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Two springs, Two orchid species, Two trucks and some Hoodoos

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Offline jim2

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Two springs, Two orchid species, Two trucks and some Hoodoos
« on: April 13, 2019, 11:20:50 AM »


Pulled into the park about 2;30 on 4/8/19, payed the entry fee and parked  at the little lot near the Ranger station. Grabbed my pack and headed due south on my wild goose chase for Wild Duck Tinaja. I'm not sure if it was dry or if I did not find it, I favor the latter. I did find a clay basin that looked like it had recently held water. I don't think that was it. I did mess up on this hike, I was given the coordinates for the tinaja, failed to right them down or enter them into the borrowed GPS. The next try I'll be better prepared.  By the time I hit the clay bowl  I had, just a little further, a couple of times and was ready to go check in and unload.
On the way back I found a beautiful piece of petrified wood, a car fender, a concrete slab, and a box spring.
Now to get the bragging out of the way, and protect the locations, I found two species of orchid in bloom, both new to me. Quite the event for this plant nerd Other species I saw in bloom for the first time include,Mormon tea, false red agave, fragrant ash and others I have identified yet. The Fragrant Ash along the Basin road and in the Basin area, were covered in white flowers, they really stood out.
The ocatillo was in full bloom through large parts of the park, thousands of acres of orange tipped spiny stalks, changed the color of the landscape. Hard to describe unless you've seen it, looked like fires out in the desert. One of the reason I like early April out there.
Tuesday, a new hike for me and my sister, a kind BBC member encouraged me to go and check out Tule Spring, something I always had put off for the next trip. Not this time, we dropped into the wash, and headed for Burro Spring, it can be on the way, so why not. The views along the way were great, right below Burro Mesa. The view up into the Burro Spring area was green and inviting, it just looks like a place you want to go, we did. There was flowing water, dropped about a foot and went into gravels. This could have been a secondary spring, I vaguely remember seeing water up much higher in the canyon on our first trip, but that was a long time ago. Either way it was a great spot, we lingered.
If you've studied the topo enough you'll know when to go up and get the reward of great view of Tule Spring. The terrain opens up and you go up the hill and you know the Tule family had it going on. The spring is covered in vegetation, I could not see where the water came out of ground. The effect is obvious, riparian grasses, even reeds, there's a pond! It looks like a stock tank, there's a berm with a spillway. The spillway is gouged down many feet, much more than you would think in the desert. A lot of water gets funneled into that area when there's rain, again Mr Tule knew how to pick a spot! 
After enjoying/exploring the spring and ruins we headed back, this time took the outer wash all the to the truck. It was starting to get hot so we headed for the Chisos.
The drive up into the basin was as green, all the oaks flush with new bright green foliage,. The Madrones were blooming and here and there were the Fragrant Ashes. Round medium  sized trees covered in white fringes moving with the wind is the best description I can give, beautiful.
 The planned hike was to go up the Basin Loop trail to the Laguna Meadow until we were tired,which happened all too soon. The Chisos are happy this spring!
We took it easy and enjoyed where we were on the way down. The drive out of Basin was just as good as the drive in.
 The place we stayed this time has a deck on the south side of building, it provides shade and a wind block with good views, great place to sit and watch the sunset. I can't hike as far I used to, but I still like to take it all in.
   Wednesday, the forecast called for SSW winds and high temps. Our plan for this day had always been to drive the Old Ore road. This time, for the first time we went south to north. The obstacles were more fun going this way, the views were not as good. It just doesn't unfold as well going south to north. We enjoyed the drive, the road is as rough as I have seen it. I'm no expert, driven it four or five times. I was going along in two wheel drive, just to see if I could do it. It went fine, for a while, there are a few spots where I was glad to have 4wd whether I needed it or not. I think it was needed this trip, in the past I did the whole road in 2wd so I have some frame of reference. I felt like I used more clearance this time. I installed Bilstein 5100s all around about 10,000 miles ago and will say they made the ride more comfortable.
 We stopped at Ernst Tinaja briefly, been there many times, this time there was water in a second tinaja just down from Ernst. We had the place to ourselves for entire time we were there, that's always nice. North of Ernst we did not have any traffic from either direction, also nice. Of course the road gets worse past Ernst, fine with me, I crawled along and looked for blooming plants, The cactus were blooming profusely while all the ocatillo were spent. Oddly enough you could see the remnants of the bluebonnet bloom along the OOR! I mean I a ton of them, very few still in bloom.
   Alto Relax was our next stop. Funny how memory works I remember dropping down into the wash and going up into Alto Relax, no problem. I did not remember the shear 8 foot rock slide you have to go up. I had tweaked my knee at Ernst a bit and that little climb looked like a bad idea, so my sister went up and I waited a bit. The wind was starting to pick up and it was getting hot, time to roll.
The road continued to offer challenges, nothing the Tacoma and my sisters 4Runner could not tackle. My sister was behind me, later she asked if I knew I was on three wheels at one point, I did not. I do believe that is the first time I've had my truck on three wheels. Once at the north end of the road where you get the view of the Chisos, the view was shrouded by the grit storm. We were glad to be driving not hiking that day.
 We were back on pavement around three, at that point it was 100 degrees with a 20 to 30 mph dry winds, miserable to out in, so we headed to the house.
 The forecast for Thursday was highs in the 70s with winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph, plus my knee was not up to much hiking. The planned Tapado Canyon was out. So I enjoy being a passenger while on 170 the drive out past Lajitas was beautiful as always. We stopped at the Hoo Doos trail in BBRSP, even hobbled I could get around this way cool spot. Is it a great big hike to get all geared about no. Is it great spot to have some fun scrambling around or sit down by the river, yes it is! Three rapids of varying sizes are in that area, the river makes a good sound right there, sounds like fun. Cindi went to the truck to get some snacks while I headed for a shady spot out of the wind. When she returned she said, You won't believe how windy it is up up there. The forty mph gusts had begun. After enjoying where we were for long enough we headed west on 170. We both  marveled at the surroundings until the volcanic rock ran out, shortly after that we turned back.
  Cindi had noticed the Cerro de los Burros loop  a marked dirt road in BBRSP on the way out, so we took it. One little rough spot right at the beginning than easy road back towards the mountains, this is worthy little detour. At the end there is a little loop and you return the same way.
 We would have gotten out of the truck more, except it was miserable out there.
Once back at the house we packed and loaded up early so we could enjoy the sunset on the deck one last time. One last BBNP experience, for this trip.
 On the way to Alpine I always watch the outside thermometer, ten miles north of Study Butte at 6;35 it was 50 degrees, the low going over the Mile High road area 33 degrees.

