Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Spring Break Explorations 2018

  • 46 Replies
  • 2330 Views
*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4283
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Spring Break Explorations 2018
« on: March 16, 2018, 08:17:25 PM »
I thought I would start a new thread in the Trip report section instead of my "from the Park" posts, that I started here

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-questions-and-answers/rough-spring-a-and-b-today/

Here's a little eye candy until I get the writing part done.



Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline Txlj

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 486
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 08:41:37 PM »
Tease

sent from flatland


*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6119
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 01:11:40 AM »
 Nice!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app


*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4283
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 02:40:02 PM »
Day 1

Normally I would avoid Spring Break in the park, but this year LGK wanted to do something and BB was a likely choice. Since she couldn't get there til the 12th, I agreed to go early to avoid the rush (great sacrifice  :icon_smile:) and snag a campsite in the Basin . I left Houston on the 7th and drove as far as Seminole the first day. The Seminole campground was surprisingly full with mostly RV seniors. After spending the night, I took advantage of the hot showers and got an early morning start for the rest of the drive. Pretty uneventful, but Amistad levels are up to near normal and I spotted a bobcat near Sanderson and a few pronghorns near Marathon.

I arrived early at a mostly full campground, but managed to get a decent site (#14). After unloading and setting up my camp for the next 8 nights, I wanted to get a short hike in this day. Rough Spring was my choice, as it was close, not long and I wanted to see if the spring was flowing. I had visited Rough Spring once before in the month of February and there was good flow even during that dry time of year. I hoped that this would be the case again.

I parked at the Basin pullout at the bottom of the Basin Road, shouldered my packed with water, a few snacks and my trusty Nikon. Under partly sunny skies and mild temperatures, I struck out to the southwest over the low hills near the pullout out. After about 3/4 of a mile of brushy cross country hiking, I dropped into the wash that would lead me to another that was coming from the spring. The first wash has a slickrock section and I was pleased to see the tinaja in that section was holding some water.



I worked my way downstream from the tinaja to the intersection with the Rough Spring wash and turned due south and followed it the the spring. As I got closer I could see the bright green of the cottonwoods ahead and was hopeful there would be some water too.



Sure enough as I closed in on the spring location, it became clear that it was indeed flowing. Numerous tracks surrounded the gravel around the spring. Mostly javelina and deer tracks. I didn't see any kitty or bear tracks.



Water was clear, cold abundant, with a good flow along a 75 yard stretch below the spring. Flowers were in bloom and the cottonwoods provided nice shade for a rest and a snack.













I lazed in the shade of the healthy cottonwoods for awhile and thought about my plans for the next few days until LGK showed up. I had this nagging desire to explore the area around Ward Spring after being thwarted there once before when trying to reach Bell Spring, Patty Spring, and Patch Nose Seep. Not enjoying that defeat, I was ready to put that on the agenda for the next day.

While only two data points are not statistically significant, both times I have been to Rough Spring have been in the drier season. I conclude that the spring may be pretty reliable.

Day 1 was short but sweet. Logged 3.6 miles with about 1200' total elevation change.

More to come....











 
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 05:21:06 PM by badknees »
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4283
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2018, 03:40:46 PM »
Day 2

Day 2 started with a mild, partly cloudy morning and I had quick breakfast and drove to the Ward Spring Trailhead. The traffic on the Basin road was crazy and the Lost Mine trail parking was overflowing. The park had even set up a shuttle from the Basin Amphitheater parking area to the Lost Mine Trailhead. It was running every 45 minutes until about 3 PM and the last return from the LMT was about 5 PM. So many people.......There were no cars at the Ward Spring parking area, but Sam Nail was also overflowing.

I hit the Ward Spring trail for about 0.4 miles and then went cross country to the southeast towards Bell Spring. After about another 0.8 miles, the wash quickly closed up as I approached Bell Spring. I just started to noticed a bit of damp gravel, when the wash turned and closed up against a small but very slickrock pouroff. Water was sheeting over the pouroff with a small flow but further progress at this point was not possible.







