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Jennifer's sixth trip

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Offline RichardM

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Jennifer's sixth trip
« on: January 01, 2015, 12:00:47 PM »
Jennifer and I loaded up my Dad's minivan and headed out from Austin on Friday the 26th. Made good time driving out to the Chisos Mining Company Motel. We drove down to Terlingua and thought about having dinner at the High Sierra, but Jennifer changed her mind and said she'd rather go to the Chile Pepper Cafe. The High Sierra looked pretty crowded. Rio Bravo was closed and I'm sure the Starlight was packed. As it was, the Chile Pepper was overflowing and we waited a while just to get seated. Only one waitress and she seemed a bit overwhelmed. Food was good, as usual, when we finally got to eat. We weren't in any hurry and were already on Terlingua time.

We got up at 6:00AM and headed into the park. Stopped briefly at the pullout at the bottom of Green Gulch. I tried talking Jennifer into waiting for the sun to come up over the Sierra del Carmens, but she was anxious to get up to the Chisos Basin campground to find a spot. Here's the view just before sunrise.



We got up to the campground just as most folks were just waking up. The campground hosts wasn't up yet, and according to the guys camped next to them, the host and friends had been up pretty late "partying". As we were driving around seeing what might be opening up, a nice couple at site #10 flagged us down and said they were just about to pack up and leave. That's Jennifer's favorite, as it was where she first camped back on her first trip. We headed up to the visitor center to pay our entrance fee after putting our campsite registration receipt on the post to secure the site. They no longer accept credit card info, so I just paid cash.

After setting up the tent, blowup mattress, and sleeping bags, we headed off to our hike for the day. I'll post a separate report on it over in the members only section.

More to come...
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 12:01:47 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 01:40:07 PM »
On the way back to the Basin, we stopped off at the Sam Nail Ranch.







The "new" windmill was running strong.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 12:03:12 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2015, 01:48:51 PM »
A shot of Casa Grande through the Window.


A little wider view.


Before dinner, we walked the Window View Trail. Jennifer made a new friend.




We got on the restaurant waiting list at 6:00. Finally got served our food around 8:00. Yeah, they were a bit busy. Food was good. On the way back to the car we saw a grey fox hanging around while some folks cooked their dinner on the picnic table next to the parking lot. My crappy point & shoot Canon refused to take a picture, as it wasn't able to focus on the fox in the dark, even though it was only 5 feet in front of me. :pissed: We also just missed seeing a bobcat stroll through the parking lot. First I've heard of one up in the Basin.

Temperature got down to around 25 that night, with some sleet/freezing rain in the middle of the night. We had an extra sleeping bag between our air mattress and regular sleeping bags, plus an extra one spread over both of us, so we stayed nice and warm.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 12:07:15 PM by RichardM »

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2015, 09:23:57 PM »
Looks like a lot of fun!

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 11:30:49 PM »
There were some clouds moving in when we were headed out on Sunday morning. We decided to save Casa Grande for Monday and headed out of the Basin to the Panther Junction Visitor Center. After checking on road conditions we wandered around back to check out the new fossil models which will eventually be installed at the Fossil Bone Exhibit.





The road was in decent shape, but a few spots were made more interesting since we were in a Toyota minivan. The trailhead parking lot was empty when we got there. Weather was just about perfect for hiking.





My artistic shot of the day:






I'll skip posting my attempt at capturing the falls without a wide angle lens and instead offer this corruption of a couple of CC's pictures.



Here's a short video of the falls:


In addition to CC and his daughters, we met another nice gentleman who hiked back with us. He was headed to the Rio with his canoe to do a boomerang trip. He had been thinking of Mariscal Canyon, but I suggested he start with Hot Springs Canyon and get some better info on Mariscal before trying it. He had already done Santa Elena. Hopefully he'll join the site and give us a trip report.

Gotta work the moon into a shot when it's up during the day. I think it's a law.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 12:08:29 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2015, 11:59:40 PM »
After Pine Canyon we made a pit stop at Dugout Wells. Gave me a chance to dump some trash we picked up along the trail. :pissed: As we headed toward the Old Ore Road, a badger ran/waddled across the road. He moved too fast for me to get a picture of him, unfortunately. Jennifer fell asleep before we turned off of the pavement and didn't wake up until a few minutes after we got to the Ernst Tinaja trailhead. That gave me a chance to climb the hill to check out the view of the canyon from a bit higher than usual.



One of these vehicles is not like the others...



The tinaja was a bit lower than usual.



Jennifer noticed that the tinaja appears to be located on a fault or at least a dike. She said she may want to be a rockologist, or maybe an historican.



She declined to climb out the top of the little cave/tunnel just upstream of the tinaja.



We tried to send some good Hook'em vibes the Longhorns' way, but apparently it didn't work.  :icon_rolleyes:



Jennifer is definitely my daughter and couldn't pass the tinajas without tossing a rock or two.



