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Big Bend or Bust! => Your Trip Reports => Topic started by: Flash on May 08, 2018, 09:03:14 PM

Title: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 08, 2018, 09:03:14 PM
Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip

This trip to Big Bend was over a period of 7 days and 6 nights, one in Marathon and the rest in the Park. Having now 5-weeks annual vacation after passing my 20-year work anniversary and combined with the fact of turning 61 in March has helped motivate me to go do things now while the ability is still there. Hence, I have been trying to make it to the Park 3 or 4 times a year as things at home and work permit. For this trip, I did not have a solid agenda, but I brought a long list things I'd like to go check out.  The list was broad enough that I brought along both backpacking and car camping gear, just in case, though I was leaning heavily on the car camping side.

Sunday April 22nd

Left Houston 7:30 am on a cloudy 59 degree morning. Opted for Hwy 90 over I-10 as I entered San Antonio. Rolled into Hondo at 11 am in time to beat the Sunday crowd at Herman Sons Steak House. Had a dandy patty melt and sweet tea before getting gas ($2.359/gal) at the Hondo HEB. Got gas ($2.699/gal) again later in the afternoon at the Alon in Sanderson and then used the secret community center restrooms just off the main drag. Arrived at the Marathon Motel at 5 pm, went to grab a sandwich and chips from French's Grocery, and then ate them at the picnic table over near the fire station. With daylight remaining, I next drove to the cemetery to view the headstones of names that have become  familiar to me from my reading.


Looking northwesterly from the south end of the Marathon Cemetery.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Q87wFNq/0/1c4e7a34/X3/i-Q87wFNq-X3.jpg)


Three generations of Stillwells:
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-fzZ2KH9/0/f790b5bb/M/i-fzZ2KH9-M.jpg)


(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-tdWwFXw/0/9b26815a/M/i-tdWwFXw-M.jpg)


(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-6754TsL/0/e55eb0a0/M/i-6754TsL-M.jpg)


Frank Pulliam
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-kqwvQ93/0/d3a9b15f/M/i-kqwvQ93-M.jpg)


Sam Nail and Nena Burnham
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-dxThvzB/0/f8734aec/M/i-dxThvzB-M.jpg)


John Moss and Julia Nail
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-mGH3cLx/0/5adda38d/M/i-mGH3cLx-M.jpg)


Robert Nail
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-RWvqFWD/0/b295971e/M/i-RWvqFWD-M.jpg)


Willam Burnham and Irene Vickers
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Hxgf36v/0/abe0a9f9/M/i-Hxgf36v-M.jpg)


Looking northward from the south end of the cemetery.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-7F9zdX7/0/b11f2a45/X3/i-7F9zdX7-X3.jpg)


Next I wandered around the Gage Gardens, which is always pleasant in the late evening, then headed over to a pretty crowded White Buffalo for some Big Bend Brewing Co. on tap. Enjoyed sipping on a pale ale and later followed it up with a raspberry maibock. Pretty tasty stuff indeed. Had interesting conversations with another traveler and then later a local who works at the new barbeque place, both were  overall pretty entertaining.


Walking near the tracks while watching the evening sun.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-qwp5QBV/0/c021e62d/X3/i-qwp5QBV-X3.jpg)


Lot of cars parked along main street for a Sunday night.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-DT8Nj4k/0/20fc7058/X3/i-DT8Nj4k-X3.jpg)


It all in how you hold the camera...
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-4xgbv9Q/0/da6c39c0/X3/i-4xgbv9Q-X3.jpg)


My wife and I stayed at the Gage Hotel one night on our honeymoon trip back in 1990. We still laugh about all the trains.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-vm2qds4/0/b3269845/X3/i-vm2qds4-X3.jpg)


Got back to the motel about 8:45 pm, so then I went for a walk to look at the stars. Wandering into the back enclosed viewing area,  I enjoyed the dark sky by myself for a moment, until I was surprised to see a movement over by the little observatory building. It was Bill, who proceeded to conduct a impromptu star party along with Richard who walked up shortly after me. It was a real hoot viewing the Orion Nebula through the telescope and having the details of that particular constellation explained. Pretty fun and what an unexpected surprise. After a good while I thanked him, we shook hands all around, and I excused myself to wander back to my room to get some much needed rest after a long day on the road.


To be continued...

Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Hang10er on May 09, 2018, 08:23:21 AM
What a cool report Flash!  Since I've been going to BiBE and on this site, I'm learning I need to slow down.  I've learned it's the trip not just the destination.  I commented in a post one time that on my first trail, I hiked fast and deliberate trying to get to the end, the prize.  Then I hiked quickly back.  Grapevine Hills, you want to see the balanced rock.  Laguna Meadows, you want to see the South Rim, the Chimneys, Burro Mesa pour-off, etc.  They're named after the goal at the end. 

After reading other reports and doing some thinking, I realized the whole hike is the prize.  It's the ENTIRE route. 

Thought I had reached maturity.  Now I read your report and it dawns on me, Marathon, Sanderson, Langtry, they're all destinations in their own right. 

With the right state of mind, the adventure starts when you walk out your door. 

Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: House Made of Dawn on May 09, 2018, 08:43:18 AM
Really well-put, Hang10er. Flashís posts have done the same for me. This one was a doozy in that regard. Iím grateful.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Casa Grande on May 09, 2018, 07:27:42 PM
I'll tell you what. You've got some really good reports and pics, Flash.  Good know ya.

Sent from my Note 8 using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Buck on May 10, 2018, 03:59:23 PM
I, too, stayed at the Gage on my first honeymoon in the Spring of 1991.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 10, 2018, 10:14:26 PM
Monday April 23rd


Left the motel at 6:50 am with clear skies and 48 degrees.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-kgJQ6mz/0/01bc309d/X3/i-kgJQ6mz-X3.jpg)


Stopped at the Alon station on the other end of town to get coffee and a couple bacon and egg breakfast burritos. These folks are friendly and run a clean establishment. By 7:15 am, I was on the road with a mission: Go straight to the Basin and find an available campsite.


Have you ever spotted this guy on the left as you cross over the tracks on the way south?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-MvzcvPP/0/83b7af72/X3/i-MvzcvPP-X3.jpg)


Fifteen minutes later, I pulled over at the roadside park 1) to eat one of the burritos and 2) to gawk at the wonders of the Marathon Fold Belt aka "Los Caballos".


Pulled into Persimmon Gap at 8:04 am and found neither the booth nor the visitor center were yet manned, so I kept cruising after a brief pit stop. Blew by (at the speed limit of course) Panther Junction and drove straight to the Basin campground.


Looping around for a bit, by 9:40 am, I had claimed Site #4 in the upper loop. Had camp set up by 11 am. Campground was now full.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-VrdLRTC/0/366f2d86/X3/i-VrdLRTC-X3.jpg)


All this work earned me a short nap stretched out inside the toasty warm tent on my the full-sized cot. Nice.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-JLM3rLb/0/59dbb3e1/X3/i-JLM3rLb-X3.jpg)


After my nap and not entirely awake, a fellow named Marty walked up asking for jumper cables. Blinking, I turned around and dug out mine and handed them to him, but wait his also needed my truck with them. Once he was back in business, around 12:20 pm, I left camp in my truck. Although it was only 68 degrees out, it felt hot in the sun. Got ice at the Store. The visitor center was closed for lunch, so I just hung my pass from the mirror and headed off on my way.


For several weeks, I had been studying the area some around Sam Nail and Oak Creek ranches in Google Earth and listed some items to check out. This afternoon, I decided I would locate and examine an old fence marked in Lance's GE Project. Although it is marked with a point, the fenceline can clearly be seen in the aerial photos runnning east-west in both directions. I wondered if this could be a chunk of Homer Wilson's famous panther-proof fence? Got to go see. Parked at the Sam Nail Ranch pullout and by 1:15 pm I was hiking up the gravel road to Oak Creek. It was 81 degrees according to my truck and road was glaringly bright and the sun quite hot. About 1/4 mile short of the tiedown tree, I gladly left the gravel road behind, turning north on an old abandoned road that was very clear in the aerial shots.


Looking north, you can see that the old road was well graded, wide, and fairly smooth. Suspect the county may have maintained it because it looks about two blade widths (~14' wise) with a berm on each side. This may arguably be a better road than Old Ore, if I may be so bold.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-ht3LqZR/0/47589745/X3/i-ht3LqZR-X3.jpg)


Looking back to the south at Carter and Ward mountains with Cattail in between.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-WSXtnSt/0/fc6e4537/X3/i-WSXtnSt-X3.jpg)


Enjoyed the easy walking along the old roadbed, I stopped after about 1/2 a mile and took a series of photos beginning with looking north and then rotating around to my right.


