|Hiking||3.00 Miles|| 5 Hrs || ||0.60 mph|
|588 ft AEG|| || || |
Balancing Rock on Hieroglyphic Trail
Last February, I hiked the Hieroglyphic Canyon trail for the first time. I had selected this adventure because it is an easy hike, a short distance and I have always been interested in ancient history and wanted to see the centuries old artwork.
I have been a one-week-at-a-time visitor to Arizona for more than 10 years but last year we bought a home in Apache Junction. Now we're official snowbirds and I have 6 months to enjoy the benefits of Arizona's wilderness.
I wasn't disappointed by that first hike and was impressed by the ancient artwork, but it's too bad that modern art has been added (how unfortunate, how irresponsibly stupid). I took a lot of photos and was logging them into my albums when I discovered a photo of a balancing rock on a ridgeline high above the floor of the canyon. My zoom ability of the photo was limited because I had brought along an inexpensive and portable camera that has a 3 meg pixel count. That's it, I knew that I was going to make the hike again but with my good camera and attempt to get closer to the balancing rock to see what keeps it in place through all the elements.
I made my second trip to Hieroglyphic Canyon today (11/03/10) and was armed with cameras and binoculars to better record the balancing rock phenomenon. Loaded down, as I was, it made the trip up the East wall of the canyon a pretty exhaustive hike for an old fart (did I mention that I recently turned 70?). I hiked to a point where I was within a couple of hundred feet of the rock, but the rest of the hike was too vertical for me to challenge since I was without a hiking partner.
So I started taking photos from my vantage point using my cameras zoom abilities to maximize resolution and regular shots to get the scenery. I kept shooting the balancing rock as I worked my way back down the canyon wall to the creek at the bottom. There I took several shots of the artwork as I rested from my decent and then finished the hike back to the trailhead.
Once home, I reviewed the photos and I'm kinda horrified to find that the balancing rock is extremely fragile in its lack of attachment to the base rock. It appears that there is an intermediate rock between the two that is fractured in multiple places (the photos have a high resolution and can be zoomed in for close observation). This natural phenomenon may not be around too much longer so I'm glad I had the opportunity to make the trip today.
Let's hope some irresponsible fool doesn't hurry the natural events.
|On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.|