Monday, April 7, 2014

The Impossible Railroad

After reading this book about The Impossible Railroad I now understand a bit better some of the things I have seen in Carrizo Gorge and on the railway tracks.

This was one of many telephone booths placed along the tracks in the 1940's, it helped communications between the long distances of the railway
I have no idea what this thing is

About a mile and a half north of the De Anza Resort there are some wheel and axle debris on the side of the Gorge and down in the bottom. I always thought this was from the railway efforts, turns out to be from a 1928 movie called Beggars of Life (the train wrecks at the end but watch the whole movie anyway)

Here are some photos of the debris in 2011-2013
This looked a small ore cart or something, it was halfway down the hill. The wheels are dated 1909

This looked a small ore cart or something, it was halfway down the hill. The wheels are dated 1909

More train wheels

More train debris

Workers along the route made camps as needed and many were just below or above the current tunnel or trestle project
Here are a few remains Scotty C and I found
This looked like either a foundation for a structure or possible reinforcement for a road that wraped around to the left and up into the canyon going up to the train tracks.

I believe this to be the air compressor plant remains
Not really sure what this camp was. It had several cement foundations and lots of debris

An old gear up on the cement foundations

This is at the air compressor plant area but shows an east view. You can see foundations and remnants of a tram/trail going up the canyon
You can see the rock wall to the upper right and the cement foundations on the left and some old wooden barrel debris in th lower middle

Some of the incredibly tough cholla landscape they had to deal with, even with modern REI gear this is tough terrain
Cholla and Cactus field, looking south

Cholla field in Carrizo Gorge

Rattlesnakes were always a problem as well, here is one Scotty C and I saw at the bottom of Goat Canyon Trestle on one trip...it was gorgeous but huge!!

Scotty C whacking his way thru the thick Carrizo brush in the Gorge
Scot wacking some carrizo down

Part of the seven sisters trestle cluster, view from down in the Gorge
Nice curves on the trestles. You can see the train cars on the side of the hill

The Coors Beer car you see in the distance was an accident from a junior engineer that over throttled the train on his first run. Two Coors Beer trailers derailed.






Monday, March 31, 2014

Mojave Desert

I have been out of commission for about 5 months now from severe back problems but recently was able to get out for a 3 day trip out to the Mojave Desert with Gary, car camping and easy 1-2 mile day hikes, lots to see. Here are some photos from the trip.

The Turtle Mountains lived up to their name, this was the first Desert Tortoise I have ever seen
Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise

The Blythe Intaglios, they are fenced off and kinda hard to get a good picture of from the ground, I am sure Google Earth would shsow them better
Blythe Intaglios
Blythe Intaglios
Blythe Intaglios

Some random petroglyph photos with my S100 digital camera, I used that when I ran out of film
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Bent Palm Tree??


I kinda liked this one, looks like a Christmas tree


These next photos were all taken with my 1937 Zeiss Nettar 515/2 folding camera with Kodak Portra 160 film
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs

Here is Gary coming up out of one of the canyons we visited, I really like the colors on this photo
Gary coming up out of the canyon. This was an easy day hike

A few more petroglyph panels
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs

In this photo you can see we are not the only ones visiting these sites, most of the sites we went to are on BLM land and you can find out more info about how to see them by going to the BLM website.
Petroglyphs

We also stopped briefly to check out the Topock Maze
Topock Maze

I also brought along my recently aquired Graphic View II large format view camera
My Graphic View II camera getting setup for star trail photos
My Graphic View II camera getting setup for star trail photos

These next few photos were all taken with that camera with Arista EDU ISO 100 B/W film and developed by me at home

Spirit Mountain
Spirit Mountain

Some petroglyphs near our campsite
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs

And of course my star trail photos

This one looks like there is a small light leak in the film holder, notice the white spot coming in from the top
Star Trails. Looks like there is a light leak in the film holder

Another one but with some of the hillside in view
Star Trails


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hunting in the In-Ko-Pah Mountains

Went on a 2 day backpacking trip to hunt for pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains. The night sky was perfect for star gazing, I could easily see the Andromeda Galaxy with my binoculars and shooting stars were streaking across the sky all night, especially from 3am-5am when I easily saw 3-4 per minute it seemed like.

Jupiter may be one of the outer bright streaks, not sure
(Olympus OM-2s, 28mm, f/5.6, Lomography 100 ISO color film)
Star Trails at night with some red cholla cactus

The hunt was good, we found some new pictographs on a panel I had visited before but did not see them because they are so faint. I still did not see them while photographing the "blank" boulder face but DStretch made them pop out once I got home and processed the photos.

Here is a 5 image stitched photo of what looked like a blank boulder face
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains

Here is the DStretched version...it revealed two different pictographs
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains

Lets look at a couple of the individual images used to stitch everything together, they will show more detail.

Here is the top section before/after
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains

Here is the bottom section before/after
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains

Just amazing...you simply cannot see these pictographs staring at the boulder!

Here is another panel that I did not see a pictograph on, mostly because I was focused on the obvious one below it. These photos reveal another sun burst above and to the right of the obvious one.
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains

If you have Manfred Knaak's book The Forgotten Artist: Indians of Anza-Borrego and Their Rock Art and look on page 73 you will see a panel of rock art that looks like it is in pretty good condition. He credits the Museum of Man for the photo so chances are it is from the 30's or 40's, possibly from Malcolm Rodgers.

I used an old 1937 camera and old expired color film to photograph it as best I could to match, here are the results
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains

The photo in Knaak's book looks awfully good compared to what I photographed last weekend, I wonder if the deterioration over the years is genuine or if the older photo in the book was modified somehow to represent more of what the photographer believed he/she saw.

Here are a few more before/after photos of the same panel
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains

Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains

Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains

Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains
Pictographs in the In-Ko-Pah mountains


Total Mylar Balloons this trip - 4 (sorry, no photo)