Trek Date August 3, 2015
There's a lot of stuff going on in the general area around the Desert Queen Mine. If you park at the small parking area/trailhead for the DQ Mine and Pine City, you've got gold mines, stone building ruins, washes, vanished cities, dams, debris, sparkly rocks, amazing vistas and many signs of the local Indians who once passed through this area during their seasonal migrations. And all within a couple miles hiking distance. It's like a nexus of amazement.
This day's trip wouldn't be too intense, as it was August, it was 1:30 in the afternoon and the temps were soaring. I parked Tacoma Red at the trailhead and gathered up a lot of water and a few snacks, and set out to find some petroglyphs that I'd heard were in the area. It wasn't long before I was hiking through some amazingly beautiful scenery. The recent summer rains had turned almost everything green. Even the dead plants looked somewhat less dead.
Some of the sights I saw while wandering about in the blazing sun, singing the Sons of the Pioneers song, "Cool Water." I may have been delirious.
One of the most important things to remember while hiking out at JT, at any time of year but most especially during the summer, be prepared. Wear proper clothing, take double the water you think you're going to need, bring along snacks and always know where you're going and where you parked your car. If that means taking along a map and compass, a gps (with extra batteries), do whatever you need to do to find your way back to your vehicle. It's just too easy to get turned around and lost. That's my tip of the day.
The first petroglyph find of the day. I've no idea what it might have meant to whoever created it, but for me it's the finding of them more than the understanding of them that makes me happy.
This rock was laced with sparkly stuff that glinted in the sun.
All in all, I found three small panels of petroglyphs, but I have a hunch there are others in the area. It's a spot to return to when it's a bit cooler.
Shade was plentiful, as there were a number of large pinyon pines along the way.
This might be my favorite photo of the day.
Something that this trip reiterated to me was the plain fact that there are many amazing spots in JT within a short hike's distance from where you can park your vehicle. Spend a day exploring, away from the heavily visited sites in the park. You can't lose. It's always an adventure to go out and see what you can find. I do it all the time :-)
Thanks to fellow JT photographer and explorer Robert Miramontes for pointing me in this direction.
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