At this point, I needed to make a choice of whether to backtrack and exit the wash on the North or South side. If I exited South I might be able to get to Patch Nose Seep. The North exit would put me on route to Patty Spring. After studying the topo and visually surveying my options I chose the North side to Patty Spring.

I bushwhacked above the wash to a point just above the Bell Spring dead end and continued high until I could drop back down to Patty Spring



After a lot of zigging and zagging and crossing a solid rock slope, I was able to drop back into the wash. Pushing through some desert willow (good sign) I turned a corner in the wash, and ran into a wildlife monitoring  camera strapped and cabled to a rock.







I worked my way about another 50 yards up the wash to another dead end and found a small seep erupting at the base of the dike complex that Ward Spring erupts from. There was very little water.



The dike loomed high overhead and was ridging toward Ward Spring. I considered trying to cross over it and follow back to Ward, but It look impassable from my viewpoint and skills.





At this point I decided to try Patch Nose on a different day and backtracked to the wash below Bell Spring. I passed a Mexican Buckeye in bloom that was attracting hundreds of bees. Hiking back to the truck I didn't encounter any other hikers and made my way back to the Basin for a quiet afternoon.



I sat under the watchful gaze of Casa Grande and Emory Peak and thought about some of my things to do for Day 3.  There was an Unnamed Spring and ranching ruin on the Northwest side of Burro Mesa that has been on my list for some time now and I planned to snag it on Day 3.







A short hike today , but the area is difficult to navigate with many closed-in, slick, and steep sided washes. A lot of backtracking and climbing out and around are in order. It is a neat place to go, but kind of a maze. I need to get back there again to bag Patch Nose,

Logged only 5.1 miles with a total elevation change of 1700'

More to come.....



« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 12:39:08 PM by badknees »
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Online mule ears

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4102
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2018, 04:42:40 PM »
Great start BK!  I look forward to what you found NW of Burro Mesa as I have been looking at that area too, looks like a tank and maybe more there.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Big Bend Chat mobile app

temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline Flash

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1857
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2018, 05:07:59 PM »
Badknees, I am enjoying your spring explorations so far! For Rough Spring, I took a look in Google Earth and found I could see the water in the slick rock pretty clearly, both in the east-west drainage before the spring and the north-south drainage below it. Pretty cool area that looks very interesting to go explore.


-Flash

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4283
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2018, 05:12:19 PM »
Great start BK!  I look forward to what you found NW of Burro Mesa as I have been looking at that area too, looks like a tank and maybe more there.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Big Bend Chat mobile app

Coming shortly!
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4283
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2018, 05:26:33 PM »
Here you go ME!

Day 3

After a cold night, I was ready to get moving and drop down in the desert again for a couple of day hikes. The Unnamed Spring on the Nortwest side of Burro Mesa, along with associated ranch ruins were in my sights today. As some of us do, I scour Google Earth for unusual features or signs of human disturbance and eventually get on the ground to check them out. Today's first hike was to a spot that has been on my "places to go" list for a long time. The Spring is characterized by vegetation and the ruins I found on Google Earth appeared to be a circular stock tank.

I parked off the road about 3 miles west of RMSD and shouldered my pack. The initial hike was through scattered creosote and brush towards the SSE. Passing south of Pt. 3592 my course turned southeasterly towards a stock tank I had GPS coordinates for. I came across a stock tank, but it was before my coordinates indicated. I stopped for a photo and found some can trash and some galvanized piping running toward the east in the direction of the spring. The tank was about 10 feet in diameter and made of cemented segments. It was overgrown with brush.





I was a bit confused, because Google Earth coordinates are usually very close to reality, maybe off only by 20' or 30'. This tank was 0.20 miles away from my coordinates. Hmmm......

After taking a couple of photos, I headed further up wash towards an area of green that surely must be the spring.




