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Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip

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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2018, 12:46:21 AM »

What is the mysterious cell phone lot of which you speak? I learn so much from this forum!


Any one of several pullouts on the Basin Road in Green Gulch where quite a few folks go to catch up on their texts and call home, etc.

- Flash

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Offline Hookim

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2018, 08:24:16 AM »
Ah, yes. Thanks.

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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2018, 09:11:41 AM »
Tuesday July 24th - Cottonwood Creek north from Sam Nail Ranch


This is the overall route of our 4.1 mile walk down part of Cottonwood Creek from the Sam Nail Ranch. According to a Julia Nail interview, the place was referred to as the "Old Ranch".



This is a close up of the area where we searched for Rock Hut and the springs.



We entered Cottonwood Creek from a narrow side trail leading away from the loop trail. This is the one that passes an old shed and through a stand of stunted trees on the way to the creek. The trail comes out near the cottonwood tree seen behind my wife. We placed a couple small cairns in the creek bed to mark the way back.



Looking ahead downstream at the next leaning cottonwood.

 

Past the leaning one and looking back to be certain of our return.



More Purple Sage in bloom. My wife's trail runners ended up coming back in four pieces. Oddly both shoes experienced castastrophic sole separations later on in the hike. The resulting shoes were similar to those worn by the Tarahumara runners.



Yours truly whose brand new Keens managed to hold together in the hot gravel just fine.



Lovely, not too ancient, bear poop.



Glancing back at the creek channel and Burro Mesa above.



Mostly easy wash walking, but found a wall of thorny brush whenever we ascended the banks above.



Saw lots of evidence of swiftly moving water.



Varied sediment sizes are seen here in the creek bank.



Cottonwoods ho! Here we are about halfway to the unnamed spring.



Bear track in the gravel.



Islands of shade



First surface water spotted from the unnamed spring.



An actual narrow pool of water.



On our way in search of the Rock Hut.



Another pool of water.



This one is more murky. Maybe I like the last one better.



The blue patch is my wife's back as she struggles to climb a creek bank in search of any evidence of a Rock Hut.



Looking around in a parallel channel, but no Rock Hut. Seems like it would be up out of the stream channels and up on the highest bank or terrace.



Moving on, we hiked farther down the creek bed past where Cottonwood Spring is marked, but found no aditional water. Unfamiliar with this kind of tree.



The fruit was thin skinned and had a large pit, unless it is in fact a nut in which case that skin would be the hull I suppose.



This was very close to our turnaround point.



On our return leg, while approaching the Rock Hut area again, I spotted this devise, which I missed on the way out.



Seems to be a wildlife monitoring camera. It now checks out the sky.



Hard to see, but left of center, in the tree, is my tenacious wife trying to climb high enough to get a better view around us. We were becoming convinced that the answer to the Rock Hut mystery may be on top of the brush-choked east creek bank. Found it difficult to get up the banks and then once there we were faced with thick brush. Napalm was likely needed.



Managing to mount one of the creek banks and working through the less thick part of the brush, I spotted this stack of rocks.



Getting around to the other side, it had an opening underneath.



Clearer shot. This looks like a possible chiquitero or baby goat shelter. Maybe the Rock Hut is farther back from the creek in this area. I am thinking someone approaching this spot directly from the road might be able to see more, if there is any evidence to be found.



Encouraged by this find, we spent the next 30-40 minutes looping around and exploring the channels and banks to the west and southwest of the alleged chiquitero.


After my wife's shoe suffered separation of the sole, I wrapped her shoe with 25' of paracord to try to hold it on. After re-tying it for the 3rd time, she simply resolved to walk with no sole at all. It was much simpler.


On the way back we passed this strangely deformed cottonwood tree.



Something must have expired, because before too long, the other shoe lost its sole also. This is where the Tarahumara part came in. I stuffed her parted soles into my pack and we made our way slowly back toward Sam Nail. According to my track log, this is where we took a break in the shade and are looking north (downstream).



Looking south and upstream from our shady resting spot.



Later in the evening, back at camp, an almost full moon rose over Casa Grande.



