Didn’t quite make it. This time.

Every spring I have to get my wind back before I can take long dog-less walkies. Because I hate cold, and mostly cocoon through winters. The dog helps with the conditioning process but he can’t come on real expeditions. When Tobie and I go for walkies it’s all about Tobie; hard to get any real work done. But I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, stump and knees and back are doing okay, and I wanted to take a serious walk into the nothin’.

So I did. But I didn’t get as far as I wanted to. (Pics below the fold)

I had an objective in mind, I’ve been thinking of photographing it all winter but with all the chair drill I’ve put in over the past six or eight months I’m not going to push it, remembering that for every step you take out you have to take at least one back, often downhill which is harder. So let’s just see how this goes this time and prepare to learn lessons. I was ten years younger the last time I visited the spot I’m thinking of.

Cross the wash upstream from Ian’s Cave and hook up with this game trail that’s now apparently only used by cattle. Follow it till it peters out where the rocks meet the sand…

…and then there’s altogether too much trudging through soft sand until I cross the road to S&L’s and hook up with the climb to the plateau.

Whoops! Wrong turn. I remember this gully…

It’s pretty down there. I used to play down there with the original pack, before Little Bear was even a puppy. But not today. I just burned energy on a climb in the wrong direction. Backtrack…

This is one situation where cattle can actually be your friends. They’re not exactly mountain goats and neither am I. They always pick the easiest path, and torn up as I am I can still go anywhere they can.


…even though I knew I was going in the right direction this time I still picked the wrong route up. A person with good wind and two good legs could practically skip up here, it’s not a hard climb…

…but it’s all fractured shale. Easy to lose your footing and take a bad fall. This would be a bad place for the old man to fall. So I took it easy.

Made it to an intermediate peak, and decided to stop there.

For some reason the camera kept wanting to take video without my telling it to. Need to figure out why it’s suddenly doing that. But you might find this amusing. At the point where I stopped I’d only been hiking an hour but where Joel’s butt hit rock he was breathing kind of hard.


Anyway – this was my objective…

Specifically – quick lens change – this rock…

…which I’ve only visited once and it was a long time ago. A pretty easy climb from where I stopped, but enough was enough. I still had to go all the way back, downhill which is hard on the knees, and wisdom said this was enough for a first try.

The climb didn’t go as hoped but it wasn’t a complete waste. I found a much easier way down which would have been an easier way up as well. I’ll remember the way next time.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to Didn’t quite make it. This time.

  1. Robert says:

    Nice rock. Thanks for sharing. I wonder how many yahoos have tried to topple it. Some people can’t leave things alone, usually while standing downhill…

  2. bill says:

    Thanks Joel.

  3. SLee says:

    Thank you for the photos, and the views!

  4. Dave Mansfield says:

    Great photos Joel.

  5. Cederq says:

    Was that a balancing rock at one time?

  6. Joel says:

    I don’t think so. It’s just a piece of what used to be the hill’s crust. At some point the dirt it’s stuck in will erode away and it will roll downhill with all the rest.

  7. jrg says:

    I couldn’t tell from your picture’s shadow, but do you use a hiking staff ? It’s helped me when walking down rocky hills, where balance can be lost and a risk of a tumble. In thicker cover, I use it to deflect branches so I don’t have to dodge them.

To the stake with the heretic!