Sunday, February 6, 2011

Carrizo Gorge Old Railway Train Parts

Wow! This was probably the most pristine and beautiful canyon/wash area I have ever hiked in the ABDSP area. When I first turned off the jeep trail and started hiking down the canyon I was memorized. I felt as if I was the only human to have ever walked thru it. I felt guilty of polluting it with my foot steps. Many, many animal tracks could be seen. Rabbit, Bighorn Sheep, Coyote, Mountain Lion, etc all were there. The 2.5 miles of canyon consisted of section after section of flat sandy wash with a dry fall at the end. Towards the middle of the canyon it was becoming too difficult to navigate with my big camera in my hands and I decided to put it in my backpack. No sooner did I click the waist buckle closed did I hear a sound up to my left. I looked up and less than '50 away was a Bighorn Ram staring straight at me. I knew if I moved he would run. He was big and had some major damage to his right leg area. I could see a lot of the fur was gone and there was a long black section of maybe scar or scab healing. After maybe 2-3 seconds of staring he bolted..gone up the rocky ridge, I never saw him or any other Bighorn that day. Eventually I got to the end of the canyon and to my surprise was an old train section consisting of three passenger cars and one caboose. The caboose was from Mexico and the passenger cars were form Montreal. The pastel greens inside the passenger cars were pretty funky and the brilliant,flashy colors of the Mexican caboose brought memorable images of past Mexico trips to my mind. After finally reaching the tracks and seeing the old railway pieces down in the gorge I realized I was almost out of time and needed to head back. I fast tracked down the gorge, fought the catclaw, took some pictures and headed back. I made good time going back and was able to get on the freeway by 5pm.

I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Looking down into the first part of the canyon

A natural Tinaja

Natural Tinaja

Another sandy section of the canyon

About a '20 dry fall, beautiful

Desert Lupine

Another sandy section, Tule Mtn in the far background

Bright Maroon Sumac Berries

Finally the train tracks, again Tule Mtn in the background

Another possible blind, the birds seemed to love it

I found this train section at the end of the canyon

Passenger cars were from Montreal

Funky 1950's pastel green interior colors

The Canadians are the most friendly people on trains


Looking thru the cars

Electrical room

Looking into the caboose

Inside the caboose

Looking back at the train from the engineer caboose seat

Engineer caboose area

Caboose area

Caboose was from Mexico

Caboose view

The wheel chock indicates a long term parking spot

Montreal cars

Looking north into Carrizo Gorge

Looking straight down at the railway wheels. They are almost dead center in the picture

Looking into one of the tunnels

Inside the tunnel

Why do animals always crap on rocks??

Looking south into Carrizo Gorge

Looking north into Carrizo Gorge

Finally the old railway parts!

June 15'th 1893!!

Old wheels

Old wheels

More old parts..buried in catclaw!

Old wheels

Old wheels

Old wheels

Old wheels

Looking back up to the tracks

Old can that had railway track spikes

 Damn catclaw, this was from only 100' or so of scrambling in the gorge. Got my hands and face also

The end of the canyon before I entered the gorge

One of my favorite photographic subjects, animal scat. This scat has some small teeth in the mouth bones, maybe a small rodent of some sort.

Juniper Berries, they were everywhere

Found another wildlife guzzler. That is a total of (4) in the area.

Can't visit the desert without finding a mylar balloon

Yours truly with my Team Injinji Shirt



  1. Wow that looks awesome!
    What is the story on that train?

    Where did you start this hike from?

    Your legs look like mine after I got lost in Carrizo Creek Marsh :-(
    Just wait, it gets worse. Mine totally itch now.


  2. @anzaborrego
    No idea on the was just there..surprise!

    Email me for gps tracks, it is basically Carrizo Gorge Area.

    The catclaw wounds hurt so good in the hot shower..8-)

  3. Hey Daren, they make these things called "pants". Sometimes people wear them when it's cold. Sometimes when they wander around in the bushes.

    Damn, I wish I could have gone... even with the catclaw. Score another mylar balloon!

    -Scotty C!