Slickrock Mountain, etc. and Croton Peak
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-H9NB5dN/0/450f42aa/X3/i-H9NB5dN-X3.jpg)


Croton Peak
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-36qSHDM/0/31ae1841/X3/i-36qSHDM-X3.jpg)


Foothills north of the Chisos
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-pDnkPDQ/0/cb14c90d/X3/i-pDnkPDQ-X3.jpg)


Foothills below Vernon Bailey
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-wNVXS9K/0/a914fba6/X3/i-wNVXS9K-X3.jpg)


Vernon Bailey and Amon Carter with Toll Mountain peeking through the Window
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-gNR6RCP/0/faccfc10/X3/i-gNR6RCP-X3.jpg)


Ward Mountain
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-6rkWvWP/0/524b4ae0/X3/i-6rkWvWP-X3.jpg)


No doubt some of Homer's pasture land
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-8hWqfWQ/0/a1cb9715/X3/i-8hWqfWQ-X3.jpg)


Burro Mesa
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-8zjwtLB/0/e61da2e0/X3/i-8zjwtLB-X3.jpg)


North end of Burro Mesa
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-xphR3qn/0/01358366/X3/i-xphR3qn-X3.jpg)


Then I noticed some prickly pear blossoms and buds.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-jmG9f67/0/dcd9d182/X3/i-jmG9f67-X3.jpg)


Prickly pear flowers
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-ZC3zXgs/0/a6c2150a/X3/i-ZC3zXgs-X3.jpg)


About this time, I realized I had overshot my turn for the fence because, well, I never saw a fence. Minding my GPS now, I walked until I reached the waypoint and immediately found... a line of rocks?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-3QpHJFj/0/9af40391/X3/i-3QpHJFj-X3.jpg)


Taking a closer look, there was a single strand of barbed wire. No posts any where up or down the line. Huh, I thought.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-G5TQGVq/0/441c623a/X3/i-G5TQGVq-X3.jpg)


The stones were a single layer only, except in the low spots where they might be a double layer.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-LGpTKqP/0/381ab3a1/X3/i-LGpTKqP-X3.jpg)


I was a bit baffled.  A lower course of rocks below the fence wire? Not getting this...
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-C3pFQfM/0/570af22e/X3/i-C3pFQfM-X3.jpg)


Then I located a few sections where the fence was more complete. Here the single strand of barbed wire topped a V-mesh rolled fence wire about maybe 3-feet if stretched out. Not a very tall fence, if that was all there was to it. Perhaps the "panther-proofing" was something else above all this?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Vx7BTFj/0/01bf7d56/X3/i-Vx7BTFj-X3.jpg)


This section got me thinking when I saw the rocks were all on top of the single strand of wire. Maybe the fence dismantlers after the Park took over placed rocks on top of the wire rather than simply roll it up, figuring it would be out of sight? Basically they pulled the posts and stacked rocks on top of the wire to hide it. Funny thing is this created a line stones over a mile long visible in aerial photos.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-zFfjkrf/0/f758677c/X3/i-zFfjkrf-X3.jpg)


More V-mesh rolled fence wire
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-HTMbD5s/0/044de3dc/X3/i-HTMbD5s-X3.jpg)


Here is a spot with the single strand of barbed wire still above the V-mesh.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-KQm48VH/0/a78e72f0/X3/i-KQm48VH-X3.jpg)


I had reached the old road again and found no further evidence past the road on the other side.  As hot as I was feeling, I began to walk back looking toward Cattail Canyon in the distance.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-QVWrHDN/0/36620f09/X3/i-QVWrHDN-X3.jpg)


Looking back and seeing the Sphinx far off to the north.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-X95jzjh/0/e9701a7d/X3/i-X95jzjh-X3.jpg)


Began to want some shade, so I headed to nearest, which was the tiedown tree!
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-34k3Gbh/0/c8751cc6/X3/i-34k3Gbh-X3.jpg)


Rested here for about 30-minutes and did some milling around in the bushes looking for evidence of habitation, thinking I found some bits of retaining wall.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-nq9j96f/0/5b7c0c93/X3/i-nq9j96f-X3.jpg)


Got back to Sam Nail Ranch around 5 pm. Hiked 6.1 miles and was gone about 3-1/2 hours.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-5jDjL89/0/efb20118/X3/i-5jDjL89-X3.jpg)


Big cottonwood to the west with Burro Mesa in the background.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-C2GG8Wd/0/e7fd545a/X3/i-C2GG8Wd-X3.jpg)


The newer windmill with a mesa off behind it.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-TZtrmSV/0/9875a9fb/X3/i-TZtrmSV-X3.jpg)


This bare circular spot would have been a dandy location for that big stock tank I have seen pictured in the old photos...
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-pVbpXSx/0/56d602ca/X3/i-pVbpXSx-X3.jpg)


Left the Nail Place and drove down the road to the Blue Creek ranch Overlook.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-DxcgxSP/0/0b93d427/X3/i-DxcgxSP-X3.jpg)


A cholla plant there was in magenta blooms.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-4nVtQ2r/0/dd74c5bf/X3/i-4nVtQ2r-X3.jpg)


The bees were enjoying it.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-SLtf4P4/0/e827217f/X3/i-SLtf4P4-X3.jpg)


Heading back north, I stopped at the dike across the road from the Upper Burro Mesa Pouroff trailhead.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-skCpjNR/0/c0bad437/X3/i-skCpjNR-X3.jpg)


Being close to Study Butte and it getting be evening, I opted to go there for a shower and dinner at the Chili Pepper. After stopping to phone home, I got gas ($3.139/gal) at the store, and then about 8 pm headed for the Basin.


Sunset with the Sphinx in sillouette.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-4THnW23/0/c2a62716/X3/i-4THnW23-X3.jpg)


Sky on fire
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-s2zNqFC/0/2115a5ff/X3/i-s2zNqFC-X3.jpg)


Reached my camp at Site 4 by 9 pm and was off to bed at 10 pm.


To be continued...
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: alan in shreveport on May 10, 2018, 10:41:49 PM
Flash,
  Enjoying your report as always. Seems like covering a barbwire fence with rocks might be more work than balling it up and hauling it away, but then I've never done either one.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Hang10er on May 11, 2018, 07:51:51 AM
Couple thoughts crossed my mind.  Do you think someone took the posts later to re-use?  But if that was the case, I think you'd see spots on the barbed wire where the posts use to be.

Could the panther proof theory be - String one low wire, about knee high to a cat and he'll be too leery to step over.  Roll of rocks underneath and he won't go under????
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: mule ears on May 11, 2018, 10:00:49 AM
Great stuff Flash!

As to the fence stuff, my farmer guess is that the rocks were used to weight down the bottom of the woven wire fence to keep animals from pushing under from either side.  Homer Wilson raised mostly goats which are notorious for being hard to keep inside a fence.  The barbed wire would have been on top, maybe several runs to then keep animals from jumping over.  My guess is they took the posts down and maybe the top runs of wire but left the rest as too hard to get up.  Did you see any posts lying around?  I can't imagine that they would have hauled them off.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 11, 2018, 11:44:02 AM
On the fencing in the Park in general, I have seen various combinations: 1) fences intact, 2) posts remaining with wire gone, 3) wire remaining with posts gone, and 4) the entire fence simply laid down and the brush allowed to grow through and hide it.  Perhaps the ranchers salvaged and sold some of the fencing before vacating, then later the NPS allowed area ranchers to scrounge the remainders. Seems I learned somewhere that cedar posts were shipped in from the Hill Country, so those may have been worth repurposing where the picking was easy.

On the particular fence, I think I walked about 1/4 mile of it. I have not got this one completely figured out. There were no fence posts in sight, nor any on the ground, nor any holes remaining that I saw. For much of the distance covered, the single strand of barbwire was underneath the line of stones.   It was the spots that were the exception, such as water courses where the wire was up off the ground, that I took the photos of the bits of mesh.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Jalco on May 11, 2018, 03:14:36 PM
Site #4 is one of our favorites.

Nice report.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 11, 2018, 03:37:25 PM
Site #4 is one of our favorites.

Nice report.
I liked it because the stonework supports for the ramada do a good job of blocking the morning and evening sun and provide some privacy from Site 3 when you want it.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 12, 2018, 06:10:28 PM
All right enough about fences...


Tuesday April 24th


Tuesday morning I arose at 8:05 am to clear skies and 63 degrees. This was forecast to be the hottest day of the week, before a cool front rolled in Wednesday morning. If I was going to hike all the way to Banta Shutin, tomorrow would be the day, weather permitting. Today I was inclined to explore some more around the Sam Nail/Oak Creek area, thinking I might look for the Rock Hut, Cottonwood Spring, and Little Cotton Spring. If a way appeared feasible, I thought it might be cool to walk up Burro Mesa and try to visit Hambly Spring.


Around 9:20 I was done with breakfast, clean up, prep, and dressing for the trail and headed to the Store to get ice. As mentioned in the Rough Spring - April 24, 2018 (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/water-and-spring-reports/rough-spring-april-24-2018/) water report, my stop at the bottom pullout on the Basin Road led to a sudden change of plans to bushwhack over to Rough Spring, which was only 1.2 miles away as the crow flies.


I shoved off on my voyage about 10:30 am, finding it slow going at first working my way along through the sea brush. Then I reached the powerline trail and I was in business, as long as the road continued more or less in the same direction my GPS pointer indicated for Rough Spring.


