Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pinyon Wells -- Joshua Tree National Park

DAY TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY

The weather was still nice in the desert (for August) so I decided to head up the Joshua Tree for a little exploration. It is not a short drive so I took the short cut up Berdoo Canyon in my Jeep.

There is a lot of target shooting that goes on in Berdoo Canyon and some people think these Park Service signs were put there just for them.

Flash Flooding, huh? I don't think that'll be a problem today.

Of course, it looks like someone got caught in the last flash flood.

I drive up the canyon and pass some tourists driving down in a Volvo SUV. They are stopped at the rockiest section and wondering if they can make it. I tell them I just bombed up the canyon, no problem. They took one look at the dirt and door dings on my Jeep and decided to turn around. I kept going until I got to the wash that leads to the Pinyon Well area. Hiking uphill in the sand again. That's what I live for.

As I get up the canyon, I catch a whiff of something horrendous. It smells like it's rotten cheese but I suspect it's something dead and something fairly big. The stench remains in my nostrils for hours.

I get past the rocks and discover this bighorn carcass. The coyotes and vultures in the area must have had quite a feast on this guy.

It's still fairly fresh although you could never tell from the smell.

In the wash a bit further up, a small trough sits dry.

At the well site there are several cement structures that I'm sure held water at one time.

Although none of them do now.

There was once a mining camp higher up and the remnants of a asphalt road still remain.

In a side canyon I discover this old animal guzzler. Again, it's dry.

The water tank is on the side of the hill and I climb up the check it out, careful to keep a look out for rattlers. This is perfect weather for them.

To my surprise, there is not a well here but this roof-like structure. It is designed to catch the rain or winter snows and channel it down into the main water tank. Too bad it hasn't rained in months.

It's also too bad that the pipe feeding the tank is busted. I try to put it back together but it needs to be replaced with some new plumbing.

But the roof on the water tank looks to be in good shape so it seems this place gets pretty regular maintenance. Time for the Park Service to spend some stimulus money

There's an old mining camp further up the canyon but I'll have to come back in the fall when it's just a bit cooler. Right now I'm going to head back and make sure those tourists made it out OK.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I went this way in the spring but did not go up that side canyon. I hope to go all the way down pushwalla out to dillion rd. There is a wagon trail all the way. Good shots!

mike