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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Anza Borrego - Just Us - Part 1 - "the realm of sandstone concretions"

 We parted ways with Dan and Jeff at the Diablo Dropoff and drove south down Arroyo Seco del Diablo.
The walls of the canyon got higher.
Soon we were in the realm of sandstone concretions.
The walls of the canyon contained several seams of concretions.
Jan found one that she thought looked like a Dolphin.
We spent some time exploring both sides of the canyon.
Farther downstream we were surprised to find water.
From all the salt crystals alongside the road the water must be brackish.
Back on Vallecito Creek Road headed for Carrizo Creek Wash and the old Butterfield stage station.
We weren't going any farther on this road.
Entering Canyon Sin Nombre which was our route back to the S-2.
Our sojourn through the canyon with 'no name' was a twisting drive through millions of years of colorful geologic history.

Somewhere behind us in all that geologic history was the Elsinore Fault.
Looking down into Canyon Sin Nombre from the Carrizo Badlands Overlook where we stopped to eat lunch.
The next stop was Mountain Palm Springs. Found this small spring before the palms.
Surprisingly there was water flowing in the wash.
We entered Indian Gorge and drove through a small smoke tree forest on our way to explore the north and south branches of Indian Canyon.
At the end of North Indian Valley stood a single palm. In the lower left of the photo is an old stone and mortar water trough.
Looking down into Indian Valley from the single palm.
Saw this hand silhouette in an alcove on my way back to the truck. We then drove back to the junction and on to the end of South Indian Canyon.
Leaving the end of South Indian Canyon.  There were many more palms at the end of this canyon.
Returning through the smoke trees on our way back to the S-2.
We drove back to Mesquite Oasis to camp for the night because I set up my game camera at Palm Spring which was about 1/2 mile away.  I walked down to the spring in the morning to retrieve the camera and connected it to my laptop eagerly anticipating some really cool wildlife photographs. A total of six photos were taken by the camera, three capturing a bird landing on a branch and three more of a person looking at the spring about 20 minutes before I arrived at the spring. Bummer.

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