Looking down the Basin powerline toward Panther Peak and Lost Mine Peak to the south
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Dmd7g4d/0/78d7340c/X3/i-Dmd7g4d-X3.jpg)


The powerline branches off to the west here to provide power for the pumps that draw water from Oak Spring and/or Cattail Creek and push it to the storage tank up the hill above the cabins.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-kLmPsMq/0/4c47baa1/X3/i-kLmPsMq-X3.jpg)


Now I wonder what bird builds such huge nest?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-4mv4xxn/0/0f29ace9/X3/i-4mv4xxn-X3.jpg)


I couldn't see anybody home as I stopped by to study it.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-ttdzpz6/0/eb7f5e48/X3/i-ttdzpz6-X3.jpg)


This branch was headed toward Rough Mountain, but needed to angle off to the left. This particular pole has 4 woodpecker holes and something attached to it down low.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-BCsKLjr/0/48287e91/X3/i-BCsKLjr-X3.jpg)


Spare fuses for the lucky maintenance guy who gets to come out in a storm to restore power to the pumps.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-LJzsCM5/0/f53e6cda/X3/i-LJzsCM5-X3.jpg)


The powerline took a jog southward to avoid Rough Mountain and now seemed to definitely be going my way.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-PX5P4Vc/0/1290a1cc/X3/i-PX5P4Vc-X3.jpg)


Looking back over my shoulder I spot the access road that I completely missed somehow. Decided I'd follow it on the way back, I told myself.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-F68vkLf/0/3d72622d/X3/i-F68vkLf-X3.jpg)


Although things were extremely dry, the prickly pear blooms were in full swing with more to come from the look of the buds.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-stg2r7m/0/39902c82/X3/i-stg2r7m-X3.jpg)


Same would go for the cholla.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-6xtSgKk/0/ec992238/X3/i-6xtSgKk-X3.jpg)


Caught up with the Oak Creek powerline road.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-fZSM28N/0/cb3e687b/X3/i-fZSM28N-X3.jpg)


This pole had two huge nests laying on the ground at the base.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-ghsJZKx/0/05df2b6c/X3/i-ghsJZKx-X3.jpg)


I wonder if they get knocked off on purpose to help keep from shorting things out. There was no new one up on top.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-NfWdGwh/0/a537481d/X3/i-NfWdGwh-X3.jpg)


Coming upon a ravine and seeing the road climbing and then winding around the hill.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-QtTV8G5/0/d7b05035/X3/i-QtTV8G5-X3.jpg)


The ravine crossing for the road. The road looked similar in construction to the old road I saw the day before.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-FGZfXxC/0/d5024360/X3/i-FGZfXxC-X3.jpg)


The rock bottom ravine had watermarks that indicated it had carried water for an extended period of time.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-JHw475J/0/986e5197/X3/i-JHw475J-X3.jpg)


Following the road around the side of the hill.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-CPzS7m7/0/c07729cc/X3/i-CPzS7m7-X3.jpg)


Looking off into the ravine below and zoomed in you can see evidence of flowing water in the recent past.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-cX8sw3q/0/625bbb34/X3/i-cX8sw3q-X3.jpg)


Leaving the road, I began following the ravine.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-7TvCbLX/0/aa9019d1/X3/i-7TvCbLX-X3.jpg)


Looking down a sloped pouroff or a chute perhaps is the correct term.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-4kHBGdb/0/81b74972/X3/i-4kHBGdb-X3.jpg)


The chute now behind me.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-cLf8f2R/0/2a819987/X3/i-cLf8f2R-X3.jpg)


The plant life is getting greener, which is a good sign of water.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-zjmS8Bd/0/ac67dfc8/X3/i-zjmS8Bd-X3.jpg)


When the ravine reached a tee, I turned upstream to the left and stopped shortly to enjoy some shade.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-HcxRV2h/0/7d24bdb0/X3/i-HcxRV2h-X3.jpg)


Those fruit are Texas Persimmons. Good bear fodder.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-kPzZjF7/0/f12424ab/X3/i-kPzZjF7-X3.jpg)


Well looky there! But not too fresh.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-FLLGMDw/0/942e4690/X3/i-FLLGMDw-X3.jpg)


As I head up the main wash, the trees and shrubberies are getting larger.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-jwrnzvp/0/a2d6785b/X3/i-jwrnzvp-X3.jpg)


Can't be too much farther now.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-n7Rg3PL/0/c0502131/X3/i-n7Rg3PL-X3.jpg)


Old bones from a kill.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-99jhMWn/0/6822b409/X3/i-99jhMWn-X3.jpg)


This point in time is when the photos in the water report (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/water-and-spring-reports/rough-spring-april-24-2018/) begin.


The bee tree I avoided by climbing the bank.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-PZ73GMT/0/2742606a/X3/i-PZ73GMT-X3.jpg)


Working my way around the bee tree and viewing the start of the other trees near the spring.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-9PXvTCW/0/660097ab/X3/i-9PXvTCW-X3.jpg)


Sometime after the last photo was taken, as I was looking around in the brush to determine where the water flow began.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-s3GbJ3z/0/5d183b3a/X3/i-s3GbJ3z-X3.jpg)


Suddenly, I heard a series of crashing sounds as something ran off unseen down the ravine. Mule deer? Bear? I don't know, but I began singing my bear song loudly for the next 5 or 10 minutes until my heartrate slowly came back down.


Leaves of three, let them be. Saw a lot of this 3-leaved plant and wondered if it might be a distant cousin of poison ivy. Thankfully I got no rash.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-S9zvQTs/0/09bb8ee0/X3/i-S9zvQTs-X3.jpg)


Seems so hard to get anywhere close to cottonwoods near this spring because of the brush. Wanting to get close enough to touch one them, I worked my way around the other side which was against a steep bank with less brush. As I got close and was stooping over to see through the branches, I spotted this interesting-looking hollowed out area.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Zkcrq9z/0/874e3ee3/X3/i-Zkcrq9z-X3.jpg)


Maybe the animal-that-crashes-through-trees-as-it-runs-away lives here?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-GFdsdsB/0/b43c96c2/X3/i-GFdsdsB-X3.jpg)


Oh, yeah, right, the cottonwood tree. Well here is the trunk and a present of something left beneath it.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-HhngGWN/0/ca551323/X3/i-HhngGWN-X3.jpg)


About 12:45 pm, I started making my way back following first the main wash and then the side ravine all the way back to where the road first crossed it. From there, I grabbed the portion of the powerline road I had spotted earlier and followed it back to the main powerline road.


Rounding a curve in the old road, I could see my truck and Lone Mountain in the distance.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-fG4DdT7/0/bba8b647/X3/i-fG4DdT7-X3.jpg)


Another batch of beautiful yellow flowers on the prickly pear!
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-krWqqBM/0/8aad4bf3/X3/i-krWqqBM-X3.jpg)


Looking back over my shoulder along the powerlines toward Rough Mountain.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-fTZJk8j/0/4afd67f3/X3/i-fTZJk8j-X3.jpg)


Panther and Lost Mine peaks presiding over a sea of grasses.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-QDpkn2H/0/e169f2aa/X3/i-QDpkn2H-X3.jpg)


Finally, I bushwhacked the remaining short distance back to the pullout where I was back at the truck at 2:05 pm. In all, I hiked 3.9 miles and was gone a little under 4 hours.


I was back at the campsite in the Basin by 2:30 pm where I relaxed for the next couple hours. I swung in my hammock, got cleaned up, and changed, then headed to the Lodge for dinner. The day ended for me at about 10 pm as I when I went off to bed.


Tomorrow I hoped to try hiking to Banta Shutin, but part of me wondered if I could make it, while the other part really wanted to do this.


To be continued...
Title: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: House Made of Dawn on May 12, 2018, 07:20:57 PM
Another great, detailed Flash investigation!

A good candidate for the builder of those nests would be Common Raven (Corvus corax). Or, possibly, Chihuahan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus). Iím not certain of the relative breeding distribution of those two species throughout the park. My guess is that the nests on the ground were deliberately knocked down after breeding season by maintenance crews. Possibly a foolís errand, as ravens exhibit a great deal of nest-site fidelity and will re-use and/or rebuild nests at the same location year after year after year.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 12, 2018, 08:26:44 PM
Another great, detailed Flash investigation!

A good candidate for the builder of those nests would be Common Raven (Corvus corax). Or, possibly, Chihuahan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus). I’m not certain of the relative breeding distribution of those two species throughout the park. My guess is that the nests on the ground were deliberately knocked down after breeding season by maintenance crews. Possibly a fool’s errand, as ravens exhibit a great deal of nest-site fidelity and will re-use and/or rebuild nests at the same location year after year after year.

Like this guy? Not from too far away in Green Gulch, I took this shot from near Moss Well. He seemed a bit larger and his call raspier than a crow. I wondered if it might be a raven...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-g8kk5QF/2/93ada6a7/S/i-g8kk5QF-M.jpg)


- Flash
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: House Made of Dawn on May 12, 2018, 08:45:59 PM
Yep! Probably house-hunting.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: badknees on May 12, 2018, 09:49:38 PM
Another great, detailed Flash investigation!

A good candidate for the builder of those nests would be Common Raven (Corvus corax). Or, possibly, Chihuahan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus). Iím not certain of the relative breeding distribution of those two species throughout the park. My guess is that the nests on the ground were deliberately knocked down after breeding season by maintenance crews. Possibly a foolís errand, as ravens exhibit a great deal of nest-site fidelity and will re-use and/or rebuild nests at the same location year after year after year.

Like this guy? Not from too far away in Green Gulch, I took this shot from near Moss Well. He seemed a bit larger and his call raspier than a crow. I wondered if it might be a raven...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-g8kk5QF/2/93ada6a7/S/i-g8kk5QF-M.jpg)


- Flash

Most likely a Common Raven.

No crows in Big Bend.

The raven is easily distinguished from a crow by its large size, heavy beak, hoarse croak and wedged shaped tailed in flight as opposed to a crows straighter tail.

Chihuahuan Raven Is rare in Big Bend, but possible
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: House Made of Dawn on May 12, 2018, 10:12:42 PM
Here's a short video about ravens nesting on utility poles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd9SCZGk9qQ

Plus a deeper dive into some research done by the FWS on raptors and Common Ravens nesting on latticed utility structures.

https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/documents/R2ES/LitCited/LPC_2012/Steenhof_et_al_1993.pdf

And a nice article from SORA about Chihuahuan Ravens doing the same thing in New Mexico.

https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/jrr/v037n02/p00135-p00146.pdf

I knew that ravens, like most corvids, "decorate" their nests with found items, often man-made, but had forgotten that, in the ravens' case, the items are often lengths of metal wire. Tricky, when woven into a nest near or on a power line. However, the consensus of most of the literature I read tonight is that, in actuality, the nests provide little threat to the lines, nor are the birds in much danger of electrocution.



Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 12, 2018, 10:56:11 PM
Most likely a Common Raven.

No crows in Big Bend.

The raven is easily distinguished from a crow by its large size, heavy beak, hoarse croak and wedged shaped tailed in flight as opposed to a crows straighter tail.

Chihuahuan Raven Is rare in Big Bend, but possible

Wedged shaped tail you say? I did manage to catch his tail!
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-btqxzvx/1/c80972c3/M/i-btqxzvx-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 12, 2018, 11:12:50 PM

I knew that ravens, like most corvids, "decorate" their nests with found items, often man-made, but had forgotten that, in the ravens' case, the items are often lengths of metal wire.



Speaking of decorations, I cropped the shot of the nest to blow it up, because I had noticed what looked to me like another bird's nest hanging from the raven's nest:
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-k65JT52/0/05709279/X3/i-k65JT52-X3.jpg)
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: House Made of Dawn on May 13, 2018, 01:00:27 AM
Wedged shaped tail you say? I did manage to catch his tail!
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-btqxzvx/1/c80972c3/M/i-btqxzvx-M.jpg)

Good catch! That's a raven's tail alright. Or half of one, at least.

I knew that ravens, like most corvids, "decorate" their nests with found items, often man-made, but had forgotten that, in the ravens' case, the items are often lengths of metal wire.

Speaking of decorations, I cropped the shot of the nest to blow it up, because I had noticed what looked to me like another bird's nest hanging from the raven's nest:
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-k65JT52/0/05709279/X3/i-k65JT52-X3.jpg)

Well, well, that raises all sorts of questions. I do believe that might be an oriole's nest. They always have that distinctive pendulous shape. I've never heard of a corvid stealing one and adding it to its own nest as decoration, which makes me wonder if an oriole actually chose to build its nest there. If so, that would point toward some serious cojones on the oriole's part. Or maybe just stupidity. Ravens are infamous for raiding other birds nests and eating their young.  BUT it's hard to rationalize an oriole nesting in that habitat. Best candidate, I guess, would be Scott's Oriole (Icterus parisorum), though they're almost always found in close association with yucca and sotol. Was there much of either of those around there? Looking very closely at the photo, I do think I might see a frayed strand of yucca fibers hanging down from the raven's nest or the pole's superstructure, just to the left of the possible oriole's nest.  Only other explanation that comes to mind is that we're looking at what once was the central nesting cup of an earlier nesting by ravens. While the outer framework of a raven's nest is made up of big, bulky sticks and branches, the innermost nesting area is a deep cup of softer material. This might be the remnant of one of the older nests that, over time, has sunk to the bottom.

I dunno....this one's a head-scratcher. Maybe someone else has a better answer.
Title: Banta Shutin April 25, 2018
Post by: Flash on May 25, 2018, 10:58:29 PM



Wednesday April 25th


When I left camp at 8:40 am the next morning it was 61 degrees and cloudy. The front had arrived, but the temperatures had not dropped and were not expected to get much higher throughout the day. Stopped at the PJ Gas Station for coffee, ice, and visited with the cashier about stuff going on around the Park.


Turned down the K-Bar Road and parked at the far end of an empty K-Bar #2 at 9:45am. It was 63 degrees, mostly cloudy with a steady light wind. Gathering everything together I wanted for an all day hike took a while, taking a couple extra layers, rain jacket, etc.  I finally got away from the truck at 10:15 and started marching eastward through the sparse brush toward Estufa Spring.


I hadn't gone too far before I realized there were no trail cairns in sight and I had forgotten to review Parent's write up on how this hike actually starts off. No worries, I had may GPS set on the spring's coordinates, which lies within a wash that runs into Estufa Canyon. After I had gone about 0.1 miles, I dropped into a small wash that seemed to more or less be going the direction I was going, so I continued to follow it easterly toward Estufa Spring. One thing I did understand from Parent was that the trip downstream in Estufa Canyon was supposed to be dead easy all the way to Tornillo Creek, which I found to be overall a correct assessment. This first part was a little iffy, having to jump out once in while to avoid brush bottlenecks, but once the wash got larger and more open, it was no problem.


Twenty-five minutes into the hike, rain began falling lightly. Stopping at a boulder near the steep wash bank, I dropped my pack, stowed the camera, put on a DriDucks rainjacket, and installed the pack cover. Not really liking the rain much, I bravely marched onward and wondered grimly if I might end up turning back after Estufa Spring. This gloomy train of thought was interrupted however, because after 20 minutes or so, the rain let up. Looking up, I saw the sun breaking through in the distance with a nice blue patch growing in the distant south. Hey, the front was blowing through, just like they said it would!


By 11:30, I reached the rough boulder pour off above Estufa Spring. I had traveled 1-1/2 miles so far. I tried following the bank to find an easy way down, but ended up backtracking and scrambling down the pouroff instead. As I mentioned in my Banta Shutin Water Report (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/water-and-spring-reports/banta-shutin-april-25-2018/msg162992/#msg162992), no surface water was found here.


Walking down the Canyon, I found cairns sporadically. Later I determined this is because of the braided nature of the stream channels. In several places Estufa splits into 2 to 4 channels, any one of which will work and get you there and always coming back together again eventually. This explained why the cairns would come and go.


Estufa Canyon is very twisty in places. After the fact, from viewing the tracklog, I learned it doubles back on itself almost 180 degrees at one point. That must have been the spot where confused I stopped and dug out my compass, because I was seeing landmarks ahead of me, such as the Chisos, that did not make sense for traveling east. Well, I had been momentarily heading west like my instincts told me, but my eyes did not believe.


The distinctive sedimentary formations along Estufa Canyon intrigued me. As I marched down the wash, admiring them with their cylindrical shapes and correponding cylindrically-shaped voided spaces, I considered why "estufa" or "stove"? Surely it was hot in the sun, but what wash in Big Bend isn't? The formations began to look to me like vertical pipes, more like stovepipes (or conductos de estufa). So perhaps, I thought to myself, the canyon reminded folks of stovepipes? By the way, an old map I saw labeled this canyon as Rice Canyon. Like a lot of things in Big Bend, I guess it has both an Anglo and a Hispanic name.


The last mile or so of Estufa Canyon widens out considerably and has 4 or 5 channels between the canyon walls as it reaches toward Tornillo Creek. This is the first wide open view to the east and is pretty impressive when it suddenly opens up before you. The mouth of Estufa was 3 or 4 feet higher than the Tornillo Creek channel when I was there, so Tornillo must have carried water last and cut across the mouth of Estufa Creek.


Something I did recall that Parent's book recommended was setting up a cairn at the mouth of Estufa Canyon upon reaching Tornillo Creek. This seemed a smart idea to help me find my turn off on the way back. So I set one in the wash channel I arrived down, created a new waypoint in my eTrex20 GPS, which was right at 2:13pm, and then made second cairn out in the middle of the Tornillo Creek channel. Between my eyeballs and my electronics, I figured I should be able to turn up the correct channel on the way back.


Walking up Tornillo Creek wash, about 2:30 pm, I reached what I thought appeared to be the start of the shutin. This was the first big dogleg where the bowling ball-sized white concretions with the blue lightning bolt radiating patterns are seen embedded in the bank and creek bottom. However, about 20 minutes later, I decided I was in the the shutin proper: There were 3 large pools of water and one small one. Below these pools was a large dry one that looked about 12 feet deep in the center. Thus far, I had gone 8.5 miles according to my GPS.


Working my way up the Shutin, it was about 3:25 pm when I first spotted a black rock section far ahead in the distance up the narrow part of the Shutin, beyond the upper pool. Around 3:35 pm, I reached what appeared to be the north end of the shutin. After reaching the wide sweeping turn from northwest to northeast, I turned around and headed back to the shady upper pool for a late lunch and a much needed rest. Had gone 8.8 miles at the turnaround point. Took off my boots and socks, ate some snacks, and just soaked up the peaceful scene and the cool breeze coming down the Shutin. 


Before heading back, I dumped my 1-liter Nalgene into my hydration bladder and then collected and treated 1-liter of water from the upper pool. (By the way, I still have part of it home in the fridge). I had brought 4-liters plus a 20-oz Gatorade, so I thought I might like this margin of safety, since I thought I might be running close on water.


Reluctantly, I got started on my return walk back to K-Barat 4:22 pm. Since it was later and warmer now, I walked a different route winding my way back down Tornillo, seeking out the shadier side. Had to stop and stare a while to find my cairns I set earlier, I guess because of the change in direction and lighting or I maybe was just fuzzed out. I did find them pretty quickly and began heading up Estufa Canyon.


Now I found the cairns in Estufa Canyon only really make sense on the way upstream, due to the braided nature of the stream channels, as I mentioned earlier. Since I was now actively following the cairns on the return trip, I managed to discover the easier way back to K-Bar #2. The last 1-1/2 miles, the cairns lead you to climb a steep bank out of the canyon. This spot is before, but not far from, Estufa Spring. The rest of the walk then follows a light trail marked with cairns along an alluvial terrace above the canyon. I was glad to walk on firm ground again after miles of gravel. Earlier in the day, I had seen horse tracks on and off while coming down Estufa, but they did not reach Tornillo, so I assumed the riders must have turned off and riding a loop, perhaps going southward toward Dugout Wells up a branch canyon. Any way, this higher trail reached and then turned north on the old road from Dugout Wells to K-Bar, where I arrived approaching from the south instead of from the east the way I had left.


From far off, I could see that a couple had set up camp at K-Bar #2, so I swung around to the west side of the turnaround to give them plenty of space as I walked back to my truck, arriving there at 8:02 pm. They were quite friendly and curious about my hike, since I had left a note on my windshield stating my departure time and destination, which has become a habit of mine when I go solo hiking off-trail in the Park.