                 

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Two springs, Two orchid species, Two trucks and some Hoodoos
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 12:26:36 PM »
Great, great, great report, Jim! I felt like I was right there with you and I enjoyed it almost as much as you did. Spring in The Bend is lucky to have you as a witness and champion. Thanks for sharing!


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

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Two springs, Two orchid species, Two trucks and some Hoodoos
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2019, 12:40:58 PM »
Very nice report - thanks.
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline jim2

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Re: Two springs, Two orchid species, Two trucks and some Hoodoos
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 04:48:52 PM »
Thanks for comments.
Here are photos of the orchids. If anyone can ID the white one I would appreciate it.
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ArNMWZN7wa-AkEBEntLIgirwDBQQ
The common name for the purple one is Many Flowered Broom Rape


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Offline mule ears

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Re: Two springs, Two orchid species, Two trucks and some Hoodoos
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 07:07:46 PM »
Those are tremendous jim2!  Thanks for them and the great report!   :eusa_clap:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline badknees

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Re: Two springs, Two orchid species, Two trucks and some Hoodoos
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 06:42:38 AM »
Thanks for comments.
Here are photos of the orchids. If anyone can ID the white one I would appreciate it.
https://1drv.ms/a/s!ArNMWZN7wa-AkEBEntLIgirwDBQQ
The common name for the purple one is Many Flowered Broom Rape

Great find and thanks for the report. I'd like to know what the white ones are too!
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline jim2

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Re: Two springs, Two orchid species, Two trucks and some Hoodoos
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 12:49:16 PM »
I sent the photos to the park, heard back this morning  the white orchid is Carlowrightia Arizonica. I Googled it this does appear to be the correct species.
A different person mentioned the genus Deiregyne, the flowers are very similar, the stems are very different.

 


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