Author Topic: New visit to an old site  (Read 249 times)

eyesup

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New visit to an old site
« on: August 06, 2019, 06:54:33 AM »
Weíll we are in HOT! It was 113į on last Tuesday and the forecast for Wednesday was cooler with a possible afternoon shower. So I decided to go for it. I got up at 5:45 to get started and was able to got to the trail by 7:20. I had checked my records and the trail I chose I havenít been to in 3 yrs. I will be interesting to see what changes are there. I hope I will remember the landmarks for which tributary to walk in.

Driving out the Northshore Rd., north of Lake Mead, I could see a storm cell drenching the mountains across the lake. I could also see lightening strikes. The afternoon shower had decided to arrive early. Like Jbee, we are also in the monsoon season, although ours isnít as severe. Summer showers in the desert are wonderful. Breezy, cool and wet! The temperature had dropped almost 30į, from the previous day, into the high 80ís. Even with the humidity, it was perfect weather.

Because of the weather, there wasnít much traffic. It was promising that I wouldnít have any company on the trail. It was sprinkling when I pulled off the road. The storm cell was passing to the northeast over the trail I was headed for. I drove to the east to see what the conditions were farther down the road. After a couple miles I turned around to head back to the trailhead. Then I sat in the car for about 1/2 an hour till the storm cell moved on. I was ready to get out and go, but the problem was the lightening. I was seeing strikes 2 miles across the valley near where I would be hiking. Itís part of the monsoon experience, there is usually lightening along with it.





#1#2#3#4
  • The view out the window of my car at the hike down to Calville Wash about 10 yrs. ago.
  • Looking back to the southwest where the storm is approaching the trail head.
  • Southeast where the leading edge has passed and moves away.
  • The road east toward Bitterspring Valley.

As the thunder receded to the east I got out and started down the trail. The road I was parked on is on a bajada and the outside turn is elevated toward the desert. This makes it so I can disrobe only 50-60 yds. from the road and be fairly certain no one will notice. The creosote is dense enough that I can do so without worry. But it is not surprising to see a topless man out on a hike, too close to the road a woman without a top on would be clearly visible to anyone passing. It would depend on her level of confidence. Although a little farther into the desert, the line of sight makes it easier to be topless, no matter your gender, and remain out of sight.

Walking naked in the rain out in the desert. Nothing can compare. I donít usually go out while itís raining unless I know that itís only rain. Not a thunderstorm. The forecast can mean light rain in one area and at the same time a flash flood occurs miles away in another. If the terrain allows, the flood can come barreling right down a wash in the light rain area without warning. So I was keeping an eye on the sky.

At this time of year the normal temperature at this time of day would be about 85, right about where it was when I got there. But with the overcast sky that is where it would be for a while. I was hoping for a cool day. Small drops on my skin and a light breeze made for a wonderful walk. I do like the sun on me on a hike but this time of year it would mean a shortened time out.

On the aerial image below the green line is the walk from the road to Calville Wash, the blue line. The yellow line is the wash into the east end of Bowl of Fire where I was headed.

When I get to Calville Wash I notice at the edges that the bed has dropped 12-18 inches since I was last here. Weíve had some intense storms out here. The report I posted a couple weeks ago about the cottonwood trees shows how powerful some flash floods are. Walking along I remember the features I was accustomed to spotting as references. Some changes, but mostly to do with a scouring flow in the floor of the wash.

I was walking slow, enjoying the weather and noting how many changes had occurred along the walls of the wash. One particular spot I remembered was where the wash runs across an edge of hard rock. I remembered crossing this with sand and gravel in between the features. Now there was a distinct change in elevation of about 1-1/2 ft. from the upstream to downstream side. A new pour over is slowly being formed.

The rain has stopped and I was spared the downpour that hit the south side of the lake on my drive out. The rain has cooled everything off without turning it all into a mud pit.

At about 2 miles in I climbed out of the wash to sit and relax in the desert. Here I spent bit just enjoying the sights out in this wilderness. The photos below of the landscape show the variety of the formations. There is shale, sandstone and in places hardrock like granite and marble. There are mineral deposits in the cracks of some of the sedimentary formations. I think it is gypsum.

We had a swarm of grasshoppers a couple weeks ago and they were constantly scattering as I made my way along the wash. It will make for some fat birds and lizards in the coming weeks. Since the direct sun is blocked the wash is cool and not radiating heat like normal and when I sit on a boulder or rock in the wash it isnít cooking my buns.





