|Black Mesa-Quintuplets, AZ|
|Black Mesa-Quintuplets, AZ|| |
Black Mesa-Quintuplets, AZ
|Hiking||5.62 Miles|| 5 Hrs 45 Mns ||1.98 mph|
|1,189 ft AEG|| 2 Hrs 55 Mns Break|
|Catchy triplog title - I located five survey disks.
I was able to actually drive up atop Black Mesa, on FR3271. It’s not much of a road, and it’s very slow going. I don’t recommend it after (or during) a rain. ‘This’ Black Mesa is northeast of Roosevelt Reservoir. (I think I’ve been on top of at least five or six different Black Mesas).
This Black Mesa was definitely used by ranchers years ago, but I suspect that’s not the case now. I found a few watering holes and ‘berms-in-drainages’, but they all looked like they haven’t had action in a long time.
The last two hikes I put up on HAZ were ‘diskless’, due to (my guess) vandals taking survey disks as souvenirs. This hike made up for those diskless hikes by having me locate five little brass disks, all on the mesa. Four disks were associated with the NGS triangulation station called ‘Black’ (1938), and the fifth disk was a Forest Service disk named ‘Black Mesa’ (1934).
The only survey disk of the five that was a challenge to locate was the, always elusive, azimuth mark (for the NGS BM Black). The ‘hint’ on the datasheet said the “azimuth mark is in a boulder, on the north side of a small valley near a group of trees”.
HMM ….. “a group of trees” ..… Surveyors wrote that ‘hint’ in 1938, 77 years ago.
I started the hike, looking for the azimuth mark, as I knew it might take me all day.
(Take note of my ‘wandering’ GPS track at the beginning of the hike track).
I was lucky and found the azimuth mark in about forty minutes, and it IS “near a group of trees”. It was in the fifth or sixth group of trees I searched near. The disk is in a 2 foot high boulder, and had a sprawling prickly pear draped over the whole boulder. I couldn’t even see the little disk from most angles. I carefully moved the cactus out of the way and said “hello” to the azimuth mark.
From the azimuth mark, I headed to the edge of the mesa, and then went to the high point from there.(Better views from the edge). By the way, prickly pears own Black Mesa. They’re very prolific up there, with alot of them growing horizontally along the ground, making the hike more of a ‘dance’ while avoiding them.
The high point is at the south cliff edge of the mesa and is quite expansive. The remaining four disks were easily located at the high point, with the Forest Service disk occupying the center of a bunch of rocks. The summit register was in those rocks also.
I re-established the ‘Height of light’ to vertical, as all the wires were still securely attached to their boulders, and to the very tall wood staff. I’m sure the first good wind will topple it, but at least it’ll stand tall for awhile, as it did in 1938.
I then hiked down the mesa far to the northeast, visiting a very current big horn sheep/wildlife catchment, and a couple corrals and tanks. My objective was to go all the way to the end of the mesa and investigate something I saw on Google Earth, but I aborted that foray when I noticed thick, dark clouds coming in from the north. I didn’t want to risk being ‘caught-in-the-rain’ on the drive down and off the mesa. FR3271 is bad enough when it’s dry.
As it turned out, it didn’t rain. That’s OK though, as now I have a reason to drive back up there and look around some more.
This ‘Black Mesa’ is a fun hike, with alot of varied things to investigate, and if the weather is clear, you can’t beat the views in all directions.
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|