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4 Day Backpack in Rockhouse Canyon / Dawns Peak Messages in this topic - RSS

dsefcik
dsefcik
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3/28/2013
dsefcik
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I love the desert....not much more I can say, I just feel at home when I am there. I have been to the South American rain forests, the Western Sierras, the Mexican Tropicals, the European Mediterranean, etc...Nothing makes me feel at peace like the desert. It is alive with so many insects, plants and wildlife it is just amazing. My most recent trip to Rockhouse Canyon and the Santa Rosa mountains showed me an amazing amount of plant and wildlife that exists in extreme conditions. Sometimes you have to concentrate and look real close to find it. Desert life can be small...very small, but abundant. All of these insects have a symbiotic existence with the rest of the desert life, destruction of one has a domino effect for all the rest of them.

Now that Spring is here the plant and wildlife is coming alive, take a look..close down, it is there...





Can you see the small insects in this close up photo of a flower that is about as big as your fingernail?


No idea what this spider type insect is but there were hundreds of them near the water in upper Nicholas Canyon and it was hard to get a picture of them as they moved very quickly


I have to say I have never seen moths or butterflies feeding on scat before but this trip showed me that flies, moths and others all enjoy a good fresh crap for nutrition


A beetle enjoys the pollen of a Beaver tail Cactus


Craig and I headed out Friday after work in the dark and hiked close to 5 miles into Mojave Valley via Rockhouse Canyon to get to the base of Dawns Peak. This would be my third ascent of Dawns in a month, she was my buddy by now...I found a Geocache in the morning looking for a place to take care of morning business....




Following Craig up to Dawns Peak, no easy task with heavy packs on. This climb gains almost 3,000' in less than 1.5 miles.


This is looking towards peak 6300 and Toro in the distance


I brought my 7 ounce titanium loppers and crushed our way thru the brush...haha...


Looking back at Dawns Peak from peak 6300


Peak 6300 Register




Reminds me of pineapple


We found the old Indian trail down into Rockhouse Canyon. It was steep and somewhat difficult to descend especially at the end of a long day


We made camp the second night at what we think was an old ranchers camp. It had a great view of the valley and lots of birds since it was close to a seep


The micro life of plants and animals is amazing, here are some photos of the small (and a few larger) plants and cacti that live in the desert, to me they are amazing










































Along the old indian trail I found some pottery, maybe a pot drop


Yours truly at the old Santa Rosa Village Ruins


This is the seep above the ruins, it had good water this time


Over in Nicholas Canyon you can find some remains of a mining operation, here is an old and deep shaft that remains uncovered


Nice view of the upper Cottonwoods with Dawns and Rabbit Peak in distance


Nicholas Canyon Spring...please do not leave the bucket under the water, it will fill with silt and mud, leave it cleaned and upside down under the small alcove nearby...thanks!


View of one of the old indian trails across the valley


I tucked my head inside a small shelter to see if there was any rock art but only found this 3' snake...!!


This was a great trip, 4 days wandering Rockhouse Canyon, the ridges above and the valley below. I will definitely be going back.

Total Mylar Balloons - 7 (not all pictured)


http://www.sefcik.com/2013/03/i-love-desert.html
edited by dsefcik on 4/5/2013

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ziphius
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3/28/2013
ziphius
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Looks great and peaceful Daren. I agree, having been in nearly all habitats except polar regions, I'd take the desert over any of them. Dawn's Peak 3x in a month...I thought I was tough doing El Cajon Mtn 4x in one month.....I change my mind.... I don't want to hike with you. smile Are these all with the new camera? I wonder if the butterflies were getting moisture from the scat? Did the tenaja at Jef's cache contain water? Those fishhook cactus fruits look awesome. - Jim

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dsefcik
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3/28/2013
dsefcik
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Ranger Steve was kind enough to identify the spider for me as a female wolf spider. The large white ball is carrying her babies which will come out in a few days and stay on her back.



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dsefcik
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3/28/2013
dsefcik
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Can't recall seeing any standing water near the cache. All the photos are from the S100. It seems to do fine in sunlight and up close but it cannot do night or star shots and the battery life is horrible...oh yeah, the digital zoom is not so great either. I will probably go back to my DSLR. I would not discount El Cajon Peak 4x in a month as easy...especially if you do it in July.