In all, I used 4-liters of water and one 20-oz Gatorade on the hike. Did not use my 1-liter reserve I collected from Banta Shutin, but it now resides in my fridge at home, where I take an occassional sip of that sweet mineral-laden water, which seems to have a hint of bicarbonate taste to it. Total mileage was 17.5 miles, elapsed time was 9.75 hours with 2.5 hours of breaks and a moving average of 2.4 mph. Not a land speed record, but it was easy walking.


If I did it again, what would I do differently?

At 8:20 pm, I pulled into PJ as it was getting dark to use the facilities and take off my boots. Drove straight back to my Basin campsite by 9 pm, where I cleaned up and changed clothes for the night. Being pretty worn out at this point, best I can recall, I probably relaxed in my chair for a while, ate a snack, and then went straight to bed, probably before ten o'clock.


I'll hopefully post a map of my track and additional photos tomorrow.


To be continued...
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Talusman on May 26, 2018, 07:46:09 AM
Great stuff Flash! Thanks for the intel.
Title: Track Log to Banta Shutin from K-Bar #2
Post by: Flash on May 26, 2018, 11:07:26 AM

Wednesday April 25th, Cont.


Here are some screenshots from BaseCamp of my track log to Banta Shutin from K-Bar #2. The topo map is complements of badknees.


The overall Journey
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-sGzhPxW/0/6dfd5e98/X2/i-sGzhPxW-X2.png)


The transition from Estufa Canyon to Tornillo Creek and then the Destination
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-CpQS4vr/0/53669595/X2/i-CpQS4vr-X2.png)


The exit and re-entry to K-Bar #2
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-7ZM6nST/0/09a3fa0a/X2/i-7ZM6nST-X2.png)


Estufa Canyon
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-tbZv2LT/0/75d4160a/X2/i-tbZv2LT-X2.png)


- Flash
Title: Re: Banta Shutin April 25, 2018
Post by: House Made of Dawn on May 26, 2018, 12:08:17 PM
Walking down the Canyon, I found cairns sporadically. Later I determined this is because of the braided nature of the stream channels. In several places Estufa splits into 2 to 4 channels, any one of which will work and get you there and always coming back together again eventually. This explained why the cairns would come and go......

....Now I found the cairns in Estufa Canyon only really make sense on the way upstream, due to the braided nature of the stream channels, as I mentioned earlier. Since I was now actively following the cairns on the return trip, I managed to discover the easier way back to K-Bar #2. The last 1-1/2 miles, the cairns lead you to climb a steep bank out of the canyon. This spot is before, but not far from, Estufa Spring. The rest of the walk then follows a light trail marked with cairns along an alluvial terrace above the canyon. I was glad to walk on firm ground again after miles of gravel.

That's really good "boots-on-the-ground" info. Thanks, Flash.

I had left a note on my windshield stating my departure time and destination, which has become a habit of mine when I go solo hiking off-trail in the Park.

Smart move. Everyone should do this, every time.

Did not use my 1-liter reserve I collected from Banta Shutin, but it now resides in my fridge at home, where I take an occassional sip of that sweet mineral-laden water, which seems to have a hint of bicarbonate taste to it.

Haha! The behavior of a truly-committed Bender.

Total mileage was 17.5 miles, elapsed time was 9.75 hours with 2.5 hours of breaks and a moving average of 2.4 mph. Not a land speed record, but it was easy walking.

By any measure, that was a heckuva hike, Flash. Well done!


Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: mule ears on May 26, 2018, 07:52:03 PM
Flash I assume there are pictures associated with your Banta hike but I cannot see them on my computer.  Great stuff as always.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 26, 2018, 10:17:23 PM
Wednesday April 25th, Cont.


Chihuahuan Desert Research Station


Nice place
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-BVcbVsH/0/ef508c71/X3/i-BVcbVsH-X3.jpg)


I could do research here
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-fkQjNPM/0/e0d0f7d7/X3/i-fkQjNPM-X3.jpg)



Down a Side Wash to Estufa Spring


Dropping into the sidewash leading to Estufa Spring and right before the rain began
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-WrXkVc7/0/4054516e/X3/i-WrXkVc7-X3.jpg)


The rain had stopped. Took off my rain jacket. Sun starting to break out.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-w5qbtQN/0/92bc39e1/X3/i-w5qbtQN-X3.jpg)


Interesting veins in that cut bank
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-mDfWrrN/0/4b3a2f95/X3/i-mDfWrrN-X3.jpg)


More veins closer up
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-crngBXx/0/956bc816/X3/i-crngBXx-X3.jpg)


Blue patch in yonder sky
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-h3GFcWH/0/77a9f80d/X3/i-h3GFcWH-X3.jpg)


Bar-b-que or chiquitero?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-b2bqwcF/0/a16ad919/X3/i-b2bqwcF-X3.jpg)


Approaching the pouroff before the Estufa Spring area
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-wKQdh37/0/08987415/X3/i-wKQdh37-X3.jpg)


Below the pouroff near Estufa Spring
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-r8GdVJw/0/de3ab443/X3/i-r8GdVJw-X3.jpg)


Lush vegetation in the Estufa Spring area. No surface water found.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-xGn8HRv/0/f9c1f52c/X3/i-xGn8HRv-X3.jpg)




To be continued...

Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 27, 2018, 05:09:36 PM
Wednesday April 25th, Cont.



Estufa Canyon to Tornillo Creek


Looking upsteam about a mile below Estufa Spring
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-64zRxs8/0/7a33aa48/X3/i-64zRxs8-X3.jpg)


Downstream from the same spot with a formation in the distance
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-g8PBXqF/0/6224867b/X3/i-g8PBXqF-X3.jpg)


Close up of the formation
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-5ckb8mb/0/855321a8/X3/i-5ckb8mb-X3.jpg)


Stopped under shade tree
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-8xDxvbX/0/11f4fe8a/X3/i-8xDxvbX-X3.jpg)


Easy walking looking downstream
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-cFdtN9w/0/5e010eda/X3/i-cFdtN9w-X3.jpg)


View overhead
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-ZwJj3hJ/0/086b65ed/X3/i-ZwJj3hJ-X3.jpg)


Looking upstream from the shade
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-vw3WxwN/0/fa4fa972/X3/i-vw3WxwN-X3.jpg)


Farther down looking at the same formation
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-7qNxZt8/0/6c33a3e1/X3/i-7qNxZt8-X3.jpg)


Hugging the unique shady cliff
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-X7XPN2t/0/1d561758/X3/i-X7XPN2t-X3.jpg)


Cylindrical slot
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-m7phkGD/0/61d826c4/X3/i-m7phkGD-X3.jpg)


Blue skies and precious shade
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-rzLNDk3/0/fcf76ce0/X3/i-rzLNDk3-X3.jpg)


Loads of coarse gravel to cobble sized sediments
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-HBPnVmt/0/379adeda/X3/i-HBPnVmt-X3.jpg)


Chute man
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-8sqcCdc/1/9f7fb4a2/X3/i-8sqcCdc-X3.jpg)


Hiding from Sol
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-48s4tXt/0/628a8dbe/X3/i-48s4tXt-X3.jpg)


Pipe organ
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-N8dwSWV/0/3f0a1373/X3/i-N8dwSWV-X3.jpg)


Bird house
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-pzwMsMH/0/ec33e532/X3/i-pzwMsMH-X3.jpg)


Estufa Town
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-LFDHnxp/0/2c85cb0e/X3/i-LFDHnxp-X3.jpg)


Crazy Castle
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-TzzxbDL/0/b8525224/X3/i-TzzxbDL-X3.jpg)


Awesome deep shade under the cobble to boulder sized sediments
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-bJbVckC/0/deaa39ff/X3/i-bJbVckC-X3.jpg)


Close quarters yet easy walking
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-RHWwJxF/0/5834a377/X3/i-RHWwJxF-X3.jpg)


Mouth of Estufa Canyon from Tornillo Creek with my cairn in the center
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-vRZFCCC/0/293c745e/X3/i-vRZFCCC-X3.jpg)


Find this on the way back
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-94SQ58h/0/e6416378/X3/i-94SQ58h-X3.jpg)


Tornillo Creek looking north toward Banta Shutin
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-N692K98/0/78b37957/X3/i-N692K98-X3.jpg)


Tornillo Creek looking east from the mouth of Estufa Canyon
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-b7kPCRq/0/28f236ea/X3/i-b7kPCRq-X3.jpg)


Tornillo Creek looking south from the mouth of Estufa Canyon
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-VV5nsdG/0/1b723cc8/X3/i-VV5nsdG-X3.jpg)


Tornillo Creek looking west at the mouth of Estufa Canyon. Note the mini-delta and sequential cutting and filling action between Estufa and Tornillo.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-f3mWQVF/0/efcbeaa7/X3/i-f3mWQVF-X3.jpg)



To be continued...
Title: Re: Banta Shutin April 25, 2018
Post by: DesertRatShorty on May 27, 2018, 10:27:15 PM
I hadn't gone too far before I realized there were no trail cairns in sight and I had forgotten to review Parent's write up on how this hike actually starts off.

Probably for the best. The route in Parent's book (2nd ed) leaving K-Bar 2 is actually a third route, different from your coming and going routes, that totally avoids Estufa Spring. But that route is not visible on satellite as best I can tell. Your return route is clearly visible, though.
Title: Re: Banta Shutin April 25, 2018
Post by: Flash on May 28, 2018, 10:18:00 AM
I hadn't gone too far before I realized there were no trail cairns in sight and I had forgotten to review Parent's write up on how this hike actually starts off.