More to come...

« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 03:04:24 PM by Flash »

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Offline badknees

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2018, 09:34:24 AM »


I believe this is a Texas Walnut - Juglans microcarpa


Also, the wildlife camera project is managed by Patricia Harveson at Sul Ross (pharveson@sulross.edu). She might appreciate a note about the camera status.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 09:40:19 AM by badknees »
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline iCe

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2018, 09:50:53 AM »
Regarding the Tarahumara and trail runners. I can’t remember the name of the book and I’m not home to look for it but as I understand it they were “recruited” to run a 100 mile race in the Rockies (CO) by Nike in the early days of Nike. They were losing the race because of the shoes Nike gave them. They were screwing up their feet. Eventually they got frustrated, cut the soles off, used the laces to fashion the soles into the form of shoe they were used to wearing (no more than protection for the bottom of the foot). They won the race once they got rid of one of the greatest marketing ploys to be created. All the arch support bs the besiege is with does more to harm feet than help. The “arch” is formed by the strength of the muscle in the bottom of the foot. Support it and it loses strength, thereby requiring more support. But it and athletes sell shoes


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Offline badknees

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2018, 10:10:33 AM »
Regarding the Tarahumara and trail runners. I can’t remember the name of the book.....

Born to Run - by Christopher McDougall
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline iCe

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2018, 12:03:29 PM »
Regarding the Tarahumara and trail runners. I can’t remember the name of the book.....

Born to Run - by Christopher McDougall

Yes! Thank you. All I could think of was Running on the Sun but that’s a video and it about DV


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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2018, 12:48:23 PM »

I believe this is a Texas Walnut - Juglans microcarpa

Also, the wildlife camera project is managed by Patricia Harveson at Sul Ross (pharveson@sulross.edu). She might appreciate a note about the camera status.

BK,

Thanks for the plant ID!  I think you got a match there: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=JUMI

I will see about letting folks know about that camera...

- Flash

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Offline jim2

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2018, 03:00:45 PM »
Flash, what you referred  to as stunted trees around Sam Nail are mostly walnuts. That 10 to 12 foot tall forest you walk through, so cool, is all walnut. With more water they get bigger and set more nuts as you found. I like that area. Such a small unique environment
I wonder how deep is the well there? I would guess by the presence of the walnuts, the water table is high.
Very cool that your wife joins you on some of your adventures.

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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2018, 12:45:04 PM »
Flash, what you referred  to as stunted trees around Sam Nail are mostly walnuts. That 10 to 12 foot tall forest you walk through, so cool, is all walnut. With more water they get bigger and set more nuts as you found. I like that area. Such a small unique environment
I wonder how deep is the well there? I would guess by the presence of the walnuts, the water table is high.
Very cool that your wife joins you on some of your adventures.
Jim2,

That grove of small trees is fascinating. Seemed creepy to me the first time I found the spot along with that old tin shed. So those are walnut trees as well. Good to know.

My wife is a good sport about Big Bend and always seems ready to head wherever I am inclined hike.

- Flash

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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2018, 10:00:19 PM »

Wednesday July 25th - South Rim via the Laguna Meadow, Southwest Rim, Boot Canyon, and Pinnacles Trails


The Window from the lower part of the Laguna Meadow Trail.



Bear (?) tracks dried into the mud from the mid-july rains.



Next to my size 12 boot.



Another one...



Here is a third one I photographed. Looks like either a full print or a different foot perhaps.



Taking a break amongst the boulders.



Good thing my wife brought her running shoes on the trip for back up, after the mishap with her trail shoes. They seemed to be working fine for her.



Part of the ridge separating the Pinncales and Laguna trails.



Toward the top of the final set of switchbacks.



This agave was not quite ready to bloom.

 

Looking back down the trail.



The trail up ahead.



Hoping my camera might capture any sign of aspens. I see none here.



Higher now, it looks more and more like Emory Peak.



At the Pass, contemplating the Basin from a shady spot.



Standing in Laguna Meadow a ways south of LM1. Notice the talus slope in the upper lefthand corner.