#5#6#7#8
  • At the desert rest above the wash looking at the hills to the south
  • Mountains visible across the south of the valley
  • Looking to the east after the rain passed.
  • In the wash heading back out to the car. Itís still relatively cool.

After about 20-25 minutes I pick up my gear and head back into the wash. The temperature is slowly climbing and the clouds are breaking up in the east. It had stopped raining and the cool wind was blowing around me. Walking back out was an easy trip.

There arenít many opportunities in the summer to get out during the day. Too hot! I welcomed this chance to go out in the summer for a visit in-between the hot days. When I got back to Calville wash I stepped up on a large boulder to look out to the road. My truck was still there all alone. No one was headed my way.



#9#10
  • The aerial of the site from GoogleEarth. About a 2 mile hike one way.
  • View of the site from the road to Calville Wash. Iím headed to where the shorter sandstone cliffs appear at the left below center.

As I walked out I could watch the traffic pass along the road. I was walking and most likely none of those driving saw me and if they did, there was no way at this distance they could see that I was naked. I walked to within 80-100 ft. of the car before I got dressed. If you zoom in on the aerial you will see the turn out where the green line hits the road. Maximum time naked about 2 hrs.

Today, it hit 115į. With all the problems that come bundled with a monsoon, hereís hoping for another rain or storm system that cools the desert off.

Duane

jbeegoode

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Re: New visit to an old site
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 08:48:42 PM »
Nicely done. A useful guide of points for desert hiking considerations.

This desert rat appreciates the read. I can identify with the rain, the smells and the hazards.

We don't all get out of the car without vegetation to cover and cool us. It looks desolate there in the pics, but I know that there is much hidden, much to know from a different orientation.
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

nuduke

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Re: New visit to an old site
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2019, 04:57:49 PM »

Wow Duane, you haven't posted a walk report for ages.  Thanks for this one!
The sheer starkness of the desert is daunting and beautiful at the same time.  It makes clear why you are cautious with water and safety.
Is there cell signal out there?
John

eyesup

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Re: New visit to an old site
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 10:39:53 PM »
Quote from: nuduke
The sheer starkness of the desert is daunting and beautiful at the same time.
I donít care much for the city. You either like the desert or you donít. I love it! The desert is beautiful but it can fool you. Water is the issue. The heat is only a problem in the summer. The desert will remain minimal. Isolated. Solitary. If you are prepared, you can survive the desert. It will not cut you any slack. The place I hike is referred to as a wilderness, though I donít consider it a true wilderness. There are amenities in the area but they are not conveniences.

The beauty is in the minute detail. And to see that you have to see it repeatedly so you begin to notice the variation. You must also be observant. The minimal requirements for life to survive here are common and create the mistaken image of bleak desolation. To see the variation requires familiarity.

I havenít been out much the past year or so. I miss it. In a word, I yearn for it.

Quote
Is there cell signal out there?
No! And to expand on that, NO!
I leave the phone in the car.
Thatís one aspect of the appeal!

When you come to see Jbeeís Havarock walk, come see me here and Iíll take you out there!

Duane

jbeegoode

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Re: New visit to an old site
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 01:50:38 AM »
So, we all meet in Northern Arizona, sometime in the future. I'll walk Nevada.
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

nuduke

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Re: New visit to an old site
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 08:43:25 PM »

Here's to that time, guys.  Keep it in mind, I will, and it might come about.  I have had considerable benefit over the years from setting targets/goals.  If you have them, you make them come about.  Not always, true, but not having targets means you don't achieve stuff except by accident.
John

JOhnGw

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Re: New visit to an old site
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 08:20:53 AM »

Here's to that time, guys.  Keep it in mind, I will, and it might come about.  I have had considerable benefit over the years from setting targets/goals.  If you have them, you make them come about.  Not always, true, but not having targets means you don't achieve stuff except by accident.
John
If you have goals you can make them come about.
If you don't you can't.

JOhn
JOhn

Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionaries

eyesup

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Re: New visit to an old site
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2019, 04:31:03 PM »
Good idea, Jbee. Northern Arizona is good. Southern Nevada is good, but letís do it in the cooler months. The heat doesnít allow any kind of extended time outdoors. I can squeeze maybe 4 hrs. if I get out early enough and that includes drive time.

Camping like Jbee does means a long trip into central and northern Nevada.

Duane

jbeegoode

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Re: New visit to an old site
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2019, 05:11:51 AM »
Went up into the Bradshaw Mountains and did a hike very close to where we camped the last time. It has been a non-soon monsoon. Very dry monsoon. The temps were very comfortable. Winter is too cold there.
Jbee

Barefoot all over, all over.