Probably for the best. The route in Parent's book (2nd ed) leaving K-Bar 2 is actually a third route, different from your coming and going routes, that totally avoids Estufa Spring. But that route is not visible on satellite as best I can tell. Your return route is clearly visible, though.

DRS, now that you mention it, I went back and reviewed the description of the start of the hike and agree it probably was for the best that I made my own way. Although there are numerous old roads in the K-Bar area, using GE I cannot see clear evidence of the road described, except in the most vague way. I had just assumed my return path was the "official" path. BTW, I noticed in GE, I could see a couple cairns that serve as a direction marker to exit the wash just SE of Estufa Spring.
Title: Re: Banta Shutin April 25, 2018
Post by: RichardM on May 28, 2018, 09:55:48 PM
The distinctive sedimentary formations along Estufa Canyon intrigued me. As I marched down the wash, admiring them with their cylindrical shapes and correponding cylindrically-shaped voided spaces, I considered why "estufa" or "stove"? Surely it was hot in the sun, but what wash in Big Bend isn't? The formations began to look to me like vertical pipes, more like stovepipes (or conductos de estufa). So perhaps, I thought to myself, the canyon reminded folks of stovepipes? By the way, an old map I saw labeled this canyon as Rice Canyon. Like a lot of things in Big Bend, I guess it has both an Anglo and a Hispanic name.

Estufa Canyon pruportedly was named because someone once found a stove (as in kitchen cookstove, not a campstove) there. 

It is an area that has some sort of meteorological "heat-warp" it is indeed seemingly hot as hell all the time!  Neat place though.

I usually come down Tornillo Creek to Banta and then out via Estufa.  No particular reason, that is just what I have done in every visit but one.

Great report, btw.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 29, 2018, 10:20:19 PM


Wednesday April 25th, Cont.



Tornillo Creek to Banta Shutin


Looking up Tornillo Creek from near the mouth of Estufa Canyon
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-VXp5LF5/0/6e602e08/X3/i-VXp5LF5-X3.jpg)


The other way to the south from the same spot
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-nZKsW3G/0/7d3e0b2c/X3/i-nZKsW3G-X3.jpg)


Steeply dipping layers ahead
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-w7CxXjp/0/884f8cc1/X3/i-w7CxXjp-X3.jpg)


Rounding the next turn
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-dnz9Q9J/0/ae69cabe/X3/i-dnz9Q9J-X3.jpg)


Precious shade
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-vMtGTMp/0/3d065250/X3/i-vMtGTMp-X3.jpg)


Grassy bench
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-vxWf9nL/0/90c49637/X3/i-vxWf9nL-X3.jpg)


Curving layers of steeply dipping rock next to that grassy patch
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Jvtq2MQ/0/7632b939/X3/i-Jvtq2MQ-X3.jpg)


Looking back at the curve I just passed through
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-H2vBDsS/0/8b340376/X3/i-H2vBDsS-X3.jpg)


Started seeing these concretions embedded in the creek bed
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-SvGk8Gh/0/165d0cef/X3/i-SvGk8Gh-X3.jpg)


This area really began to get interesting
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-3bTDdKZ/0/2c9d06dd/X3/i-3bTDdKZ-X3.jpg)


Looking upstream from same spot
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-t6mWNHF/0/b77f6204/X3/i-t6mWNHF-X3.jpg)


At first I thought these were badger holes.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-ZBv7pkZ/0/0b3a67c3/X3/i-ZBv7pkZ-X3.jpg)


Then I realized the creatures were digging for water.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-9ZB7ZM6/0/4805e6bf/X3/i-9ZB7ZM6-X3.jpg)


More of the concretions started appearing here...
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-xLhwJht/0/152ee475/X3/i-xLhwJht-X3.jpg)


and there in the creek bottom.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Q3M8nXh/0/68a14881/X3/i-Q3M8nXh-X3.jpg)


Then I spotted one overhead in the bank.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-jmjzBfK/0/91453888/X3/i-jmjzBfK-X3.jpg)


Looking up ahead there are more embedded in the bank and then transitioning into the creek bed due to dipping of the sediment layers.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-FDZBNNp/0/5288f93d/X3/i-FDZBNNp-X3.jpg)


Stuck in the wall
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-XfDvS7R/0/9a4722cc/X3/i-XfDvS7R-X3.jpg)


Working my way upstream, I tried cutting across the point bar, which made me deal with some small boulders. The curious black rock really stands out. I recalled there was something about black rock and Banta Shutin...
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-5NBdbLR/0/4792d7b5/X3/i-5NBdbLR-X3.jpg)


Reaching the dry pool I mentioned in my earlier water report (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/water-and-spring-reports/banta-shutin-april-25-2018/msg162992/#msg162992).
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-rRR6hp2/0/3a0ef106/X3/i-rRR6hp2-X3.jpg)




To be continued...

Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: badknees on May 30, 2018, 12:08:18 AM
Read this. It explains the Shutin

http://prism-redfern.org/bbvirtualtrip/banta/banta.html
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on May 30, 2018, 03:44:40 PM
Read this. It explains the Shutin

http://prism-redfern.org/bbvirtualtrip/banta/banta.html

Yes, that is an interesting post as well as his other one on Estufa Canyon. Thanks.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on June 12, 2018, 11:10:27 PM



Wednesday April 25th, Cont.



Miscellaneous Photos in Addition to Those in the Banta Shutin Water Report (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/water-and-spring-reports/banta-shutin-april-25-2018/msg162992/#msg162992)


Water leaking from the middle pool to the lower pool through a fracture in the rock.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-vLqKXjG/0/533df08d/X3/i-vLqKXjG-X3.jpg)


Middle pool where the canyon makes a sharp turn to the left.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-99pMrHh/0/844e3698/X3/i-99pMrHh-X3.jpg)


Curled up dead thingy.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-q8TL5xJ/0/8cccaf64/X3/i-q8TL5xJ-X3.jpg)


Lots of mule deer tracks and mineral deposits near the upper pool.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-TKtFkG8/0/443e50f0/X3/i-TKtFkG8-X3.jpg)


Are these the shorts DSR fished out of the water?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-KfSdx4p/0/f987dd60/X3/i-KfSdx4p-X3.jpg)


Narrow part of the Shutin above the upper pool and before the black rock section.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Pmkz2XZ/0/609735e7/X3/i-Pmkz2XZ-X3.jpg)


Look at how beautifully the rock has been smoothed and shaped.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-QX9M5Vm/0/9ea14535/X3/i-QX9M5Vm-X3.jpg)


In the narrow section looking back at the upper pool.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-RL43xnd/0/cd2d8891/X3/i-RL43xnd-X3.jpg)


Dig those amazing shapes carved into the rock.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-3nRGjNV/0/382bc65b/X3/i-3nRGjNV-X3.jpg)


Black rock like you have never seen before.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-DSgfwkt/0/e640211b/X3/i-DSgfwkt-X3.jpg)


Emerging from the black rock, the canyon starts to open up again before a long sweeping turn to the right.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-N9zFqrX/0/8f988449/X3/i-N9zFqrX-X3.jpg)


Looking to the right of the previous shot, there was a dead end nook back within the black rock.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-QxbwgGh/0/4ea40431/X3/i-QxbwgGh-X3.jpg)


Coming back from the long sweeping turn and heading back toward the Shutin.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Xt39kpg/0/4527454d/X3/i-Xt39kpg-X3.jpg)


Instead of entering the Shutin, I first walked up the ramp formed by the tilted black rock layers on the west side.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-PvHcgNR/0/7c5872dd/X3/i-PvHcgNR-X3.jpg)


Looking down into the Shutin from on top of the black rock.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-28xcFpj/0/a5b1fc1d/X3/i-28xcFpj-X3.jpg)



Estufa Canyon on the Way Back


From Tornillo Creek, the Estufa Canyon "delta" is very wide open and braided. Here I am beginning to enter the canyon walls and spot two holes on the distant formation.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-RP2vftv/0/1e32538a/X3/i-RP2vftv-X3.jpg)


Amazing erosion features.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-P3bmnT4/0/de45921f/X3/i-P3bmnT4-X3.jpg)


Looking back toward Tornillo and the hills beyond.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-FqxgQ2M/0/f084e37e/X3/i-FqxgQ2M-X3.jpg)


Cobble-sized aggregate that appeared heavily cemented with quartz.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Cd8bxpJ/0/761e7fcb/X3/i-Cd8bxpJ-X3.jpg)


Back in the canyon proper. There was an alternate channel off to the left, but I was hugging the shadier side as much as possible.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-wg3dvFj/0/7cfc3757/X3/i-wg3dvFj-X3.jpg)


Looking back from the same spot.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-SKNVn3M/0/00360279/X3/i-SKNVn3M-X3.jpg)


Shadows were starting to get longer as I reached this tall cylindrical hoodoo.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-FkKkj8s/0/6c7a7992/X3/i-FkKkj8s-X3.jpg)


However, it looked entirely different from the other side.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-JVgXZBd/0/76af1af2/X3/i-JVgXZBd-X3.jpg)


Nice shade found near these steep gravel walls.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-2VrSKrX/0/3f34abe5/X3/i-2VrSKrX-X3.jpg)


Shadows on the canyon walls and the moon appearing in the evening sky.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-pwmrMx4/0/882918ec/X3/i-pwmrMx4-X3.jpg)


Start of a sharp bend to the right up ahead. In some places, I could take the cutoff channel instead of following the main channel.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-6fpcRgV/0/aa4a59a5/X3/i-6fpcRgV-X3.jpg)


Up on the alluvial terrace above Estufa Canyon on the last leg to K-Bar #2.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-gNt2vd2/0/af284e7d/X3/i-gNt2vd2-X3.jpg)


Funny little clouds stuck on the mountian tops to the west of K-Bar.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-4Jb9Sp7/0/ed428c15/X3/i-4Jb9Sp7-X3.jpg)


Well water storage prior to being boosted up to PJ.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-cSWqDdL/0/1e012f8a/X2/i-cSWqDdL-X2.jpg)


It had been a great day of hiking and I arrived back at the truck just in time to drive back to camp as the sun slowly sank behind the hills.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-FD9bwWT/0/484edf5d/X3/i-FD9bwWT-X3.jpg)


End of Wednesday


To be continued...

Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on June 22, 2018, 10:49:07 PM
Wow, it has been a busy late spring and early summer with all goings on of my wife and our fast growing up kids.   :great:   Let's see if Flash can wrap this one up!   :icon_rolleyes:


Thursday April 26th


After hiking 17-1/2 miles on Wednesday, I was ready to go slow and easy the next morning. I left camp and headed down the Basin Road intending to resume exploring several points of interest to me in the Sam Nail Ranch area. However, one impression had stuck in my mind from the Monday hike along the old Oak Canyon Road while checking out Homer's fenceline. According to my map, that old road went all the way to Route 13, the current main Park Road. Needless to say, as I reached the part of Route 13 where it curves widely around the Sphinx, I ended up stopping at a pullout not 0.2 miles from the intersection with the old road, which appeared to be barricaded up the hill, by a large block of stone. Since I was a bit sore from yestarday's walk, I thought walking an old road sounded like a great idea.

Here is a map showing the old road that runs from southeast of the Sphinx to a point west of the Tiedown Tree.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-2VbqsbM/0/cff6c8ba/X2/i-2VbqsbM-X2.png)


First thing I noticed after walking about 1/10 mile to the top of the hill was that the old road didn't look half bad. Seen far worse in the Park. Better than Old Ore I'd say.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-vXTHKht/0/edb09825/X3/i-vXTHKht-X3.jpg)


Looking back, there is the Sphinx, although my daughter once thought it looked more like Hippo Rock.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-KVgQqWw/0/d2e164a4/X3/i-KVgQqWw-X3.jpg)


Something about this flat open area I had reached intrigue me. Rocks like this get me wondering. Maybe it is nothing, maybe it is a scattered campfire rocks...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-65VqPHJ/0/7fbd613c/X3/i-65VqPHJ-X3.jpg)


The proverbial 12 oz. steel drink can, which reminds me of drinking Canada Dry or Shasta sodas on family camping trips.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-JsBNtXF/0/e0dafd89/X3/i-JsBNtXF-X3.jpg)


Might be nothing, but old, old fire ring?

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-BXw3mfq/0/7dcd932f/X3/i-BXw3mfq-X3.jpg)


A nearby bloom

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-kPtkC2S/0/eb570c12/X3/i-kPtkC2S-X3.jpg)


Leaving that flat open area, here I am moving along up the road toward Oak Canyon. Along in here I spotted some mule deer that I no doubt spooked away.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-qRdhgT4/0/bb9f19b3/X3/i-qRdhgT4-X3.jpg)


Looking back again toward the Sphinx and Slickrock Mountain.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-jCZmbm3/0/e17fa641/X3/i-jCZmbm3-X3.jpg)


Eastward are the northern Chisos foothils with Pulliam Bluff in the background.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-7wcCH5p/0/9dbefd72/X3/i-7wcCH5p-X3.jpg)


About 12:35pm, I stopped to shoot some photos of my surroundings and decided I had reached my turnaround point. Here is Vernon Bailey.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-G27J5c8/0/543b1243/X3/i-G27J5c8-X3.jpg)


Then the Window from an unusual angle and Amon Carter.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-9Xc5DKq/0/d74f7fe5/X3/i-9Xc5DKq-X3.jpg)


The road ahead and Ward Mountain.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-QZgQn6L/0/1c99a432/X3/i-QZgQn6L-X3.jpg)


Cattail Canyon area including the hourglass scree field

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-zm95TZb/0/3e9c87bc/X3/i-zm95TZb-X3.jpg)


Fuzzy close up of Middle Cattail...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-fQGhMgf/0/4751a95d/X3/i-fQGhMgf-X3.jpg)


The way back after turning around.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-pmkP388/0/2868542a/X3/i-pmkP388-X3.jpg)


As I approached that same flat open area where I earlier discovered the old soda can, I spotted these white stones that seemed out of place.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-GhwnS8L/0/44880ba2/X3/i-GhwnS8L-X3.jpg)


More

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-p452XfB/0/1a987c78/X3/i-p452XfB-X3.jpg)


Evidence of more recent campers

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-JBmH56t/0/dc3c4555/X3/i-JBmH56t-X3.jpg)


Flint from Apache Canyon you think?

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-FCtBDqQ/0/eb3d7425/X3/i-FCtBDqQ-X3.jpg)


Recall this open flat area is just a short distance up the hill from the main road. Now I began exploring area on the east side of the old road. Here I walked upon this unusual scene. What is this I am looking at? That brown rock is dribbled with faded yellow paint. There is a rebar stake in the ground...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-CdbnZFJ/0/cdbe330e/X3/i-CdbnZFJ-X3.jpg)


Scanning the surrounding area, I spot a second stake with two rocks, one with faded yellow paint.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-fkNsCh9/0/58ce931b/X3/i-fkNsCh9-X3.jpg)


The two stakes are about 25' apart. I'm thinking horseshoes, but then my mind shifts to washers or some tossing game like washers.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-gNT8dnJ/0/699ea04e/X3/i-gNT8dnJ-X3.jpg)


What a find! Who played washers here? Cowboys, herders, Boy Scouts, or the local spit and whittle bunch?  Next I started walking the imaginary line formed by the two stakes and, sure enough, found another stake!

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-4N7dVdG/0/e2c2fab4/X3/i-4N7dVdG-X3.jpg)


Followed by a fourth one. That makes two washers courts!

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-wQdZ2n4/0/3b2180e7/X3/i-wQdZ2n4-X3.jpg)


But wait. Continuing along the line, I found, yes, a third court as follows:

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-2Vrd3P3/0/ea410042/X3/i-2Vrd3P3-X3.jpg)


Each stake had one or two rocks to serve as a backstop. Oh, but there is a deer antler.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-NhG2QkT/0/9f06057b/X3/i-NhG2QkT-X3.jpg)


At this point, I was starting to believe that, with three tossing game courts literally in a row, this area might have been used for group camping at some point in the past, perhaps if not pre-Park, then in the early Park days. Here, the light was such that I was able to spot the hint of old tire tracks.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-PnZ3m9V/0/b9d69b9c/X3/i-PnZ3m9V-X3.jpg)


Another attempt to capture the very faint old tire tracks. They seemed narrower than a modern car...

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-hdxrDjZ/0/52c246ad/X3/i-hdxrDjZ-X3.jpg)


I wandered around looking for more evidence of camping, etc. At the far end of the open area, this spot was curious to me because it seemed the creosote bushes here had caused the underlying rock to erupt through the surface sediments.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-chX5qJV/0/45c151cb/X3/i-chX5qJV-X3.jpg)


Creosote eruption close up

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-dSp35Bf/0/0bfd76dc/X3/i-dSp35Bf-X3.jpg)


Same wide open area but here, in this spot, these four rocks really stood out to me.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-dbBdFNt/0/486aeeb9/X3/i-dbBdFNt-X3.jpg)


After wandering about the "camp" area for quite a while, I ended up back at the first "goal" in the first "court" I had found.  Something about that blackish rock with the faded yellow paint was screaming out at me.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-cZp5xt6/0/d9ed3e64/X3/i-cZp5xt6-X3.jpg)


Picking it up and looking it over, I thought, where did I recently see rocks of this type and character?

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-K8Sq57w/0/a58621a6/X3/i-K8Sq57w-X3.jpg)


Banta Shutin of course. Similar to those cool black rocks north of Banta Shutin.  Are similar rocks found elsewhere in the Big Bend area?  I'd like to imagine this might be one of the throwing stones for the tossing game.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-bbCXwVN/0/3fcc0ba3/X3/i-bbCXwVN-X3.jpg)


Stone at the bottom center, with that faint yellow tone, looks like it might also be a tossing stone.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-B4NmWm7/0/6473c76d/X3/i-B4NmWm7-X3.jpg)


One of the "goals" from the third court, which seems to have remnants of faint yellow paint on the rock and on the stake.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-sLJVNPr/0/c8bab3f9/X3/i-sLJVNPr-X3.jpg)


Here is a close up of my track log in the area of the flat open alluvial terrace "camp" area that I explored. In old maps I have studied since, there appears to have been a road that approached from the south from the Gano Spring area that tied in right about there.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-xNZGT39/0/ad6b8a58/X2/i-xNZGT39-X2.png)


Reaching the end of the alluvial terrace on the edge of the "camp", I stopped to view the surrounding area before heading back to my truck in the distance by the side of the road.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-WR8QKMb/0/87353d48/X3/i-WR8QKMb-X3.jpg)


Said my good-bye to the Sphinx backed up by Slickrock and Croton Peak.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-xjPrmcJ/0/5ae10168/X3/i-xjPrmcJ-X3.jpg)


Looking east toward Rough Mountain and the area I hiked on Tuesday.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-kPNRc6v/0/6fa59972/X3/i-kPNRc6v-X3.jpg)


Returned to the truck about 2:15pm. Hiked 4.9 miles over a period of 2-3/4 hours.

Drove on west to the Cottonwood Store in Study Butte for a few groceries. Got a shower at the motel. Wandered around the cemetery in the ghost town. Sat on the Porch for a bit. Ate an early dinner at La Kiva, but alas they had no Big Bend Brewing Company beer. By 7:30pm, I was back in Basin Campground rocking in my hammock before reading in my tent after turning in for the night.