Close up of the upper part of the talus slope. Mostly oak trees on the upper margins.



Close up of the lower part of the talus slope on Emory Peak. See the white trunks? Aspens!



We finished walking the length of Laguna, then turned east until we cut the main trail again.



Looking down Blue Creek Canyon.



Clouds are starting to bunch up some as we get higher up on the trail before it turns away from Blue Creek Canyon.



Looking from the south toward rugged Emory Peak and the talus pile as we head eastward toward upper Boot Canyon.



Zooming in at the lower reaches of the boulder pile, I think I see hints of aspen trunks that look pretty twisted. Wonder if this is due to the boulders shifting over time?



Agave in partial bloom as we approach Boot Canyon high above on the Southwest Rim Trail.



Looking back along the Southwest Rim Trail high over Boot Canyon.



Clouds are building up to the south and east. That is Crown Mountain in the distant center.



Crown Mountain through the Boot Canyon window.

 

Great billowing clouds were seen to the west.



Finally, we come over a rise just past SW4 and there it is! The sun is playing on the flanks of Elephant Tusk and Backbone Ridge!



It was a pretty dynamic setting with the mixture of light and shadows.



Looking to the southwest toward Blue Creek.



On the southernmost point of the South Rim, halfway between SW4 and the Boot Canyon Trail junction, looking northeasterly along the Rim. What is that off to the right?



Rain! Looking due east toward the Juniper Canyon Trailhead and Chilicotal Mountian, it looks like rain indeed.



Looking straight down the Rim from that same southernmost spot. What is that huge hole over there?



That hideout hole below the Rim needs to be explored...



Spotted a second rain shower between Dominguez Mountain and the Punta de la Sierra.



Sunlight was playing great tricks out in the Sierra Quemada.



Looking back over toward Chilicotal, the showers are now gone and replaced with a fluffy thunderhead.



We had moved on down the Rim, about a 1/10 mile past the Boot Canyon Tail junction, and found a place to have a late lunch before heading back. The rain has moved a bit closer.



Clouds were low granted, but in general the skies were hazier than usual, affecting all of our views throughout the week. I wondered if that infamous Saharan dust that had been present in Houston a few days earlier had moved west into the Trans-Pecos. To me it gave the Sierra Quemada a more mysterious look.



Looking due east, I zoomed in on the twin-crowned foothill in the center, which I have explored some in the past. Twice I camped in that hidden valley between the foothills and the Northeast and Southwest Rims. The gash to the right of the foothill is the north wall of the canyon wherein Lower Juniper Spring lies.



Hearing increased rumbling, we decided to move on and head back toward the Boot Canyon Junction. Rain is looking closer now...



Parting shot of ET before heading down the Boot Canyon Trail.



High meadows on our way down to Boot Creek. Looking left...



Up ahead...



Looking right...



More of High Chisos meadow.



Love these high grassy hillsides.



High kicking it in Boot Canyon.



Coming down through the Pinnacles, we passed this incredible Madrone tree!




To be continued...


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Offline badknees

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2018, 06:34:22 AM »
Thanks for all the pictures!

Two comments...

1. The Quemada looks real dry for this time of year
2. Glad you spotted the aspens. Most people just walk on by. - Next time hike up to them.
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline Txlj

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2018, 09:03:45 AM »
Thank you! Excellent pics

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Offline Imre

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2018, 10:27:37 AM »
Awesome!!   :notworthy: Thank you for sharing. When do we get to the part about the painted redstart and the colima warblers?
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
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Offline Flash

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Re: Flash July 22-28, 2018 Trip
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2018, 09:18:48 PM »
Thanks for all the pictures!

Two comments...

1. The Quemada looks real dry for this time of year
2. Glad you spotted the aspens. Most people just walk on by. - Next time hike up to them.

BK,

You are welcome. Hope you enjoyed them.  The Sierra Quemada did look dryer than other summer visits I have made.  As for the aspens, luckily the camera captured them so I could enjoy them later when I got home. Now that I know they are down low, not up high on the talus slope as I had assumed, I could probably hike over and touch one sometime.

- Flash

 


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