Thursday, January 29, 2015

Weekend Wandering

Our latest rambles took us from the primitive camp you see near the top right of the map, along the Salado Wash to see a couple of palm oases.  From there the jeep took us through the Basin Wash and across the Cut Across trail to Buttes Pass Road.

At the 17 Palm Oasis you can clearly see how the palms are growing in a straight line from north to south along what is a fault.   There are now more than 17 palms if you count the youngsters.

A magnificent view of the badlands from a rise above the oasis.

The Salton Sea in the distance.

The 5 Palm Oasis is more like 4 palms and one dead guy who fell down the hill.

The Basin Wash tested Tom's driving skills.  We were glad to not meet other traffic on a few of the blind turns.

Font's Point as seen from Cut Across Road.

Below: Buttes Pass Road.  We stopped and explored a couple of side canyons on foot.   It felt like being in an old western movie.  There should have been outlaws or Indians hiding in the rocks of the box canyons.

We stopped for lunch on a side road to Hawk Canyon that we took on a whim.  It was an incredible geologic find.  I was able to find this thesis written by Cal Poly student Jeffrey Pepin.  What we noticed first was that the north side of the canyon wall was composed of old granite while the south side was sandstone.

The rock colors are actual.  Red.  Blue.  Green.

This green mound was covered with small white thin stones.  Fossilized shells?

The chute of an ancient and long-dry waterfall at the primitive campsite in the canyon.

The sign below it "No Wool Gathering" amused us.  It could have been a reference to the bighorn sheep in the area (borrego is spanish for lamb) but I'm pretty sure it used to say "No Wood Gathering" before someone had his way with it.

 Other visitors had left ice from their cooler in the campfire ring.  Everything in the desert is thirsty and constantly searching for water, including the bees.

An interesting find set aside by a previous visitor: wood that is completely fossilized on only one side.


After leaving Hawk Canyon, we went as far as the parking area at the top of The Slot.  We will leave further exploration, whether by jeep or on foot, for another day.