To be continued...

Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: alan in shreveport on June 23, 2018, 06:44:36 AM
Dang Flash, another mystery ! 
I can't tell from your commentary if the  "washer courts" are laid out side by side or end to end ? If end to end, in a line, could they be marking something - a future fence or something that either never got built or got torn down ? 
Do you ever make it to Sam Nail ?
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Imre on June 23, 2018, 10:28:00 AM
Flash: this is a great report on a great trip!   :great: Looking forward to the next installment. By any chance, did you find 'Hartung's Road' that Edward Abbey mentions in one of his short stories?  :eusa_think:
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: presidio on June 23, 2018, 03:34:19 PM
Looking back again toward the Sphinx and Slickrock Mountain.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-jCZmbm3/0/e17fa641/X3/i-jCZmbm3-X3.jpg)

The road ahead and Ward Mountain.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-QZgQn6L/0/1c99a432/X3/i-QZgQn6L-X3.jpg)

Here, the light was such that I was able to spot the hint of old tire tracks.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-PnZ3m9V/0/b9d69b9c/X3/i-PnZ3m9V-X3.jpg)

Another attempt to capture the very faint old tire tracks. They seemed narrower than a modern car...
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-hdxrDjZ/0/52c246ad/X3/i-hdxrDjZ-X3.jpg)

These are very good examples of what a lot of folks fail to see if they hike off trail.

The road alignment and even the very faint tire tracks jump out to the trained eye.

The untrained eye simply fails to recognize the alterations. Not unlike folks that cannot see rock art until it is pointed out to them.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: presidio on June 23, 2018, 03:46:06 PM
Dang Flash, another mystery ! 
I can't tell from your commentary if the  "washer courts" are laid out side by side or end to end ? If end to end, in a line,

The gps track shows the features are a linear alignment.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on June 23, 2018, 09:30:52 PM
Dang Flash, another mystery ! 
I can't tell from your commentary if the  "washer courts" are laid out side by side or end to end ? If end to end, in a line, could they be marking something - a future fence or something that either never got built or got torn down ? 
Do you ever make it to Sam Nail ?

Alan, I described how I searched in line with the first pair I found, so yes they are end to end.  It was clear they are arranged in pairs:  Rock, Stake, Stake, Rock, Rock, Stake, Stake, Rock, Rock, Stake, Stake, Rock. This can be seen in the photos if you enlarge them in your browser. 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.*  Weird cool find indeed, but no stranger than a washers court sunk into a barn floor or a tailgate bean bag toss game.

Sam Nail was being illusive after the brief visit on Monday. It will keep. The north Chisos foothills held my attention this particular week.

-Flash

* This is, of course, imaginative speculation on my part.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on June 23, 2018, 09:47:58 PM
Flash: this is a great report on a great trip!   :great: Looking forward to the next installment. By any chance, did you find 'Hartung's Road' that Edward Abbey mentions in one of his short stories?  :eusa_think:

Thanks, Imre. Glad you are enjoying it. I know nothing of a Hartung's Road. Is it something mysterious? I searched Google and found this (https://books.google.com/books?id=th4RcKPOldMC&pg=PR11&lpg=PR11&dq=Hartung%27s+Road+Edward+Abbey&source=bl&ots=Pmgsw7Cqrr&sig=nPNJQUc75UimgBkHCF1P3T1Hibk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiNpPbPoevbAhVGRa0KHVpPCnkQ6AEIVjAF#v=onepage&q=Hartung's%20Road%20Edward%20Abbey&f=false).  I do suspect this road along with the one I followed while going to Rough Spring on Tuesday, were both maintained (as in bladed) in the pre-Park days.

- Flash
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: presidio on June 23, 2018, 11:11:36 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.

Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Imre on June 24, 2018, 12:07:08 AM
Flash: here's an earlier, albeit rather short, thread on Hartung's road:
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/el-saloacuten/hartung's-road/msg126236/#msg126236
Since then I have realized that in the 1950's the river road started on the east side of the parking lot for the current location of the Castolon store. You can clearly see it marked on Google Earth, and the [locked] gate is a short walk from the current location of the restrooms.  So Hartung's road, if it is not poetic license along with the rest of the story, would have been a northbound road somewhere in the vicinity of Castolon, not at the current location of the west end of the river road.
Like Alan, I'm hoping that you have a chance to explore in the vicinity of Sam Nail. Last year I found the 'tiger trap' and the game camera but no sign of the stone hut.  :icon_frown:
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Mindy on June 24, 2018, 05:27:09 PM
Hey guys!

Flash, this is great trip report, love the pictures and all the detail.

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?)

Thanks!
M
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Imre 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.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash 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.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: alan in shreveport on June 26, 2018, 06:42:13 AM
"Pretty cool find though."     Definitely - what were they up to ?  and who ?
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: RichardM 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/).
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: RichardM 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
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: badknees 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?
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash 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:
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-fkNsCh9/0/58ce931b/X3/i-fkNsCh9-X3.jpg)
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: RichardM 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:
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: DesertRatShorty on June 27, 2018, 10:26:28 AM

Are these the shorts DSR fished out of the water?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-KfSdx4p/0/f987dd60/X3/i-KfSdx4p-X3.jpg)


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

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4637/39221589022_eb58bc8f8b_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/22KSTXu)

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.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash 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 (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/water-and-spring-reports/moss-well-april-27-2018/msg162998/#msg162998).


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
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-tLt83fc/0/a1e44214/XL/i-tLt83fc-XL.png)


Going left to right... Panther Peak
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-P49qXXT/0/5e911cdc/X3/i-P49qXXT-X3.jpg)


Lost Mine Peak
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-3rJDvvt/0/03aa94b8/X3/i-3rJDvvt-X3.jpg)


Pulliam Bluff
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-kRjsgfr/0/42679c54/X3/i-kRjsgfr-X3.jpg)


Foothills north of Pulliam
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-SNRgd5V/0/4c197828/X3/i-SNRgd5V-X3.jpg)


Rusty historic litter in one wash bottom
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-m8pxVsJ/0/a57ba862/X3/i-m8pxVsJ-X3.jpg)


Pulliam from the wash bottom
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-FtNNXPq/0/94e10405/X3/i-FtNNXPq-X3.jpg)


Lots of gravel and sotol coming out a low wash with foothills in the background
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-N76JxbH/0/35208db7/X3/i-N76JxbH-X3.jpg)


Scratched arm and sunburned hand with the well pump head nearby.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-RhLnmZr/0/dc7db1be/X3/i-RhLnmZr-X3.jpg)


Ugh! Thick brush and I still have to get back to the truck.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Q2NJcPQ/0/ea5d95fc/X3/i-Q2NJcPQ-X3.jpg)


Maple Canyon lies on the opposite side of this ridge. The low saddle in the middle is beckoning.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-wRVDD3J/0/0d37a927/X3/i-wRVDD3J-X3.jpg)


There's also another higher saddle to the right and then Pulliam.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-8QSxtjH/0/cd5fd361/X3/i-8QSxtjH-X3.jpg)


Old rusty paint can in the brush. If there is a homesite, I never found it.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-vLLtzF7/0/05e4be1c/X3/i-vLLtzF7-X3.jpg)


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.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-JVHzmdt/0/0ee02d58/X3/i-JVHzmdt-X3.jpg)


Working my way back now, I ran across this agave starting to put up its stalk.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-XJ8vS8R/0/dacf5b2d/X3/i-XJ8vS8R-X3.jpg)


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.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-qJr8c45/0/d0eac819/X3/i-qJr8c45-X3.jpg)


Another shot of the healthy looking agave.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-xQfR938/0/48bf0f48/X3/i-xQfR938-X3.jpg)


Big Bend Ants
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-6cN2Ttc/0/0be07125/X3/i-6cN2Ttc-X3.jpg)


I'm not really bothered by sign of humans being here before me. Kind of comforting, actually, in this harsh landscape.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-8xS4CWJ/0/8f62815d/X3/i-8xS4CWJ-X3.jpg)


Raven perched on a powerline pole
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-g8kk5QF/2/93ada6a7/X3/i-g8kk5QF-X3.jpg)


Cloud cover had increased as the day wore on with this later view of Lost Mine Peak.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-zdsxsg7/0/081405aa/X3/i-zdsxsg7-X3.jpg)


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
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-SJbfP2f/0/83e53b18/X3/i-SJbfP2f-X3.jpg)


Sunset through the breezeway at the Lodge
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-JpKVGRz/0/7463802d/X3/i-JpKVGRz-X3.jpg)



To be continued...
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash on June 29, 2018, 10:10:45 AM

Are these the shorts DSR fished out of the water?
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-KfSdx4p/0/f987dd60/X3/i-KfSdx4p-X3.jpg)


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

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4637/39221589022_eb58bc8f8b_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/22KSTXu)

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.
Title: Re: Flash April 22-28, 2018 Trip
Post by: Flash 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:
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-P4Sxbhn/0/d7407732/X3/i-P4Sxbhn-X3.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-wMCBDZ7/0/747c9090/X3/i-wMCBDZ7-X3.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-gZLX8rN/0/ee5e9e5b/X3/i-gZLX8rN-X3.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-ntPHwHc/0/92082428/X3/i-ntPHwHc-X3.jpg)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-ZtdVNRZ/0/6d88d289/X3/i-ZtdVNRZ-X3.jpg)


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.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-XmB7JrG/0/4c5dc5bf/X3/i-XmB7JrG-X3.jpg)

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.
(https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Ljhp4S9/0/a375cafd/X3/i-Ljhp4S9-X3.jpg)


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