Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Road Less Traveled

I love exploring seldom seen and rarely traveled areas. I also enjoy photographing and sharing the details about these amazing areas on my blog. It's quite a conundrum. By sharing details of these places, they potentially become more popular, and they lose part of the allure that made them so special in the first place! But I digress...

A little over a year ago I hiked up a wash that I suspect very few people hike. I chose it for this reason, thinking who knows what I might find? Also, after studying Google Earth, the area looked like it might have some interesting rock formations. Turns out, I was right on both accounts (interesting finds and cool rock formations). The most memorable rock formation was a large alcove (I call it Lookout Alcove because of it's commanding 360-degree views). I was so impressed by it, I went back a week or two later after discovering it to leave a sign-in register inside the alcove. I was very curious to see if anyone ever visits this spot.

So a couple weeks ago I decided it was time to revisit the area... check the register for names, look for footprints and other signs of visitors. My first stop was an old bench, lantern and other artifacts I had discovered a year or so ago in an overgrown and secluded side wash. The cats-claw bushes made it hard to even get into the area. Here's the old table and lantern I found in early 2018.

When I revisited in May 2019, the lantern and old crate had blown off the table. But otherwise, things looked exactly the same. No footprints. Absolutely no sign of visitors. Placing the lantern on the old table, here's what it looks like now.
Perhaps a little worse for wear, but still intact! I was encouraged that the old lantern and other artifacts were still here and the area had likely had no visitors in over a year. So, let's continue on to Lookout Alcove. We will make a few side-trips and take lots of photos along the way!






Lots of small arches in this area.


Lots of birds and giant monster lizards to be seen.

My first rattlesnake of the season, too. I took a moment to thank the rattlesnake Gods for the nice loud warning rattle. He took off rather quickly into the bushes, and I wasn't quick enough with the camera to get a good shot.




And, of course, many alcoves to be explored. Does anyone else see a dog's head?

But the granddaddy of alcoves is Lookout Alcove. Hard to get perspective in these photos, but take my word for it that it's a large, roomy alcove with incredible views!


The good news? The sign-in register was exactly where I had left it over a year ago. The bad news? Critters had totally chewed off the plastic top of the container and a bit of the paper.

But the paper was still (more or less) intact and the pencil was still in the container. A visitor could easily see this was a register and could have signed in (had there been any visitors). But the registry was empty except for my own entry (4/14/2018). I strongly suspect Lookout Alcove has had no (human) visitors in the last year, and who knows how many years before that, other than my own visits??

So, back to my conundrum about liking to share photos and details about amazing spots like this, yet thoroughly enjoying desert solitude and the fact that not only will I not see another human being all day, I won't even see footprints! Hmmm... I think I'll keep the location private 😉. But if you happen to be driving along a remote stretch of desert highway and you notice rocky peaks on the distant horizon like those below, you might be getting warm. Then again, perhaps not.
Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Thanks for stopping by!!

47 comments:

  1. Oh that last photo was truly the Bomb! I was scrolling down all the rock formations and the flora and fauna and it was hard to choose a favorite and then the skywatch photo came! Wow! I really wanna go there someday!

    Stevenson

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  2. It seems like you may be the only person to ever set food there or view the beauty of it. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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  3. There you go your place is still secret. may be most people who read your blog find it a place that is not one toacess. Some great photo's especally the critters

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  4. Yep, best to keep places like that to yourself. Nice idea for the register though.

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  5. I think you only have to worry if your posts go viral. More than likely, only your regular followers will see this, and how many of us will actually go hiking out there?

    I thought it looked less like a dog and more like... a turtle? a muppet? Something not quite a dog, anyway, but I did see a head.

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  6. I always love taking a hike with you. Today's photos are all beautiful but that b/w of Lookout Cove took my breath!

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  7. So beautiful. I have seen something like this on a recent road trip to Utah's Big 5.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  8. That looks like an amazing place to hike.

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  9. Wow! Beautiful shots and I love the skies. Your enthusiasm is umatched

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  10. That is all pretty cool. To be able to find a place that others have not yet visited.I like the idea of not revealing the exact location.

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  11. I like the lizard and bird. You should do more animals. Great shots.

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  12. Wonderful pictures from a very beautiful landscape

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  13. All of these people are right! Super pix. And one of those looks like Jabba the Hutt.

