Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Percha Creek Side Canyons( south side)

 We continued down through the Percha Narrows.  The  box canyon opened up, and in just a short ways we found the  mouth of the first of two side canyons we planned to explore on the south side of the stream. This  first canyon is partially concealed by a wall of bedrock at its mouth, so initially we walked right by it. This slab of  rock has several stream carved cracks in it, visible on Google Earth. We made our way back and started upstream. Although this canyon is very narrow, with abundant twists and turns, it is also shallow, and not at all what we would consider a slot. There were many potholes that retained water, which, although our feet were already soaked, we did our best to not immerse ourselves in- working on some scrambling skills in the process, I guess.

 We finally gave up on the canyon ever becoming a true slot and climbed out onto the hillside and began following a cow path to our next destination: the next canyon to the west, a much larger, deeper, sinuous series of oxbow bends that Doug had nicknamed " The Labryinth." Topos had indicated, although it was impossible to confirm with the satellite imagery, that this canyon contained a large natural bridge. We descended from the hill right where the bridge should be, walking on top it. Alas it was not meant to be. No bridge. Just a solid wall of dirt and rock, although it look as if a bridge could form some day. The lower layers were obviously softer and eroding faster than its caprock, which was already beginning to be under cut.

 We wound our way through the big horseshoe bends. This canyon although quite deep, was also quite wide and also not a slot.  In its very narrowest section it does have a flowing spring and large ash trees, and I was thinking that it would be beautiful to revisit in the fall, as I photographed the leaves lining a shallow pool. As the canyon opened up,we cut across the flats returning to the main creek. Important Note: Accessing these side canyons involves crossing land that,although it is not posted, is indicated as private on official maps.

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