Charlie Horse's 2018 Picture Thread
Lone Tree/Whiskey Wash area north of I-70 on 22 Sept 2018

I've been planning an overnight hike in  this area for a while, though at first I intended to follow the wash all the way up to the Morrison Formation to the west.  I changed my mind and decided that I'd have plenty to do just exploring a certain area only a couple miles from the highway, which looked interesting from google.  However, as I studied the photo-map I could see that there was a  sandstone layer about 12-15 feet thick that isolated an entire area above the river and there may not be a way up.  I did see a good chance that if one followed the layer until it dove underground, and one followed some goblin rock ledges there was probably a way up.  I also circled a spot on my hand drawn map that said "cool".  We shall see....

Woodstock and Shelby have never carried such a heavy load, at 40lbs each and about the max of what I really think they should be carrying.  I also brought a backpack.  The reason for the weight is water.  I have to plan for zero water to be found when exploring a new area and since its a drought year.

We started at about 2:00 and crossed under the interstate, following the river bed.  It was hot and packs were heavy.
Once again Luna startled some antelope, but this time she obeyed me and did not chase them.  The female seems to have an 80s hair style.

After a couple miles one is rewarded by some amazing cliff scenes and goblin formations.  Other than a small trail there is no sign that humans ever visit this area, and in fact its not mentioned in my books on the Swell.  Cattle do run here and I even found a sad cow mummy under a tree.  Unfortunately its not far enough from the interstate that you escape the distant sound of semi trucks and their jake-brakes, and loudest of all, a Harley now and then.

Well the area that I circled as 'cool' turned out to be very cool indeed.  Some very tall hoodoos!  The problem is they sit on top of that indestructible sandstone slab right at the place it hits ground level, and by the time the monument stops, the slab is too high to climb. 

The solution is to follow a side canyon to where the hoodoo monument's own formation goes underground.  You can then follow that ledge over to the monuments and I was hoping find an easy path down to the secret isolated plateau.  The problem is that there wasn't a great, easy way down!  As I studied the rocks, the goats got to liking the shade and were refusing to follow me very close.  Then it hit me... why not camp here?  There were amazing views in all directions and a flat spot perfect for camping.  A full moon would prevent anyone from falling off the sides, so I unloaded the goats and set up camp.

So here's the camp site looking south at the hoodoo monument.  You can see what a nice little area I have.  Sand has filled a hollow where I put my sleeping bag.  The goats found other sand pits or slept next to me.  The problem was they'd dig before settling and sometime flick sand on my area.  No need for ropes here... In fact I think they could be dangerous in this situation.

Camp site looking north, back at the goblin formation we followed to get here.  This picture was taken higher up on the hoodoos.

The view from camp looking west.  This is Whiskey Wash going up to the Morrison Formation.  You can see the purple-white banded paleosoils from here.  I'm going to make it up that far someday, but it may be a two night trip.

Here's a view from camp to the south-east.  You can see the smooth plateau floor made of that indestructible layer.  You can see it in the distance-- Those low cliffs.  Thats the edge and there's no way up.  No scree slopes or weaknesses in the sheer edge.  Further south is I-70.

I brought a good book and a head-band flashlight.  The moon rose and the night was warm.  I'd overprepared for chill that never came.  In fact, it was t-shirt weather the entire night.  My sweat pants were too much, and its nearly October!  But what a wonderful night... No mosquitos.  I brought a little mp3 player and speaker and kept some chill music going all night to cover the sound of distant traffic and the goats fidgeting. 

End of day 1
I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!

Messages In This Thread
RE: Charlie Horse's 2018 Picture Thread - by Saph - 01-29-2018, 09:50 AM
RE: Charlie Horse's 2018 Picture Thread - by Kat - 06-04-2018, 06:55 AM
RE: Charlie Horse's 2018 Picture Thread - by Saph - 06-11-2018, 11:05 PM
RE: Charlie Horse's 2018 Picture Thread - by Charlie Horse - 09-23-2018, 09:16 PM
RE: Charlie Horse's 2018 Picture Thread - by Saph - 12-20-2018, 08:08 PM

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