I almost went camping in the bitter cold this weekend. I got a new tent and I was eager to use it, but Chris ended up not coming down here and I didn’t want to go it alone, so I wussed out and stayed home most of the weekend. Today Michael and I drove to Cedar Mountain and did a little hiking and exploring. We started in Bull Hollow and checked out an old Indian site that I found out about from a Flickr photo–the photographer was kind enough to share coordinates to the site via e-mail. It was a short hike to there from the road, and we easily found the metates pictured in the photo. The area was fairly interesting. There were several alcoves, a few cave-like features, and a lot of narrow cracks and canyons through the conglomerate rock that were fun to hike and scramble through. I found a few relics left over from the process of making arrowheads, but not many other signs of habitation. I was really hoping to find some rock art, but we didn’t spend much time looking. Perhaps when it’s warmer and the snow is gone, I’ll go back.
We drove further down the main road and turned off onto a faint track that I’d seen in Google Earth that looked like it would lead to some small but interesting canyons. The road was fairly visible in the satellite photos, but on the ground it was difficult to follow, especially with an inch or two of snow on it. At one point I was driving exactly where my GPS said the road should be, but it just petered out in the trees and I couldn’t drive forward. I put the truck in park and got out to walk around and see if I could find the road further along, but it just wasn’t there. I turned the truck around and looked farther back for a possible turn I may have missed, though there wasn’t any sign of any other roads. I just parked it and Michael and I started hiking. We passed a shallow slot canyon that I wanted to try getting down into. It was very narrow in spots, and undercut in others so that you couldn’t see the bottom from the rim. It was blocked by a tree on the upper end, and it would have been a thick bushwhack from the lower end, so I skipped it. We hiked farther and tried finding a way down into a much larger canyon that had huge cottonwood trees and ponderosa pines growing in the bottom. I had Michael stay with Torrey at the canyon rim while I found a route into the bottom of the canyon, but after I got down there I found the way blocked by a logjam. We followed the canyon rim for a while, occasionally approaching the edge and peering down into the canyon. There wasn’t an easy way down close by, and it was getting later in the day and I’d forgotten to bring a lunch or even snacks, so I called it a day and we hiked back to the truck. The area was very interesting, but having a kid with me and the snow on the ground kind of limited how much ground I could cover. It’s definitely something I’d like to try again next spring.
GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Earth .KMZ Format)
GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Maps)