Monday, November 17, 2014

Carrizo Gorge Backpack - ABDSP

Headed out for an overnight backpack trip with Tom in Carrizo Gorge. We parked at the end of the 4WD drive road and started out late in the day with about 30 minutes of daylight left. We managed to get to Goat Canyon in the dark where we setup camp. We poked around the next day for about 6 miles total into the gorge before we turned around and headed back.

Driving into Carrizo Gorge

Tom
Tom

Looking south thru the gorge, Goat Canyon is just ahead and to the left
Carrizo Gorge, Goat Canyon is ahead on the left

I call this the Mighty Groan but I think the actual BM is above this point a bit.
The Mighty Groan (sorta)

Breaking camp
Camp

I hardly recognized the Gorge this trip, the Tamarisk removal efforts have removed much of the thick brush.
Tamarisk cleared out of the Gorge

We found some wildlife...wasn't too wild at the time though...
Bighorn Sheep Ram

Here is the lower jaw bone
Bighorn Sheep lower jaw bone

Figured I would try the Macro mode on my new Fuji XE-1 so here is a close up of the jaw bone
Bighorn Sheep lower jaw bone

Upper jaw and macro shot
Bighorn Sheep upper jaw

Bighorn Sheep upper jaw

This next photo is what i think is the intestine/colon of the ram, you can see pellets inside. From what I understand, sheep, goats and such are very efficient in using every last drop of moisture in their bodies and they literally squeeze the moisture out of their feces so the pellets form inside the colon.
Bighorn Sheep intestine with feces inside

Bighorn Sheep intestine with feces inside

Tom with the Seven Sisters above
Tom and The Seven Sisters above

There are several rail cars over the side here, one is rusted just enough that it blends in with the natural desert terrain
Railcars

Here are a couple close ups of the different rail cars
Railcars

Rail cars

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Total Mylar Balloons this trip - 1 (Tom snagged it)






Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rockhouse Canyon in Carrizo Gorge Backpack

Veterans Day solo backpack trip out to Rockhouse Canyon in Carrizo Gorge. Was supposed to go with Tom but he couldn't make it. Took the new Fuji XE-1 camera, I still don't feel in command of it yet, especially with the night and star photos. The camera works quite differently then my Sony DSLR cameras. Biggest problem I noticed was it seems to focus past infinity but of course I couldn't tell until I got home and looked at the pictures. Good trip, found the palm oasis and stopped by the pictograph site. The old ranchers shack is still standing.

Remnants of the old road into the canyon before the park put the bollards up
Heading into Rockhouse Canyon at dusk

I got in late at night and started looking for a place to put my sleeping gear down and found this guy
Spotted this tarantula at night while looking for a place to put my sleep gear down for the night

Not proud of any of these star shots, I need to dial in the new camera and it's settings
Milky Way

Orions Belt

Orions Belt

Moonrise
This is the moon rising, great orange glow

Here is a photo of the ranchers shack from an April 1947 Desert Magazine article and below is one I took on this trip. Much of the ocotillo still stands but one in particular right behind the shack is now gone.
Cattlemans shack in Rockhouse Canyon in Carrizo Gorge from an April 1947 Desert Magazine article

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And some random shots inside the shack
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Nice place to punch bottle caps into

View out the window into rockhouse canyon

So now for the real agenda of the trip....follow the water pipe from the trough up the mountainside and see where it goes




Along the way I found a Sky Blazer, lot 61 Oct 2010(?)
SkyBlazer

Expired Oct 1961

Those damn ranchers were tough, that pipe went up 1,000+ feet to a palm oasis up on the ridge
Palm Oasis 1,000' up the ridge

I lost the pipe in several places and it is now since broken apart but I could find sections all the way up to the palm grove
Palm Oasis

Palm Oasis

Awesome views of Carrizo Gorge and the desert floor up at the palm grove
Looking down into Rockhouse and Carrizo Gorge form the Palm Oasis

Some artifacts along the way
Broken large arrow point

Figured I would stop and check out the pictographs while I was out that way
Carrizo Gorge Pictographs

Carrizo Gorge Pictographs

Carrizo Gorge Pictographs

Carrizo Gorge Pictographs

Carrizo Gorge Pictographs

Total Mylar Balloon count this trip - 3 (sorry, no picture)











Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Indian Valley / In-Koh-Pah Mountains Backpack

A 2 day backpack trip out into Indian Valley and the In-Koh-Pah mountains area with a couple friends. Great weather, saw some wildlife and enjoyed the great outdoors, also tried out my new Fujifilm XE-1 camera. My back is still messed up but I have acquired mostly all ultra light weight stuff now and can keep my pack down to about 20lbs with 2 liters of water, food and some booze....that is about my limit for now. I also carried another 2 liters of water in my hands, so 4 liters total, 2 each day.

Tom and Joel putting on their more than 20lbs backpacks...I know how that goes....
Tom and Joel getting their big, heavy packs on

We came across an old cow carcass and Tom was quick to start pointing out how my back was messed up using the cow spine as a visual aid. Apparently this cow had a pretty screwed up back also
Tom explaining my back problems with a cow spine we found
Apparently this cow had some pretty sever spine problems, that lower right cavity is almost completely closed in with bone growth, he must have had some pinched nerves like I do

Gorgeous views of the desert floor and the surrounding Laguna Mountains. Clouds and light drizzle were moving in.
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This was an old runway/airstrip back in the day, you can see the old winsock pipe and harness still standing
Airstrip in Canebrake, you can see the old winsock holder

A panorama of Indian Valley
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Lots of bony scat along the way and many morteros full of scat, what did the native americans do to keep animals from crapping in their grinding holes?
Some nice bony scat
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With the drizzle and dark clouds in the sky I picked out a nice boulder overhang to setup for the night
I found a nice rock overhang to sleep under to stay out of the rain

Tom had a real nice tent setup
Tom's Tent

Joel had a visitor snooping around his tent and backpack...Foxy Loxy had no fear....
Foxy Loxy checking out our stuff
Foxy Loxy moving in towards one of our packs and tent


Found a few pictos along the way
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Whale Peak
Whale Peak

Welcome to Ocotillo California
Welcome to Ocotillo
Welcome to Ocotillo

Total Mylar Balloons This Trip - 6
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