Headed out from my house 6 am. Driving past A Cross road turn off on the 288 toward our destination we saw something descending through the air. There was some discussion as to wether it was a hang glider or a motorized ultralight and where it might land. As we rounded a corner it landed right in front of the Truck. Next thing I know there was a wild eyed hitchhiker with a bunch of helium balloons bumming a ride so Bruce and I picked him up and gave him a ride to the trailhead, but only because he said it was his birthday and had the balloons to prove it.
We started out down the trail following the options Bruce had researched and plotted. I'm pretty sure I was the first to draw blood during this trip. Descending into the canyon. I noted Bruce testing a log and stepping over carefully. As I stepped over the same log the footing under my weight gave way and needless to say I passed Bruce and Joe both all at once. Falling headfirst I somehow managed to land laying on my back with my feet downhill. Joe said something about seeing a yellow shirt and jacket or pack go by, but was still in disbelief that there was a person attached. A little blood, but no hike ending injuries plus I was no longer at the back of the pack breathing in metabolism fumes.
We wandered through some thick vegetation and followed the wash all the way to the cliff soaking up the shade and scenery. I was half wondering the logic in getting to the ruins and the hike from below not taking into account hiking back up or the eventual realization that we would not make it all the way down.
Hiked all the way to the spire and could view a dry waterfall and the ledges that I believed were below and to the right of the ruins when looking up from below. Joe pm'd a picture after the hike of someone at the ruins taken from below with what appeared to be the same dry waterfall to the right of them. I'm not sure if the route down from our turning point would have gotten us down and back up safely especially after all of the bushwacking to get to that point. Hindsight is 20/20 and I kind of wish I at least took a look. It's tough getting that close and not reaching your goal. Of course it's tougher getting summit fever and having to evac. an injured person. I would be interested in hearing from someone visiting from below and following the wash up beyond the ruins to the spire we pictured to see if there is any access up before the canyon becomes narrow with shear walls. We headed back to the smooth rock and ate lunch in the shade and headed out the way we came. We came upon an alcove with evidence of charring. Bruce and I decided to take a closer look and were rewarded with a nice rattlesnake sighting. Good company and great scenery laughs throughout. I never get tired of hiking this area.
Oh and it is very obvious that Bruce and Joe spend way too much time together.
Fyi no butterflies were injured during the butterfly sequence. (see Bruce's Photoset)
Almost forgot a couple of youtube videos for those who want to see the real Joe in his natural environment and an interesting worm of somekind. Both are short. Had a Blast!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVV2ShQnNkghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6UuNVm_2ko