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  14. Stunning again as always. Keep them coming.

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  15. An excellent blog post in all directions. ;)

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  16. Hello, I am really surprised that there were no other visitors. It is nice you have the place to yourself. The rock formations are cool, I live the arches. Cute lizard and a pretty sparrow. I say yes for the dog's head. Great series of photos. Enjoy your day, have a happy weekend!

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  17. Wonderful phpotos of a great hike again. The skies are not very interesting but that is greatly compensated by the rock formations and alcoves.
    Must be quite scary to encounter a rattle snake ...
    Anyway, thanks and have a wonderful weekend.

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  18. Great photos and great place to visit! habe a good weekend! Catherine

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  19. Fantastic landscape and greats photos... and yes, I see the dog :-)

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  20. I think you have the right idea not giving too much away SPP, would be sad to think of this pristine area being overrun. The rock rormations are almost prehistoric looking, fabulous 💜

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  21. A truly amazing landscape. It is not hard to see why you enjoy it so much.

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  22. Thanks for taking me along on this wilderness walk. I love seeing new places through someone else's eyes!

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  23. Stunning photos! And how fortunate the rattlesnake took off. Amazing to find places like that, with no human presence except your own. Thanks for sharing the experience.

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  24. These are amazing photos. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. Stunning photos and landscape. I saw the dog head too.

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  26. I was thinking “turtle head”! Interesting that your posts didn’t inspire any other visitors but encouraging in a way, too. I too hesitate sometimes to post photos, especially of abandoned buildings because i am afraid people who take souvenirs and cause damage will then seek them out. If i post on Facebook almost always someone wants to know an exact location and then they post their photos of “my” finds if i answer. What to do, what to do! Anyway, there are some really nice arches on your hike and i’m glad you shared.

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  27. Not only do I see the dog's head, I see animals in many of your rock photos. Lovely shots :)

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  28. Beautiful rock formations and yes, I can see the one that looks like a dog head and others too. The view is beautiful and oh, do please be careful of the rattlesnakes. Looks like the place is well protected from other visitors.

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  29. Beautiful! Next time, carry in a metal can for the register. Some critters have been eating plastic; not a great diet! Although the paper would be fine.
    I love your bird photo!

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  30. Very cool, that you did this (I would never be so brave/adventurous)that you left this registry, and that no one signed it.

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  31. Tin can would work but not one with a plastic top. Or a glass jar with a metal top might work. No one signed it! Good, then your place is void of tourists!!!!!!! Always look forward to seeing your top notch photographs posted on SkyWatch. Explore. Repeat. Explore.

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  32. What a beautiful area. Love all the big and little alcoves and yes I also see a dog head maybe body too.
    MB

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  33. You always share the most fascinating pictures.

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  34. I thank you for bringing us along on your travels and sharing the wonders of nature with us (that bird photo - WOW). I never would have realized that wildlife would eat plastic although I've had mice chew holes in plastic containers we were storing food in, thinking it was rodent proofed. So, I share your relief that no one signed the register for what you thought was a secret place. May it stay secret for years to come.

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  35. I think it was a dinosaur face. (Just sayin')

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  36. Imagine the silence of this place.
    I'm sure you can hear a rattlesnake, despite the
    fear of these snakes I like to enjoy the
    beauty of this reptile. There is a lot of Coral here.
    I find the desert fantastic with its rock formations
    wonderful
    Your photos were beautiful.
    Continuação de boa semana.

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  37. I understand the dilemma. It's a rare hike that we go on that we don't encounter humans along the way. At least people are like-minded and are taking care to "leave no trace". It was nice to see some animal life in this post, although I could have done without the snake. Perhaps no surprise that I see a snake head in the rock formation, not a dog head! Thanks for sharing these photos with us since it would seem no one will be there in person for some time to come!

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  38. This has been one of my favorite posts that you have written and I just realized I didn't comment! To think of going somewhere so remote...I love it! Well I love everything except the snake! lol Now where exactly is this? I can keep a secret...really I can! lol

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  39. Increible la naturareza siempre sorprendiéndonos. Esas rocas son impresionantes. La imagen 15 parece un rostro.
    Un magnífico reportaje.
    Un abrazo.

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  40. My second read. Absolutely wonderful shots. Sweet detail.
    Sherry & jack, saying thanks for stopping by the Shipslog.

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