Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bullseye Rock and Mad Women Spring


On my last hike of the year I went to the Bullseye Rock area in the Indian Canyons. I wanted to go beyond there to Bullseye Flat and Mad Women Spring but the canyons closed early on December 31 and I really didn't feel comfortable going up into that rugged area alone. I'm old. Years of domestic bliss has not softened my adventurous spirit but my body is another story. Having someone along would be good in case I tripped over my cane.

So I went back with Florian, a guy I met in an online forum for Mount San Jacinto, with the goal of making it all the way to Mad Women Spring and the rock cabin I visited over 17 years ago.

The trip report on my first visit up to Bullseye Rock can be found here.

Bullseye Rock is a huge monolith and there are no easy ways around it. It is not that steep so it's possible to find a place to just go up the face.

But once you're past it, the traveling doesn't' get much easier. There's a large boulder field that has to be navigated through.

A couple of deer run through Bullseye Flat but I only got a picture of one.

All along this hike there is a wealth of Indian artifacts and dwellings. This rock shelter is one of the most interesting I've found.

There are a number of bedrock mortars here.

This one is quite deep.

There are also cupules which are generally more for ceremonial use than food preparation.

Another large bedrock mortar.

Under this overhang could have been a sleeping area. Just move a few rocks and bedtime.

Just around the corner is the kitchen area with lots of pitch from fires on the roof. I don't know how those ghosts appeared in this photo because I didn't see them and the picture before and after this one are clear. My wife thinks the image on the right looks like a lady holding a child.

This is the picture I took almost immediately following the ghost picture. There are no ghosts in this one so I guess they only hang out in the kitchen.

After leaving the rock shelter and the ghosts behind, we tromp up a steep and rocky hillside until we come to the rock house at Mad Women Spring.

A closer look at the backside of the cabin.

The inside of the cabin is a bit dusty but there are some tools left behind and it's obvious that someone's been up here since my last visit. They put a new roof on the thing.

There are also many provisions although it doesn't appear that any are particularly new.

Here's another view of the rock house with its shiny "new" roof. From reading the log book the roof is about ten years old but it still looks great.

The spring is just a drip but it's enough to ensure the water tub is full and clear. The tub is also "new". It may only be a couple of years old. Not many hikers come up here. The most recent entry in the log book is about two years old and several parties came in by helicopter.

I have plenty of water left in my water bottle but if I didn't there's an ample supply here.

Florian makes his way down Bullseye Rock as we head back after a successful adventure.

It sure will be nice to get back on flat ground.

This is a very interesting little place in the world and I hope to get back soon. Next time I'm going to wear long pants because my legs look like they were in a vat of cats. I can only imagine what else might be left to be discovered in this mysterious and seldom visited section of the San Jacinto Mountains.


Florian said...

I like that first pic of me heading down Bullseye Rock. I just set it as my computer wallpaper!

booktapeworm said...

Hal, I have to say that I had become addicted to your daily anecdotes and have been feverish the last week. Please hike/post more :)

Hal Summers said...

I plan on doing some hiking soon and am going to do some FAVORITE updates this week.

Michael Aaron Hansen said...

Wow! Great post and photos. You really took me there.

Joe said...

Your blog is very interesting...My husband also hikes every day ..well, almost ..I just found your blog and will share it with him ... actually he just started a blog himself ..I hope you will visit his blog ..I think you guys might have a lot in common.