Jim (ziphius) wrote:
Looks great and peaceful Daren. I agree, having been in nearly all habitats except polar regions, I'd take the desert over any of them. Dawn's Peak 3x in a month...I thought I was tough doing El Cajon Mtn 4x in one month.....I change my mind.... I don't want to hike with you. smile Are these all with the new camera? I wonder if the butterflies were getting moisture from the scat? Did the tenaja at Jef's cache contain water? Those fishhook cactus fruits look awesome. - Jim


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rockhopper
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3/28/2013
rockhopper
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Good show! Dawns peak 3x in a season must be some kind of record. I would love to see the expression of the
remote hiker reading the register lol! Props for bringing the clippers. I used to bring a small folding saw when I used to hike off the PCT down to the ridge lines to explore. Great photos! Thanks for sharing!
edited by rockhopper on 1/19/2014
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mrkmc
mrkmc
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3/28/2013
mrkmc
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Great pics! I love the butterfly's eating crap picture, buterflys and regular flys, enjoying a meal together. smile How was the pack weight since you brought the s100?
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anutami
anutami
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3/28/2013
anutami
anutami
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Awesome! On the peak 6300 register signed is that eddie van halen of LA ? Did he leave any guitar picks in the can? smilegreat photos!
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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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3/28/2013
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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Nice pics Daren. Looks like another great trip. Can I be jealous? I need to get out to ABDSP. Just got back from second weekend in a row in the Sierra with a side trip to the Eureka Sand Dunes.
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tommy750
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3/28/2013
tommy750
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Another great trip, Daren. That Wolf Spider is amazing. Seems like nothing gets by you! Tom
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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3/29/2013
dsefcik
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mrkmc wrote:
Great pics! I love the butterfly's eating crap picture, buterflys and regular flys, enjoying a meal together. smile How was the pack weight since you brought the s100?
Probably closer to 40# but I made serious efforts to get the weight down, I still have a few more things to change out and should get even lower.

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surfponto
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3/30/2013
surfponto
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Awesome pictures Daren! The closeup pics of the cactus spines are great
Looks like you have the S100 figured out.


I also noticed you hit over 1000 posts. I feel like you should get some sort of prize smile

Bob

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dsefcik
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4/1/2013
dsefcik
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surfponto wrote:
Awesome pictures Daren! The closeup pics of the cactus spines are great
Looks like you have the S100 figured out.
Thanks...I am still not totally sold on the S100, I will probably go back to my DSLR.

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waning moon
waning moon
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4/1/2013
waning moon
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As usual beautiful trip and photos, I took some flower photos this weekend and also caught insects enjoying their bloom as much as I.
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anutami
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4/10/2013
anutami
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I thought of you when I flew in from salt lake this afternoon


edited by anutami on 4/10/2013
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dsefcik
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4/10/2013
dsefcik
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Way cool photo Nolan...thanks!
Here is a Google Earth image that I tried to make look like your airplane photo with my GPS tracks for perspective.



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DHeuschele
DHeuschele
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1/18/2014
DHeuschele
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rockhopper wrote:
Good show! Dawns peak 3x in a season must be some kind of record.


A few years ago I did Dawns twice in a season and I speculated that no one had done it more in a season. I think it is very unlikely someone has done it more than 3 times in a season.
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dsefcik
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1/19/2014
dsefcik
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DHeuschele wrote:
rockhopper wrote:
Good show! Dawns peak 3x in a season must be some kind of record.


A few years ago I did Dawns twice in a season and I speculated that no one had done it more in a season. I think it is very unlikely someone has done it more than 3 times in a season.
Hummm..never thought about it like that...Dawns is one of my favorites for sure...thanks!

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DHeuschele
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1/27/2014
DHeuschele
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Where did you get the 7 oz titanium loppers? Thank
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/27/2014
dsefcik
dsefcik
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DHeuschele wrote:
Where did you get the 7 oz titanium loppers? Thank
Home Depot..$20 I think..work great, I use them at home also and you can re-sharpen with a sharping stone.

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