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Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip

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Offline Imre

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2018, 06:15:55 PM »
M: I can recommend Irfanview as a picture viewer/resizer.  In addition to changing the size of your pictures, when saving jpegs you can set a limit on the file size when they are saved.
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2018, 10:23:39 PM »
The game was probably played similar to horseshoes or washers or some of these bean bag toss games. I am guessing, based on the evidence, that they used flat stones marked with paint.

I am curious as to how you arrived at the conclusion the stakes and rocks are marking some kind of playing field?

There is nothing to suggest that. The small rocks referred to as tossing stones cannot be affirmatively associated with the stakes and larger rocks.

Your photos show no indication of any concentrated impacts which would occur from long-term or repeated occupation of an area as a campsite or work area, which further reduces the likelihood these stakes have some recreational implication. That a single vehicle pass left visible marks in the desert pavement shows the ease with which use impacts occur in the desert.

Consequently, it is much more likely the rebar was used to mark something of interest. The painted rocks would have been placed there, not as game backstops, but as an aid to relocating the rebar at a later time. A short, thin, rusty rod in the desert is very hard to see; painted rocks not only would be colorful, but they also are much larger than other materials in the area so they also would aid in finding the stations. The utility of using such rocks is seen in your photo of the four rocks; they are hard to miss in a expanse of desert pavement. You would see them long before resolving the rebar.

Surveyors today use similar techniques of piling rocks at points, but more typically use a lath stake with flagging attached to attract your attention. Of course wooden stakes fall over and flagging weathers, so rock piles really are more useful even if they cannot be seen from as far a distance as flagging.

Now, why is it there? Who knows? You may be correct in your assumptions, but I find it unlikely that anyone is going to carry rebar into the desert (and a long way from anywhere) to build some kind of game field. Of course, there is no way to determine the age of this stuff, but keep in mind that in the pre-park days, people worked hard out there. Social activities were concentrated at/near residential areas, not way out in the desert.

Perhaps Tom Alex has some information on this site, as it may be some NPS thing that has been long forgotten.

My best guess (because that's all we can do) is that it is marking a study plot of some kind or an archeological feature, neither of which is immediately apparent.

This is imaginative speculation on my part. Pretty cool find though.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 10:34:56 PM by Flash »

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Offline alan in shreveport

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #47 on: June 26, 2018, 06:42:13 AM »
"Pretty cool find though."     Definitely - what were they up to ?  and who ?

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #48 on: June 26, 2018, 09:21:28 AM »
I have a technical question for anyone. I hesitated to post a trip report from my Memorial Day weekend trip (Casa Grande? #peakbagged) because I tend to be a picture storyteller than a textual one. (Blame Facebook.) I was worried that my pictures would be too large and take up too much room in the report, but looks like that's actually an OK thing, right? (Should I wait for the new platform to kick in, though. Will that make the picture storytelling a less cumbersome?)
There have been lots of photo-only or at least photo-centric reports here. The size issue for embedded images is independent of the board's platform. Attached files have been lost during moves before, and have size limits. The main problem with embedding large files is that the viewer has to download more data. The images themselves are scaled down to a maximum of 640x640 for viewing in the post. Irfanview can (with the right plugins) limit file size, and other programs (e.g. PhotoShop) have similar options. There are also various options for image file resizing (see http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/photography-gear-and-tips/image-resizer/).

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2018, 10:33:57 AM »
"Pretty cool find though."     Definitely - what were they up to ?  and who ?
Hopefully BIBEARCH will be along soon to provide clarification, but in the meantime:
https://www.google.com/search?q=wildlife+monitoring+transect

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Offline badknees

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #50 on: June 26, 2018, 11:33:25 AM »
"Pretty cool find though."     Definitely - what were they up to ?  and who ?
Hopefully BIBEARCH will be along soon to provide clarification, but in the meantime:
https://www.google.com/search?q=wildlife+monitoring+transect

I tend to agree that it looks like some kind of survey transect. Wildlife, plant community or property?
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #51 on: June 26, 2018, 12:05:35 PM »
"Pretty cool find though."     Definitely - what were they up to ?  and who ?
Hopefully BIBEARCH will be along soon to provide clarification, but in the meantime:
https://www.google.com/search?q=wildlife+monitoring+transect

Hmm. Several of the photos do indicate soil disturbances such as from rodents:

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #52 on: June 26, 2018, 12:16:13 PM »
And just to prove that even your friendly neighborhood Moderator isn't always up on things, I just noticed the Facebook Comment section at the bottom of the page, where Tom Alex responded. I usually don't bother scrolling past the last message. I wonder how many other FB responses on BBC I've missed.  :eusa_doh:

Quote from: Thomas Alex
Thx to Richard for waking me up.

That series of metal stakes and painted Cairns is an old wildlife monitoring transect. Sometimes, you'll find an ID tag on them but given the age of those old transects (30+ years) the wire that secured the tags rusted in two long ago.

For intrepid benders, Barton Warnock installed wildlife exclusion fence plots to monitor vegetation recovery from the effects of overgrazing. I've run into several on my wanderings .

Chiao!

And just for fun I opened up this topic on the Big Bend Chat Tapatalk app and the Facebook Comments sections doesn't show up.  :eusa_think:
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 12:27:16 PM by RichardM »

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2018, 10:26:28 AM »

Are these the shorts DSR fished out of the water?



I can faintly see the same pattern so I'd say it's a match.



Was the spring flowing in the creek just above the black rock?

