. I’d seen plenty of Harris’s Hawks before, singles and mated pairs, but this was the first time I’d ever seen a group engaging in cooperative hunting. It was a magical few moments for an ornithologist.

Hawks now long gone, I moved up and down the drainage and identified several pools deep enough to fill bottles (provided one used a little patience and care). 


Bingo! by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

There was scads of Mountain Lion and Black Bear scat to be found all around here. This was clearly a popular place. I’ve found Black Bear scat here almost every time I’ve visited, no matter what time of year. Frankly, that doesn’t make much sense to me, but there you have it.

SMALL BEAR scat or small BEAR SCAT by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

I tried to reach the first set of cottonwoods, up wash, but the vegetation was too dense, no matter which angle of approach I tried.  Then I switched my attention to what the maps sometimes call Pena Spring #2, which is across the trail, at the head of small drainage about 500 feet north of the main Pena Spring. That drainage trends nearly parallel to the main Pena wash, but is separated from it by a small ridge on which The Chimneys trail runs. Once the Pena #2 wash approaches the Chimneys trail, it bends northwestward to run parallel to it and ultimately empties into the same wider wash as does the main Pena drainage.  I could see a knot of tight dense green vegetation on the uppermost lip of this little heavily-eroded drainage and I tried to get inside it to look around the thicket but, again, it was all just too dense and thorny. And there was NO sign of running or pooling water anywhere around it. Clearly, water had been flowing there at some point, all the erosional features pointed to that, but there was none to be seen when I was there. 


Of the 5 quarts of water I’d started with yesterday, I was now down to a single quart. I’d always planned on re-watering from this spring complex so I returned to the main Pena Spring and used my 1-liter Platypus to draw 2 quarts, with which I re-filled one of my 2-liter soda bottles, adding two Potable Aqua disinfecting pills. This would last me at least until I reached Red Ass Spring, hopefully later this evening.  I pulled out my flute and improvised a little happy bit of music.


My work here at Pena was done. Now stripped down to clothing appropriate for the blazing sun, and after a brief snack, I shouldered my pack and headed west on the trail. Immediately, I passed an old Verdin’s nest.


Verdin nest remnants inside a Honey Locust by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr


Through clay badlands by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

The trail had transitioned out of the greasewood-covered desert flats and dropped down into serpentine clayey hills and eroded aggregate cliffs. I wound my way past several recently collapsed cliffs, no doubt the product of this summer’s and fall’s prodigious rains. A couple minutes later, the trail crossed the main Pena drainage and I stepped over a trickle of water flowing down in it in a thin, shallow sheet.  Pena is a perennially wet spring, but not much of it flows out of the cottonwoods shading it.


The trail crosses the outflow from Pena Springs by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

After a hike of about three-quarters of a mile from Pena Spring, I emerged from the hills and stopped at the edge of the vast, open, nearly-mile-wide drainage plain that stretched all the way to Pena Mountain. 


The trail reaches open desert, with Pena Mountain in the distance. by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr


The trail cairns go that a-way, but I don't. by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

The Chimneys trail snaked northwest across this relatively flat plain and then curved around Pena Mountain to terminate at a trailhead on the Old Maverick Road near Luna’s Jacal.  That wasn’t my path, though. My plan called for me to turn sharply northeast here and work my way up through a set of canyons I’d never been to before, nor (as far as I knew) had anyone else other than NPS spring survey teams. I had information compiled by Juan Cuatro Lados from his monumental surveys many years ago, as well of some data from the 1995 survey. Together, they indicated at least one spring and one tinaja lay up the drainages ahead, the largest of which should take me all the way to the always-reliable Red Ass Springs where I had originally hoped to camp that night. At this point, I figured my chances of making Red Ass before nightfall were about 25/75, depending upon what I discovered ahead of me. Investigating Bee, Tres, Dos, and Pena Springs had taken more time than I’d planned for: fighting through the vegetation surrounding them, particularly the thorny stuff, was mighty slow-going and I was now at least a couple hours behind my intended schedule.  It was possible I might have to improvise tonight’s camp. 


I turn right or northeast and go this way by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr


To be continued...

« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 10:41:06 AM by House Made of Dawn »
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An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2019, 02:46:34 AM »
DAY 2 continued...


I stepped out of the hills and onto the plain and soon made an acute right turn into the first wash I came upon. Which I soon discovered was stupid because it was the SECOND wash I was supposed to turn into. I had not taken the right right; I had taken the wrong right.  Again, my intuition rang the alarm pretty quickly: this wash just wasn’t shaped like I expected. I pulled out my map and instantly saw my mistake, which was actually pretty profound. Had I stayed in that wash, I would have followed it as it bent around back to the east, ran south of Black Mesa, and eventually ended back in the open desert beside The Chimneys. That would have been a pisser. Instead, I turned left and headed up over what were thankfully very low and dry banks, until I intersected the correct wash and then turned right up it.


Heading up a wide wash to the west of Black Mesa by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

This wash hugged a high clay ridge running northeast along the 2400’ contour line.  The drainage was sandy and gravelly, with excellent footing, and absolutely FULL of water: a mile-long necklace of pools of various sizes and depths, with clear, clean water visibly flowing downhill from one pool to the next. Only occasionally did the flow dip below the gravel and sand; for the most part, it stayed above ground, glistening in the late afternoon sun. This was a very encouraging development.

Water really flowing VIDEO by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

Really Really Flowing VIDEO by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

I trudged northeast for about three-quarters of a mile (everything in this trip seemed to be three-quarters of a mile apart) until I came to a sharp eastward bend. At this point the clay ridge transitioned into a less tall, but much narrower canyon of steep dark red rock – it almost looked like basalt and it was highly fractured with many large blocks having tumbled to the canyon bottom. The canyon floor began to show stretches of bedrock and this rock contained more, larger, and deeper pools than the sandy gravel of the lower wash. It was beautiful and evocative place.


Clay hills giving way to red rocks by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

As I moved up canyon, it continued to bend around to the right, now toward the southeast, and I lost the sun on my back. It was now quite late in the afternoon and the hills and rock walls behind me obscured the lowering sun. The canyon here was shady and cool, almost cold. And then I heard it: the unmistakable tinkle of water trickling over stone into a deep pool. Always a wonderful and welcome sound in the desert.

The sound of water VIDEO by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

A few more steps and I saw it: one deep bedrock pool emptying through a small crack of red rock into another even deeper pool. Behind that, pool after pool after connected pool, nestled in among a narrowing jumble of tumbled boulders ending several dozen yards away in a box canyon of sheer thirty-foot walls. And in the very middle of the box, a waterfall. Thin, but flowing. This HAD to be Linda Spring.


Surprise!!! It ends in a box canyon here by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr


Is that a waterfall? by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr


Why yes it is by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

And it's active! VIDEO by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

I dropped my pack. Checked the GAIA on my iPhone, and the maps from my pack’s top lid. Yep. This was Linda Spring, alright. The water was flowing over the lip of the box, so the spring must be just beyond, up top. Damn….this vastly exceeded my expectations. This place was drop-dead gorgeous and had character to spare. Well, I had clearly drawn more water from Pena Spring than I needed to carry, given this embarrassment of pools. This place offered all the water I could possibly want, but I was carrying over two quarts just then and I’d be at Red Ass Spring long before that was used up. I decided I’d top off a quart in one of my bottles, just to be safe. I looked around the canyon. As far as I knew, no other person had been in here since at least 1995. And now I had this little paradise all to my lonesome. I was feeling pretty good about myself and the trip.

Its a good trip VIDEO by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

I pulled on my down vest against the chill and then spent the better part of an hour just exploring this tiny canyon. It was small – maybe 30 yards across and a couple hundred yards long – but fascinating. The sun was getting low and I decided to make dinner. It was looking like this canyon would be my campsite for the night. All things considered, a pretty good place to camp.


