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Another great trip with an outstanding group of reprobates (Thanks Mr. Bills).

Thanks again to :
- Chris for getting us all together.
- Dave for trail leading (and the geology lessons ["tastes like yellow rock"]).
- Hank for the never-ending humor.
- Cass for providing my greatest memento of the trip.

It has been said many times that the journey is the destination.
Certainly is true for these excursions that we embark upon. Although the greatest joy I receive is the incredible wit, incalculable wisdom, and close camaraderie shared amongst friends new and old. You will never yearn for humor, knowledge, nor sustenance here.

If I had a camera I'd take a picture.
 

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ChrisHaynesUSA is one of the most prepared individuals you will ever meet.
I don't travel with spares, I carry a ChrisHaynes.
He kept his cooler chilled with dry ice until such time came to fill with regular ice for drinks.
Making room for the regular drink ice :


Impending weather on the horizon on the way from Gerlach to Soldier Meadows Cabin:


Soldier Meadows Cabin evening setup. As we often have folks arriving at different times/days this area is the initial staging spot to assemble.
We discussed erecting a pole to the outside of the cabin with an antenna for long distance communications. The right setup will allow us to contact incoming groups and relay information to others who may be out exploring. LNXPenquin, Mr. Bills, and NWorker discussed several possible solutions that shouldn't be an impact on the historical nature of the cabin, yet still provide modern travellers with modern capabilities. I'm hopeful the powers that be are agreeable.
The weather mostly co-operated ... we did experience some sprinkles in the evening that forced us to move the kitchen into the cabin to avoid a possible downpour.
Many concoctions were assembled and consumed utilizing Mr. Haynes Heavy Duty Citrus Squeezer. Where is the ubiquitous shot of all the libations?
If I had a camera I'd take a picture of it.


Sometime mid-debouch* I was given the greatest memento of the trip ... harvested with heavy duty, zircon encrusted tweezers even:

*NWorker - hope I used this correctly. :)

Soldier Meadows Cabin morning. An hour or so of rain middle of the night left snow at the higher elevations, but no serious impact upon our camp.
Beautiful sweeping views of fast moving clouds were abound.
If I had a camera I'd take a picture of it.

 

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Packing up and leaving Soldier Meadows Cabin we began the real expedition.
The first stop brought us to a location where Mud Meadow begins (or ends) at a currently dry waterfall at the end of this canyon:


Looking upwards from the base of the canyon to the top of the waterfall:


Travellers from many eras left their mark at the base of the waterfall:


Opposite the waterfall is Fly Canyon. As there was no shelf roads built at the time, Pioneers would lower their oxen and wagons down to the canyon floor to proceed further down the trail. These two rock outcrops (bottom right)were where they accomplished this task (called Fly Slide or Slide Rock):


Further down the trail you pass High Rock Lake. This year has some water in it:


Homesteader/rancher cabin near the lake:


Another cabin in the settlement. Interesting corner beam construction...lacking typical cabin notches or dovetails:


Artifact from bygone era at the settlement (women's lace up shoe?):
 

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The entrance to High Rock Canyon is gated seasonally to allow Bighorn Sheep and several raptor species to breed:


The beginning section of the canyon is wide open with a small stream running through the middle of it.
Portions of the stream become backed up into very nice ponded areas surrounded by willows, cottontails and full of songbirds:


Several small stream crossings later and you come to the section of the canyon that gives it it's name. It is an impressive wall of rock.
Our resident geologist found a seam of softer yellow rock with Jasper within it running upwards from the canyon floor. We collected a couple of small samples. To appease Chris' curiosity, taste was recorded as "like a rock".


The initial section of tall rock face contained a small cave nicknamed the "Postoffice".
If I had a camera I'd take a picture of it.

As others went to collect Geocaches and ticks, I ventured down to the stream that runs through the canyon.
Vetxsquared says he saw a waterbourne sasquatch surface there, but I was unable to catch a picture of it.


While waiting for the discovery of the Geocache and listening to ChrisHaynesUSA enumerate another stream crossing, we noticed what appeared to be Swallow nests high up in the rocks.
If I had a camera I'd take a picture of it.


The canyon walls were pockmarked with many ledges, holes and other areas ideal for bird nesting. And while we did spot many locations where they obviously had perched, we did not spot any raptors ... or bighorn sheep.


As High Rock Canyon proper ends, the scenery opens up to mesa/butte filled landscapes as we progressed onward towards Stevens Camp.





Passing through the mesas we encountered the deepest water crossing yet. We were all safely spotted through.
If I had a camera I'd take a picture of it.

Wider open canyon country provided spectacular views of the every changing geology as we came upon the next object of interest.
The hut is called Joe's Garage ... I mean, The Stone Garage. It was used by the ranchers in the area.
With a large broken slab of rock above the garage as our backdrop we stopped for lunch.
If I had a camera I'd take a picture of it.
(The yellow rocks in the area tasted like "rock"):
 

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We arrived at Stevens Camp where I'll leave the commentary to NWorkers legendary prowess.
The view north to the spring which feeds Stevens Creek. A tick infested marsh. We did see a Marsh Hawk in the area.
If I had a camera I'd take a picture of it.


The view southeast from the cabin:


The following morning a couple that was staying at the camp informed us of a nearby Petrified Forest.
As the schedule for the day was rather light we thought it nice side trip.
I was surprised to find a small piece of petrified sasquatch scat, but left it for future generations to enjoy.



There are no end of abandoned settlements and cabins strewn across the country. One such place is "Andy's Camp". Apparently a rancher from time past, he chose a location along Catnip Creek to build a homestead and ranch. Of course we stopped to investigate.


TurtleX pointed out that he used packed straw as insulation between the cabin walls. Considering the incessant wind we enjoyed that day, I understand why.


A collapsed structure that was dug into the hillside and originally surrounded by stones was likely his root cellar:


Remnants of the corral still exist, including posts that were through mortised to accept rails.
Hard, laborious work but creates a very strong joint.
 

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Oddly, I don't have any pictures at Bogg Hott Springs.
I suspect there are two reasons for this ...
- Too many naked men roaming about
- the discovery of Moose Drool and Imperial Stout

The encroaching storms on all sides of us was truly spectacular to see.
(If I had a camera I'd take a picture of it).
Although was certainly a cause for alarm.

We were very fortunate to have supper and drinks around a nice fire before the skys opened.
 

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As others went to collect Geocaches and ticks, I ventured down to the stream that runs through the canyon.
Vetxsquared says he saw a waterbourne sasquatch surface there, but I was unable to catch a picture of it.


Because you didn't have a camera... Right?
 
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