Thursday, January 10, 2019

Good Sight Mountains- Two More Canyons

I was back in the Good Sight Mountains again this past weekend. It's been about a year since I investigated two fantastic little canyons in a little loop hike, and now I was back to do another loop through two canyons just to north. The primitive road that heads south from the good county road (  Luna A0 21) seems to have gotten even more primitive, but at least I wasn't driving quite as far this time.The outing got off to an auspicious start even before we got out of the truck. A herd of about 30 antelope ran back and forth across the road at full tilt kicking up a cloud of dust as they went. I had never seen them run like that before. Amazing.
We found a parking spot just big enough to accommodate our truck and then we were off to the west over the rocky grassland and soon were in the even rockier shallow upper reaches of the first canyon. There wasn't much sand or gravel just bigger rocks and bedrock to walk on.

Then the canyon was dropping more steeply with iced over pools of water tucked in the recesses beneath drop-offs.  Along the way I stirred up a couple of owls as  I  frequently do. One was larger, probably a barn owl, and the other was smaller about half the size, that I won't even speculate as to the species. Across from the first dry waterfall of significance  that had to be negotiated with a bit more care, I spied a few petroglyphs on the darkened canyon walls. I looked around for more  on the most likely rock faces, but came up empty, although I did come across a rock fall that had some boulder placements that seemed to defy randomness.

The canyon deepened even more from this point with cliffs and towers of volcanic rock that had a regular foliation which when eroded  gave the appearance of  ruins made of brick or stone work. Scrub oaks grew in the bottom and clung to the canyon sides. A short , slot of a side canyon appeared on north, which we investigated up to a icy pool that lay below a blackened dry waterfall.

Shortly after that we came up to the back of the stone dam which is still in excellent repair. There was no way down at the dam so we had to back up a bit and go around up high on the north side. The pool of icy water at the bottom was larger that I would have guessed, but this is the narrowest and deepest part of this little canyon.  I stepped along the bedrock ledge to the back of the pool and front of the dam looking for more rock art but finding none.

Walking just bit further downstream I came to a large two tiered ephemeral waterfall. We couldn't climb down the blocky, gray cliffs  easily here either, but we found a quick way to up and around and before we were even all the way down, I could see petroglyphs on the black rock face.
To get a closer look required I walk along the edges of frozen, snow covered pool and then climb on fairly narrow ledge, all the while admonishing Seamus not to walk out on the ice. There were two nice panels and there may be a few more glyphs in the in-between area below the first drop and the second drop.

We walked on now and soon began the cross-over heading south to the second canyon. It was open territory and even a little bit warm for January. Not much to report from the second, except that it was even more narrow than the first  and the  going got a little thick for us towards the top getting through the branches of some very old junipers. We saw a few deer but luckily I saw them first and was able to get a leash on Seamus so he wasn't taking off in a futile pursuit.


We walked to the top of a small hill past  prairie dog mounds and the bare ground around setting off the jackrabbits and bunnies that hid behind mormon tea bushes as we went. At the top we looked down at the blue Tacoma just a short distance away, waiting for us as the afternoon clouds settled in on what had been a wonderfully sunny day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "random" rock fall: When you sit behind it, you see it could serve two functions, one as a hunter hide above the water pools and two it faces directly East - just interesting. Below the falls where you found the glyphs you notice the 'face' I'm guessing. Always been a special spot to me. There are a couple of more small glyphs on the north side of the pool. Glad to see you have found the three dams. There might be more but I haven't found any. Back at the well you mentioned a year ago, go north up the hills. There is a trail that goes off toward Nutt and the NE - I followed it once about 3 miles before turning around.