Prickly Pear Flat

Prickly Pear Flat PetroglyphI remember thinking a few weeks ago how stupid the concept of “dog booties” was, but now I find myself in the market for some for Torrey. Mark and I went hiking Saturday on Prickly Pear Flat, and the snow proved to be too much for my poor puppy. After about a mile and a half of hiking through the snow, Torrey started getting large balls of ice built up on her back paws, and it took me awhile to melt them off her fur with the warmth from my hands. After that, I had to stop every so often to clear her feet of snow and ice, and I even started carrying her at one point to let her paws warm up. Luckily we took a different route for our return trip that had much less snow.
I had wanted to hike to the edge of a 1,500′ cliff overlooking the big flat southeast of Buckhorn Wash, but the roads were too slick for my truck to get us within hiking range. Instead, we hiked about six miles (round-trip) to the pictograph panel on Prickly Pear Flat, which was within half a mile from where I wanted to park, but ended up being 1.5 miles from where I had to park. We followed the “road” to the pictographs, but it was rougher than most 4×4 vehicles would be able to handle even without the snow. The pictographs were pretty awesome–I didn’t have any previous knowledge of them, but I saw a road in Google Earth that split off from the main road (again using that term very loosely) and led to the base of a south-facing cliff, then abruptly turned a different direction and met up with the main road again. I had seen roads like that at the base of Cedar Mountain, and they all led to rock art, so it was a pretty safe assumption that this one did as well. It’s a good thing my hunch was right, or it would have been a wasted day.
After seeing the pictographs, we decided to take a more direct route back to the truck. I already knew that returning by our original route would just be more trudging through the snow on the road, but I was hoping that by cutting directly cross-country that we’d encounter less snow and it would be easier on Torrey. We had to work our way up some steep cliffs, and I just about got ledged out. Mark had made it past one point, but I was less sure of my footing and couldn’t easily move up or down the cliff. I ended up making it back down without killing myself, and Mark spotted another way up that worked better for me. After reaching the top of the cliffs, we worked our way into the bottom of a wash that we followed for about a third of the remaining distance back to the truck. I took some time to place a geocache at the base of a cliff that had some very interesting orange bands in the sandstone. We also found some petroglyphs that kind of look fake to me. If they’re authentic, then they’re in extremely pristine condition. If they were made more recently, then at least somebody did a good job faking them. 🙂
It seems like no matter what time of year it is, I find myself wishing for the next season to come. I’ve had some good fun hiking this winter, but I keep thinking how much easier things would be if there wasn’t so much snow on the ground.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.