I would have loved to have seen this in bloom.



We stopped off at Juan DeLeon's grave. I was amazed at how much money has been left in tribute. Not all of it is coins, either.



The .45 shell casing is kind of ironic.



Up next, Casa Grande!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 01:22:56 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 07:37:06 PM »
As we were about to hit the pavement, I gave Jennifer two options: 1) go watch the sunset from the Rio Grande Nature Trail followed by showers at the store, then a late dinner at the lodge, or 2) early dinner at the lodge and stay stinky. She choose early and stinky. Thank heavens for baby wipes. The lodge restaurant wasn't quite as crowded as the night before. I even sprung for dessert. The night was a little warmer and the skies were clear Monday morning.

We got to the Lost Mine Trail parking a little before 10:00AM and got one of the last two open parking spaces. After a leisurely stroll up to the saddle, we took a quick picture and headed up the ridge.



There was a fair amount of ice in the shadows, and the trail was a bit slick and muddy in spots.









Jennifer had numerous learning opportunities when it came to gravity, friction, center of gravity, traction, stride length, etc. A few tears were shed and she added some bruises to her collection, but she persevered. We took the side detour to catch the view of Juniper Canyon, but apparently I didn't take any pictures.  :icon_rolleyes:

On the final steep section, we discovered we didn't have the mountain to ourselves, as two couples were just coming off the summit.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 01:24:09 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2015, 07:57:26 PM »
Knowing we were that close, Jennifer picked up the pace and just about left me behind. I caught up to her just as we got to the first summit.





For a kid who will say she's afraid of heights when confronted with down-climbing off a 6 foot high boulder, she is remarkably nonplussed when standing a foot away from a 500 foot dropoff.



We saw lots of burned trees from the last fire up there.



Lots of grass in the bowl.



"Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"

« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 01:25:14 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2015, 08:15:30 PM »
For Randell:



Can't think of a better spot to kick back.



I needed a tripod to get the view of the Window in this picture. Didn't have one.





Check out the "overflow" parking for the trailhead. There was a conga line of hikers headed up the Lost Mine Trail.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 01:26:50 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2015, 08:32:21 PM »


Let's zoom in on the parking, shall we?



The Basin was as busy as I've ever seen it. We were glad to be far above the maddening crowd.



The wind started to pick up, so we headed back down. Jennifer was getting better at handling the loose rocks on the talus slopes.



I said better, not perfect.



Jennifer stopped to build a tiny snowman.



Those pesky trees kept pulling the gloves off of Jennifer's hands. Here I caught one in the act.



We took the "Casa Grande Direct" route down and popped out onto the Lost Mine Trail at just about the same spot as two years ago on our aborted summit attempt.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 01:30:25 PM by RichardM »

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2015, 08:50:10 PM »
This all looks good to me!

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2015, 09:08:29 PM »
Speaking of the crowds in the Basin on Monday, check out this parking job.



We got to the lodge early for dinner before the line started to develop. We kicked around the campground and watched about half of a movie on the DVD player in the tent. At some point during the night my right wrist let me know that I had sprained it during one of my two little falls while coming down Casa Grande. We didn't have any firm plans for the next morning as far as hikes, so we decided to get an early start on heading back to Austin to be with family in town for a delayed Christmas celebration. We stopped off for a visit with BIBEARCH on his penultimate day of employment and wished him a happy retirement. We knew there was a storm heading in, so that made leaving a bit easier. Apparently we weren't the only ones, as the Basin was noticably less crowded, with lots of camp sites opening up and nobody driving around looking for one.



Johnny B's in Marathon was just about as crowded as the Basin had been on Monday. Only other option open was the Gage's restaurant. Well, maybe that pizza place that I didn't know about on the East side of town might have been open. Oh well, the cheeseburger hit the spot. I decided to avoid I-10 and took the scenic route home. Sanderson has lost another restaurant. The Out Yonder Cafe is no more, as the building was vacant and had a "For Lease" sign in the window. One of several in the town. We continued on to Langtry and visited the Judge Roy Bean Museum. I'll have to go through Jennifer's pictures to see what she took there. We ended up heading through Rocksprings on the way back. Those twisty and hilly turns were a lot of fun in the dark with lots of mist and crappy windshield wipers. Saw a fair amount of deer along the roadsides, but none crossing in front of us except for the four that I almost took out inside the Junction city limits. Fortunately Jennifer spotted them in time to warn me. The final push into Austin was quick and uneventful.

After I go through Jennifer's pictures I'll see if I can post a few. Otherwise, that's all folks!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 01:34:08 PM by RichardM »

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2015, 10:03:32 PM »
Great!

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Offline badknees

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2015, 10:14:56 PM »
I like this one...Thanks! It sure is pretty up there.

Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Jennifer's sixth trip
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2015, 10:34:13 PM »
Great report and lots of super pictures. Thanks!

 


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