Estufa Canyon seems nice, I hope to walk it some day. Thanks for the report.
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #54 on: June 28, 2018, 10:43:40 PM »

Friday April 27th


Friday morning I awoke about 7:45 in the Basin Campground to wind noise so loud I could hear it over my earplugs. Rolling out of my cot, I spent the next half hour working on my tent, restaking it where needed and adding guylines on the windward side. Added two guylines 45 degrees apart on each of the windward corners, which steadied things enough that I felt comfortable moving on to making breakfast. The masonry support of the remada served as a great windbreak for my stove and I managed to eat and get cleaned up by 9 am.


This wind seemed like the culmination of the front that came in on Wednesday that had made the hike to Banta Shutin possible. By 10:50am, the wind had gotten less gusty and so I left camp heading out on the Basin Road. Reached the Bear & Mountain Lion Country pullout at 11 am and left for Moss Well about 11:15, which according to my GPS was a mere 1/2 mile away as the crow flies.


Most of my report on the hike is contained in my water report titled Moss Well - April 27, 2018.


About 15-minutes into the hike, walking along one of the alluvial terraces that hosts a fairly dense sotol forest, I discovered a lone rebar stake. Sound familiar? Next I looked for any others and found there were more than two, so I kept going until I found the end and recorded a waypoint. Reversing direction, I tromped along until I reached the far end  where I set another waypoint and lastly took a third waypoint to get the spacing. Back at home, with the help of Basecamp, I found this to be a series of 6 rebar stakes, spaced 40 feet apart, 200 feet in overall length, and oriented at 200 degrees true. Wasn't clear what was the intended purpose of these stakes, but this transect is located approx. 250 feet from and run roughly parallel to the Basin Road. After what we have all learned this week from discussion of the THursday report, can you all say, "Wildlife (or plant) monitoring transect"? It's probably just a jack rabbit slalom course any way.


Close up of the tracklog showing the waypoints for the rebar stakes



Going left to right... Panther Peak



Lost Mine Peak



Pulliam Bluff



Foothills north of Pulliam



Rusty historic litter in one wash bottom



Pulliam from the wash bottom



Lots of gravel and sotol coming out a low wash with foothills in the background



Scratched arm and sunburned hand with the well pump head nearby.



Ugh! Thick brush and I still have to get back to the truck.



Maple Canyon lies on the opposite side of this ridge. The low saddle in the middle is beckoning.



There's also another higher saddle to the right and then Pulliam.



Old rusty paint can in the brush. If there is a homesite, I never found it.



Had the feeling someone had been here in the last few years because I found some busted brush sections here and there that made my way a little bit easier.



Working my way back now, I ran across this agave starting to put up its stalk.



At this point, I was tempted to hike over and slap the base of Pulliam just because it looked so close to me. Looking at a map now tells me I was still a good 0.4 miles away from it, proving this deceptive terrain for this flatlander.



Another shot of the healthy looking agave.



Big Bend Ants



I'm not really bothered by sign of humans being here before me. Kind of comforting, actually, in this harsh landscape.



Raven perched on a powerline pole



Cloud cover had increased as the day wore on with this later view of Lost Mine Peak.



Had my second mule deer sighting in two days during the hike back. Got to see one run up to and glide over the steep side of one of the main washes. No photo to prove it.


Arrived back at the truck at 2:25 pm, having hike 2.7 miles over a period of about 3-1/4 hours. Goes to show that the one mile as the crow files roundtrip distance needed to be multiplied by about 2.5 and the time by about 6 for this particular off-trail hike.


I stayed at the pullout for about 30-minutes eating a picnic lunch and removing my boots before making the quick drive back to camp. There I cleaned up before enjoying some seista time in the hammock hung under the remada. Around 5 pm, I went up the hill to the Lodge for dinner, hung out on the porch for an hour afterward, got ice at the store, had a beer in the Lodge, and was back in camp by 8:45pm. Chilled in the hammock some more and was off to bed around 9:30pm.


The Window from the Lodge Porch



Sunset through the breezeway at the Lodge




To be continued...

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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2018, 10:10:45 AM »

Are these the shorts DSR fished out of the water?



I can faintly see the same pattern so I'd say it's a match.



Was the spring flowing in the creek just above the black rock?

Estufa Canyon seems nice, I hope to walk it some day. Thanks for the report.

Yep, the shorts match. Someone should take them home and wash them.

I walked maybe 1/8 to 1/4 mile beyond the black rock into the middle of the next bend, but saw no standing or flowing water. I did see a place not far above the black rock where an animal had dug a drinking hole in the gravel.

Hiking Estufa could be made into a loop by taking a side canyon over toward Dugout Wells and then walking the old road back to K-Bar.

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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #56 on: June 29, 2018, 10:22:22 PM »



Saturday April 28th



Saturday morning, I got up at 7 am to clear skies and 52 degrees. I then dressed, hit the restroom, and started working on my breakfast. 


Snapped some pictures of Site 04 while waiting for water to boil:











By 9 am, I was done packing up, so I had some final hammock time the next 30-minutes or so. Hoping to make home to Houston by early evening, I left the campsite about 9:45 am. Stopped at the PJ Gas Station to top off, paying $3.243/gal (It was $3.139/gal in Study Butte). Stopped briefly at Persimmon Gap.


Anyone gone to the end of this road before? I have taken the road out toward the Rosillos Ranch and turned around outside the gate, but haven't ventured down this one.



Hit the road again at 11 am. Made the town of Sanderson by 12:30 for the not-so-secret pee stop behind the Community Center. Lunch happened at a roadside park east of Sanderson where I was crusing again by 1 pm. Made it to Uvalde for gas at 3:45 pm where I paid a reasonable $2.499/gal and then stopped off at Whataburger for a snack. Next stop was the rest area west of Columbus on I-10 around 7:30 pm. Finally arived home in NW Houston at 8:40 pm.


Until next time,

Flash

 


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