After about 350 yards, I walked up on a second tank! This second tank was actually the one I had seen on Google Earth. The first one was brush choked and not visible on satellite. I don't like those kind of navigational anomalies, so I was pleased to see the second tank at a matching location. Kind of anal about that kind of stuff! :willynilly:





The second tank was basically identical to the first one but the builder had autographed the concrete with the initials "SYN" and the date - 1929.



I continued in the direction of the green and after a few hundred yards I found some more galavanized piping and a small spring. Even though the spring wasn't a gusher, it is encoraging that it flows during the dry season.







After a rest and a few photos I wandered around and took a meandering route back to the road. Some yuccas were in bloom, and I found some old camp trash near a prominent boulder on the hill above the spring.







I headed back to the road after this short hike and decided to tack on Rock Spring too. Once I got back to my ride, I stopped at PJ and topped up my water supply and headed towards a parking spot about a mile before the entrance to the Glenn Spring Road. It was getting pretty hot by this time with pretty much full sun as I headed Southwest from the road to my goal.

Upon reaching Rock Spring, I found the spring flowing, albeit fairly weakly compared to my last visit. Still, like the unnamed spring I visited in the morning, it is encouraging that it flows during the dry season.





The cottonwoods are looking a little ragged, but that didn't stop me from finding their shade and sitting in the breeze for about an hour watching the birds coming to and from the spring.



I headed back to the road from this short hike of 3.8 miles bringing my logged mileage for the day - 6.7 miles with about 1400' total elevation change.

It ended up close to 90F by the time I finished this hike. Felt pretty hot on the way back to the road with no shade. The weather was supposed to turn colder tomorrow, and I was going to take advantage of the change and seek out another "to do list" location. Sam Nail Ranch Spring and a dam nearby were on my list and was going to see if I could locate both.


More to come......
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 05:37:59 PM by badknees »
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4283
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2018, 06:42:59 PM »
Day 4

The wind picked up about 0300 and I awoke to a blustery day. It was cloudy with a chance of rain and the forecast of temperatures falling to the 40's in the mountains today. This looked like the perfect opportunity to plan a low elevation bushwhack south of Blue Creek Ranch in search of Sam Nail Ranch Spring and a dam nearby. After reviewing my maps, this one looked like it was going to be a bit tougher than the past couple of days, and I welcomed the change in the temperatures.

Packed up, coffee'd up, Ibruprofen'd up, I headed to the parking area at Homer Wilson Blue Creek Ranch, There were a lot of people caching water and also some starting the OML. I passed a whole bunch of hikers until I got down the hill near the beginning of the Dodson trail, but as soon as I struck out down Blue Creek, I was alone. I followed the gravel Blue Creek wash SE for about 0.9 miles and then turned South across some rolling terrain that was pretty brushy and a lot of small washes. Lots of up and down!

After getting a good look at what was ahead of me, I had to decide whether to pass East or West of Pt. 4235. I'm not sure which would be easiest, but I chose the western side. It is to the right of the peak in the below photo.



I headed through the wash riddled area towards the low pass in the above and was crossing a wash, I came across an abandoned open well.





This thing is really creepy. It's about 6' across and about 20+ feet deep. It gave me the willies to think about falling in and NEVER being found again. I carefully crept up to the edge and held my camera out to see if I could get a picture of the bottom to see how deep it was.



It had the remains of a windlass with a crank handle and appeared to be dug in some pretty hard fractured rock. This rock was a streak that crossed the wash with a small pouroff below it. Did I say CREEPY??





After marking a GPS waypoint for future reference, I was happy to get away from that death trap.

Looking back from whence I had come Carousel Mountain receded in the foggy air with an occasional light mist.



Pichaco Mountain was visible through the fog to the east



Heading up to the low pass, I passed a line of old fence posts.They crossed all the way over the hill and to the site of the spring. This photo was taken on just above where the spring should have been. There is some vegetation that indicates that there is some moisture here, but nothing visible and I suspect this is a very hit or miss spring that only flows during the wet season. You can see another fence post in the center of this picture.



Looking back toward Carousel Mountain from the spring site.



