Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pointed Arch- Doña Ana Mountains

   A little disappointed with my Sunday hike, I set out on Monday afternoon( 2/16/15) in search of the arch I'd glimpsed in the Doña Ana Mountains back in December. This one I'm calling Pointed Arch because from some angles it appears pointed like a jagged arrowhead, but any number of  names might apply. I thought about Ridge Arch, because unlike the nearby Doña Ana Arch which sits detached and more conventionally arch-like on a hilltop, Pointed Arch is more of hole in a long rocky outcrop along the ridge of a hill. Many other mundane names came to mind as well. If you go, let me know of the ones you thought of.
 This was short hike. I went at it cross country after parking under the power lines a short ways down from where County Road D-53 makes a big bend( either toward I -25 or the Doña Ana Transfer Station depending on which direction you're coming from). Forgot the SD card for the Pentax again( it was back at the house in the laptop), but at least this time I remembered while preparing to take my first picture, which I suppose was  better than what happened at Frying Pan Canyon,but it would have been even nicer if I had remembered sooner so as to  prevent me from lugging the now useless camera around on the hike. Had to rely on the I-Phone again.
 After visiting the arch, I figured I had a little more time to kill, so I wandered over to an interesting formation of  bare orangish, brownish rock , I decided to call the Blob. I circumnavigated it, finding two large openings, that may or may not be connected  on its north side. On it's south side is a wonderfully constructed little dam( perhaps more CCC work). The area behind is now completely in-filled with gravel, atop of which was the dried remains of some very lush growth of summer grass. I used roads to get back to the truck, where I decided I 'd pick up the hundred or more shotgun shells( including one live one) that lay on the ground. It was relatively peaceful day in the Doña Anas. I only saw one vehicle, a jeep, climbing a steep stone hill. I could still hear gun shots for much of the time, but I was heartened to see,  as I was leaving, a couple who had been shooting( at a berm, and not just in random directions out into the desert) cleaning up after themselves. Note: this arch is visible for about a half second while traveling south and maybe a little longer while traveling north, on I-25.

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