Thursday, June 23, 2011

Earthquake / Vallecito Valley - Part 1 - ABDSP

You never know what you will find when you start hiking cross country out thru the desert. I spent a couple of weekends exploring Earthquake and Vallecito Valley. From the very north end of Blair Valley to Potrero Canyon there are many interesting desert features to discover if you spend the time exploring. Temperatures ranged from 105 during the day to mid 50's at night.

Mylar balloon count for this trip - 5

Animals seen - (1) Bobcat, (1) Coyote and many Raptors, Lizards and Mice.

After arriving in the early evening to Blair Valley, I decided to do a quick hike up to the top of Ghost Mountain.

Interesting rock carvings
Yoni style rock carving
Possible Yoni Rock carving

Cool old Pepsi can I found
Old can I found

One of my favorite milling stations at Morteros Village
Milling work area, notice the smaller holes around the edge

Geologically interesting boulder for sure
Really Interesting Split Rock

View of Little Blair Valley and the Morteros Village area from Ghost Mountain
Blair Valley

Ghost Mountain Register
Ghost Mountain Register

Night time stars near Morteros Village
Star Trails at Morteros Village
Star Trails at Morteros Village

First stop in the morning is what Earthquake Valley was named for, Shake 'n Quake
Shake Benchmark
Quake Benchmark

The Shake BM Register was in good shape, it did not have too many entries. Only a few small pages from the original 2002 date of the first page. Apparently not very many people come here.
Shake Register

Hiking cross country thru the cactus and sun baked volcanic rocks reveals some more interesting finds. There is some debris left from an old F-8J Crusader crash that happened in the late 1960's.

Here is part of an engine
F-8J Crusader engine

Here is what looks like a wing section
F-8J Crusader wing

Close up of the wing flap hinge, it was pretty massive
F-8J Crusader wing hinge

More scattered debris and some landing gear in the distance
F-8J Crusader debris

Close up of the landing gear
F-8J Crusader Landing Gear

An old shovel and a couple of faded water bottles in the shadows of a nearby Juniper show someone was trying to unearth the massive airplane wreckage debris
Old shovel and faded water bottles near the engine debris

Moving along across the bajada I spotted some pottery and a few milling sites
Pottery Sherds

Can you see the pottery sherds in the centuries old sun baked volcanic rocks?
Desert soil and volcanic rocks

Here is an old Indian Agave Roasting Pit area
Possible roasting pit area

uhhh..old Indian Phalic symbol..??
uhhh..Phalic boulders...

And it's counterpart..
Companion to the Phalic boulder

Pictographs enhanced with DStretch

This is what I call the three "P's"...Pencil,Pottery & Poo. Don't mess with Mountain Lions

Well that is Part 1 for now, I will post Part 2 in the next few days, thanks for reading!


  1. Awesome trip report Daren,
    Makes me want to check out your discoveries,

  2. Nice report. There wasn't a summit register on Ghost when I went! I have to check out Shake and Quake. They're on my ever-growing list.

  3. @Derek - If you look at the image I posted it shows the GM register was placed 01-29-2011. The Shake register was almost empty, nobody goes there. There was no Quake register I could find and it looked like the #1 BM was missing, only a pile of cement with a hole in the middle.