Titanium dinner by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

As I sat down to eat my delicious Jamaican Jerked Chicken, I noticed the wind was picking up, and fast. When I turned down canyon, I could see dark clouds gathering low in the western sky. I'm betting that Mule Ears and Flash, who were out there somewhere in the wilderness of Big Bend at that same moment, can corroborate: these clouds seemingly appeared almost out of nowhere. I stared at the gathering wall of gray for a minute or two. The volunteer ranger had said there might be rain in the afternoon – thunderstorms – but they’d hadn’t shown up. In fact, the weather had gotten better, not worse. But I could feel the air drenched in humidity; I knew that system was probably still out there, just hadn’t arrived yet. And those clouds weren’t cumulus, they were quickly-developing nimbostratus driven by an ever-increasing northwest wind. It was going to rain tonight, and maybe soon. And here I was in a box canyon.


I looked up at the sheer rock walls in front of me. Twenty-feet high. A twenty-four-pound pack. Six-o’clock. Sunset any minute. I didn’t know what I’d find up top. Rain coming. Well, hell. These are life-choices you remember.


I chose to stay put; I would not camp any nearer Red Ass Springs tonight. I could retreat down canyon, but I’d still be in a narrow wash unless I retreated a half-mile, by which point it would be dark, and even then, the wash would still be subject to flooding. I canvassed my surroundings. Hmmmmmm, not much flat ground and what there was, was completely covered in tough bunch grasses. Finally, as the sun was going down, I found one tiny flat space with only three somewhat widely-spaced tufts of tall bunchgrass, though they were entirely ringed by the rough boulders of a rockfall. What’s not to like, right? Well…..for one thing, the HUGE footprint of my beloved 10oz Silshelter tarptent.  I needed to fit a nine-foot long tent into a seven-foot space, and a four-foot wide tent into a three-foot shelf with a steep drop-off on one side. My Silshelter, which I dearly love, is by no means self-standing. It stretches over my two trekking poles and requires 6-10 stakes to hold it in place. The shelf on which I’d decided to pitch it was made up of a thin layer of sand and silt on top of a chaos of eroded rocks that once were part of the cliffs above.  This was one of the toughest pitches I’d ever attempted. Much harder than the one atop the foggy, rocky Deadhorse Mountains two years ago and almost as tough as the one I attempted in a torrential rainstorm in the gravelly wash in Ernst Basin last year.  Well….at least it wasn’t raining.


And then it started raining.


Now the situation was starting to feel like my debacle in Passionflower Canyon last year. But (and I’m nodding at you, elhombre), I wasn’t yet bonking. Thank goodness. I got four stakes into the ground – two in sand with large rocks atop them and two into the roots of bunchgrasses – and then wedged my trekking poles underneath the Silshelter’s fabric apex. The apex was directly above a huge bunchgrass, precisely where my head would usually go. I spread the poles as far apart as they would go, jacked them up with rock pedestals, and rammed in my four other stakes. Eight was all I brought on this trip (better than the six I brought two years ago) but I could have used ten. Rocks went on top where they could. The raindrops now were falling fat and faster. From my pack, I withdrew my closed-cell groundpad and shoved it roughly inside my tent, then threw my down bag on top of it, and pushed my backpack and all of its contents inside, ahead of me as I wormed my way into the tent.


The pitch from hell by House Made of Dawn, on Flickr

Once inside, I re-staked the entrance flaps as best I could and set about making sense of my little bedroom. The bunchgrass at the entrance would have to do double duty as my pillow. I tested it out and discovered a small rainbow cactus (Echinocereus dasyacanthus) growing amidst its roots. Short on humor at this particular moment, I found it hard to laugh at the little house-warming present gifted me by The Bend. I used my Deuce-of-Spades toilet trowel to pry up the cactus and relocate it to a less-crowded neighborhood outside the tent. I cozied into my cramped refuge and ate my Peanut M&M’s dessert to the accompaniment of a fusillade of wind-whipped raindrops on the outside of my tiny tenuous shelter. Any port in a storm.


By the time I finished dessert, the dark was total, the rain was intense, and the fabric of my goofily-staked Silshelter was starting to sag precipitously toward my face. I removed a few things from my backpack that I thought I might need during the night, and then shoved my upright pack underneath the saggiest of the tent walls in order to buy me some sleeping room.  I crammed the stuffsack with my spare clothing (especially my rainwear) into the bunchgrass, placed the elastic band of my Petzl e+Lite on my forehead, and wiggled myself into my Feathered Friends Winter Wren bag. It wasn’t cold now at all, especially not under my shelter, so I only pulled the bag up to my lower chest. I stuck my feet out the uncinched bottom hole of the bag (one of the features I like about this bag). And I kept my boots on my feet all night. Why? Because I had very little confidence in my pitch. I’d done the best I could, but not much was possible in this situation. And I wanted to be fully prepared in case my shelter collapsed in a storm overnight. Boots on my feet, light on my forehead, rainwear in a stuffsack at my head: I was ready to leap into action if need be. Ready as I could be, I lay there on my back, head on the bunchgrass, knees drawn up to help support the sagging roof, and listened to the rain. I wasn’t exactly comfortable but, by golly, I was dry and warm and well-fed. As long as I didn’t get swept away by a flash flood, I’d be fine by the morning. The only pisser was that tonight was the peak of the Geminid meteor shower and I’d planned on staying up most of the night to watch it.  :ecomcity:….you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.  Irresistibly lulled into a stupor by the patter of rain on nylon, I fell asleep early that night (have I mentioned I fall asleep early most nights these days) with the tent roof propped up by my knees and my head resting on a tuft of bunchgrass. I slept deeply all night with nary a bad dream to disturb my rest.


Next: DAY 3
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 01:11:23 PM by House Made of Dawn »
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Offline mule ears

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2019, 06:32:18 AM »
I am as excited to see Linda spring as you were!  As you know it is on the route of one of my next trips.  You are far more dogged about beating your way into a spring area than I am.  If there is not obvious water then I am moving on.

You may speak to this further on but you did not miss the peak of the Geminids that night as it was the next night the 13th (Thursday) into the 14th (Friday).   What a difficult pitch and place to sleep.  At least you got your tarp up before dark, I was hoping it would pass and had to do it in the dark.   :banghead:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline alan in shreveport

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2019, 07:15:29 AM »
Whats the deal with the ranger when you were checking in asking about your BBChat screen name ?
 Is the ranger on BB chat , I guess ?

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Offline Robert

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Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2019, 09:21:41 AM »
Linda Spring is an excellent find. I had planned to make it out to the park over the holidays but the shutdown along with a nasty cold pretty much ended those plans. I had two potential routes, one very similar to what Mule Ears did and the other was a Chimney's route like you are doing. I would have come up that wash to Red Ass spring as well! 

Great report and photos!

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Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
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  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2019, 09:32:09 AM »
Whats the deal with the ranger when you were checking in asking about your BBChat screen name ?
 Is the ranger on BB chat , I guess ?

Yes, Alan, I think so. If you use the BBC utility which shows which users are currently online at any given moment, you’ll notice that the vast majority are guests (ie, unregistered users). So who really knows who’s on at any given moment? Mick Jagger or Keith Richards could be reading our posts. As far as I’m concerned, the more, the merrier. That particular ranger connected the dots between my previous trip reports and one of the anecdotes I was sharing during my check-in.


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"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2839
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: An Unexpected Journey: To The Chimneys and Beyond
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2019, 09:42:38 AM »
I am as excited to see Linda spring as you were!  As you know it is on the route of one of my next trips. 

Yep! I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience there. I hope it’s flowing!

You are far more dogged about beating your way into a spring area than I am.  If there is not obvious water then I am moving on.

I know! That was one of my goals this time out. I treated this trip almost like a spring survey. I could take that luxury because it was such a short trip. Had it been one of my typical longer outings, I would never have taken so much time at each water source. In fact, this trip was designed to check off a couple of boxes precisely so I wouldn’t have to bother on longer trips through that area.

You may speak to this further on but you did not miss the peak of the Geminids that night as it was the next night the 13th (Thursday) into the 14th (Friday).   What a difficult pitch and place to sleep.  At least you got your tarp up before dark, I was hoping it would pass and had to do it in the dark.   :banghead:

That one really came out of nowhere, didn’t it? I’m glad we both stayed dry!





Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

 


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