After having driven by Sheep Mesa 3 times in the last few weeks I figured it was about time I climbed it. With plans to climb Lone Mountain and Black Mesa as well (NOT the one in the Supes) I wanted an early start. But I woke up at 1:45 am and had the idea ion my head to check out more of the many roads in the Sycamore Creek area after the hikes. I should have gotten up and mapped everything out right away, then when I'd be ready to go. I didn't but was awake for over an hour before drifting off again. Then when I got up I got a bit too involved in mapping out any wash or track I could see on the satellite view. So in the end, I got a late start.
But as sometimes happens the late start was a good thing. When I arrived at the trail head it as cold and very breezy. With the sun well up and the climb ahead of me I figured I'd get warm. It wasn't to be... when I reached the false summit I was wishing I had a warmer long sleeve shirt. But I guess the extra effort to reach the summit warmed me up even though it was windier at the top. I shot a panorama video at the top calling out by name each landmark and upon my return I played the video but couldn't understand what I was saying. Oh well.
There was no summit log at the top so I added one. From the summit I could see much more of Sheep Mesa than I thought was there. It continued toward the southwest dropping a little bit at a time as I followed it along. Once out of the rocky area almost everything was covered with fields of grassy fox-tails. It wasn't long before my socks were hidden completely by the fox-tails and they were driving me nuts. So I pulled the socks off and continued in bare feet in my Teva sandals. Much better! I guess I'll go back to hiking that way again, except I'll be sure to pack my heals in lotion more regularly to keep them from cracking, which the socks helped prevent as well.
I saw many signs of animals but no animals. Eventually I went far enough SW that I figured it was easier to continue on down and return via FR1096 than to back track. On the return trip FR1096 goes between the Black Mesa Tanks and along wash back to the trail head.
No time to get the photos posted tonight but I'll get them up soon. Oh yeah, I'll have a few videos as well.