The next goal of this hike was to seek out a dam about 0.6 miles east of the spring. I had seen this dam clearly on Google Earth and it was time to find it. It was really brushy on the way and I did a circuitous route to get there, but finally found it in a hard rock section of a gravel wash.



The dam is collapsed and silted up with gravel It has some galvanized piping and a valve, but I suspect it hasn't held water for a long time. The dam is a double cemented wall filled with rubble.



After a rest I took a different line back towards the spring and my return to my truck. It took me higher up the west side of Pt 4235 and Carousel Mountain came into view again in the mist



Man....it looks like a long, scratchy way back eh? It was!



Passed this little alcove on the way back. Nobody was sleeping in there!



There is a "water feature" on the topo at N29.20631 W103.37087, and I planned my route back to pass by it for investigation. It appears to be an earthen/gravel levee across a small wash. Built by Homer Wilson? There was no water in the depression, but it's about 10' deep and choked with heavy brush....I circled around it as I made a track towards the western edge of the Dodson Trail.




I was out for about 6 hours and pretty beat up after this hike so I headed back to Basin to nurse my wounds. LGK was coming tomorrow and I wasn't going to hike in the morning as I expected her before noon.


Although this hike wasn't real long it was a bushwhack the whole way. I logged 7.6 tough miles with a total elevation change of ~ 2,500'


Don't know what's planned for tomorrow, but I know for sure there is a Boquillas overlook hike and a South Rim Loop day hike in the cards...


More to come...
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 05:41:45 PM by badknees »
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline Txlj

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 486
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2018, 07:15:42 PM »
Excellent, more please

sent from flatland


*

Online mule ears

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4102
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2018, 08:31:55 PM »
Happy to see that tank and spring, I have a route planned through there for sometime in the future.   :great:

Day 4- I was always suspect that the spring listed there as Sam Nail ranch spring was a mistake by the NPS or the New Mexico folks, still not sure it isn't.  Cool dam though.  I wonder the same thing about the spring just south of the tank and unknown spring listed as Gano.

Once correction, not Tortuga but Picacho Peak.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4283
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2018, 08:58:43 PM »
Happy to see that tank and spring, I have a route planned through there for sometime in the future.   :great:

Day 4- I was always suspect that the spring listed there as Sam Nail ranch spring was a mistake by the NPS or the New Mexico folks, still not sure it isn't.  Cool dam though.  I wonder the same thing about the spring just south of the tank and unknown spring listed as Gano.

Once correction, not Tortuga but Picacho Peak.

Yeah, you're right. No way to see Tortuga from there.  :-[

Which 2 springs are you talking about - coordinates?
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Online mule ears

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4102
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2018, 09:02:12 PM »
Happy to see that tank and spring, I have a route planned through there for sometime in the future.   :great:

Day 4- I was always suspect that the spring listed there as Sam Nail ranch spring was a mistake by the NPS or the New Mexico folks, still not sure it isn't.  Cool dam though.  I wonder the same thing about the spring just south of the tank and unknown spring listed as Gano.

Once correction, not Tortuga but Picacho Peak.

Yeah, you're right. No way to see Tortuga from there.  :-[

Which 2 springs are you talking about - coordinates?
The Gano spring listed south of the one you checked out NW of Burro Mesa

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Big Bend Chat mobile app

temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4283
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Spring Break Explorations 2018
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2018, 09:08:20 PM »
Happy to see that tank and spring, I have a route planned through there for sometime in the future.   :great:

Day 4- I was always suspect that the spring listed there as Sam Nail ranch spring was a mistake by the NPS or the New Mexico folks, still not sure it isn't.  Cool dam though.  I wonder the same thing about the spring just south of the tank and unknown spring listed as Gano.

Once correction, not Tortuga but Picacho Peak.

Yeah, you're right. No way to see Tortuga from there.  :-[

Which 2 springs are you talking about - coordinates?
The Gano spring listed south of the one you checked out NW of Burro Mesa

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Big Bend Chat mobile app

Hmmm..
The only Gano  know of is east of the RMSD at N29.30886 W103.37236. I have been to it.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments