Thursday, January 14, 2021

Broken Nose Alcove (Revisited)

My last hike to Broken Nose alcove was over 2 years ago (May 2018). My friend Mitch and I were talking about possible hiking locations, and we decided upon this spot. He was interested in seeing the arrastra that's in the area. When I mentioned the large alcove, that sealed the deal!

One of the first things we came across was what I like to call "hot dog rock". It looks like a giant hot dog bun to me! Look closely left of center and you will find something interesting. Lets take a closer look...

There's a deep hole in the rock with rusty cans and other trash inside. There used to be more. Back in the day, there was definitely a mining presence in this area, and my guess is that a miner or miners made camp nearby and decided to use this large hole in the rock as a convenient place to stash their trash!
 
Not far from Hot Dog Rock is this very interesting old shelter. It's most commonly referred to as the "Pinto Wye Hideout".


Someone has fortified this natural shelter with rock walls and a small cooking area. But who? And how long ago, and for what purpose? A logical guess would be miners, but it could have been someone more recently. Regardless, it's really interesting and fun to "discover" it!
 
Next up is the Pinto Wye arrastra. Somewhere I read that this is one of only two wagon wheel arrastras in the Western US, and this one is the best preserved. I took a picture of the information post next to the arrastra, which does a nice job explaining what it was used for.



Close up of the drag stone (used to crush the ore).

Not to far up the hill above the arrastra is a shallow mine. We simply MUST take a closer look!
 
Hello, Mitch! I ended up with lots of sand in my boots and pockets, and some cactus thorns in my pants, after climbing in and out of this steep mine. Anything for a photo, right??

As we follow a wash west, trying to make our way to the alcove, we come across this columnar rock. Not something I commonly see in Joshua Tree.
 
Ah, there it is. Do you see the broken nose? The alcove is on the opposite side and is a real challenge to access.
 
Getting ready to attempt my climb into the alcove.

Squeezing through the rocks on my way to the alcove.

Finally, you drop down this crack between these boulders to get into the alcove. It's pretty easy to drop down into the alcove. It's much more difficult to climb out again! I wasn't worried on this hike, since I had a partner. But on my first discovery of the alcove a couple years ago, I was hiking solo, and it was a little unnerving wondering if I would be able to climb back out. (Photo credit to M. Miller for the above three photos)
 



It's a large, spacious alcove. Perhaps one of the largest in the park. Like the Pinto Wye Hideout, it also has a small area for a fire, perhaps used to stay warm and to heat up a can of beans or a pot of coffee. Definitely not something miners built, as it's too much of a hassle to get in and out of on a regular basis. I was so intrigued with this alcove that I left a small "register" (coffee can with paper and pencil) to see if anyone ever visits this site. To my surprise, there was one person who signed my register! Just one person in the last 2 1/2 years. My only regret is, in my excitement, I forgot to take a picture of the sign in paper.

Mitch in his element

Not far from Broken Nose alcove is this nice shelter. As I approached it to to take some photos, I was surprised to find...
 
Two sticks propped up against the rock wall, just outside the shelter. Nature definitely didn't do this. These were placed here by a person. I remember reading about Native Americans placing "spirit sticks" outside their shelters, and many spirit sticks have been found during the early days exploring Joshua Tree for artifacts. It's much more likely that some hiker left these here as a joke or prank, but hey, you never know!
 
Looking back at Broken Nose alcove. There's nothing to give you size perspective in the photo, so you'll just have to trust me that it's very large!
 
Smile rock!
Like any great hike, you often see things that make you want to come back again. Somewhere past "smile rock", I noticed what looked like a cave opening. Impossible to tell if it's truly a cave, or just a shallow alcove, without making a challenging hike to check it out. And unfortunately, we are just about out of daylight. So you will have to wait for "Part II" of this post to check out the cave (or whatever it is!) after I make a return hike.
 
As we start our hike back, we are given a huge bonus: A full moon, which was just starting to rise as we got within about 1/2 mile from the car!
A helicopter heading north over the full moon. It's likely heading to the Marine Base just north of 29 Palms.
 




Thanks for stopping by.
Stay safe and stay healthy!!
Linking with Skywatch Friday.

51 comments:

  1. ...what a beautiful place and then to find these clues of human activities is intriguing. Thanks for taking me on yet another journey, I couldn't do it without you!

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  2. you always take us to fascinating areas in the desert - love the wagon wheel area

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  3. Another great journey and some great finds. I love that arrastra. I had never heard of such a thing. What a lot of work that would be. Hauling all that stuff in, including and engine and fuel along with the mercury. I bet a lot of mercury got spilled. It can contaminate everything.


    Early in my career we used mercury in the instruments used to measure natural gas. We thought it was cool stuff, put it in your hand and swirl it around. Now days you would fill out paperwork for a week. Very deadly stuff. We used benzene to. Washed our hands with it.

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  4. Wow! This post is awesome ~ fantastic photos and intriguing history ~ thanks ~ be safe ~ be well ~

    Moment by moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  5. "Pinto Wye Hideout" is nice one. I can see some outlaw from Old Wild West sheltering there while running away from Law.

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  6. A wonderful and interesting hike again. Looking at all the fantastic photos you make, my view on deserts has changed considerably in the recent years.

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  7. Very very cool. I am impressed by the wagon wheel arrastra and by you skinnying down down down. Yes a bit scary when alone. I love the names you give everything. An interesting mind you have. The full moon indeed is a bonus. Thanks for the travelogue.
    Take care be safe
    MB

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  8. These were your usual marvelous, and the moon for dessert! actually glad to see you hiking with a buddy. I worry about you.

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  9. Beautiful photos and interesting story! Happy sky watching!

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  10. Interesting info about the arrastra.
    Wow, you really climbed down there - great photo! Aren´t you ever scared you might get stuck? Beautiful sight to the outside. Wow, what a moon.
    Beautiful pics, thank you for sharing the hike.

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  11. What a fascinating place to explore - thanks for sharing it with us :)

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  12. This is a wonderful post! I really enjoyed it!

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  13. Absolutely fabulous what a brilliant hike and finished with some awesome shots of the moon.

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  14. Fantastic read and great picture as well. The composites are too good

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  15. Hello,

    Another great hike, it is an adventure climbing into those small spaces and climbing up the rocks. I was happy to go along virtually, the easy way. The sky/moon photos are gorgeous. Take care, have a happy day and weekend!

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  16. Already get a little stuffy just looking at it but the pictures are incredible as always. The risk some photographers take for their shot but it delivers for sure.

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  17. Thanks for this fabulous hike. Those old rusty cans got my imagination going, wondering who had stayed there, for how long and what happened. I also thought about the nights in the park, it must be far enough away from lights to have marvelous night skies full of stars.

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  18. Seeing how beautiful the photos are I can't even imagine what it must be like to see in person! The moon shots are amazing!

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  19. It's amazing that only one person signed your register in two and a half years. Incredible photos and the ending couldn't be any better, a full moon. Thanks for sharing your adventure, have a great week and stay safe.

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  20. You find the greatest stuff. I had no idea what an arrastra was.

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  21. Now I know about arrastra. That was, dare I say this, awesome? I loved the next to last picture - the bird made it. Thank you again for doing the hard work so I can sit on my sofa and read it.

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  22. Sabes bien elegir los lugares para caminar. Las fotografías son espectaculares y tan sólo por hacer ese gran reportaje, merece la pena pasear por él.

    Me han encantado los paisajes y los buenos encuadres que has logrado.

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  23. You outdid yourself with the photos this week! Gorgeous. The two sticks look like crutches waiting for some hiker to need them.

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  24. Greetings and Salutations! I really enjoyed going on this adventure with you and your friend. Hot Dog rock how funny! Since my last name is Meyer where is the mustard, celery salt, tomatoes and pickle relish. That's what a Chicago Hot Dog consists of ... Couldn't resist! Amazing that you found rusty cans and two sticks propped against a rock wall verifing people had been there before. Be safe.

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  25. A fascinating study of history of the place and the rocks. Beautifully captured in pictures and words.

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  26. Every photo is lovely and I never get tired of seeing them.

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  27. You learn something every day - I did not know about arrastras before this post ... thanks for the education and the always-glorious photos!

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  28. Oh my gosh SPP the discoveries you make each visit are amazing to see. I take my hat off to you, I could never climb into all those spaces that you do, I get claustrophobic just thinking about it, but I'm very happy that we get to see and marvel in your adventures 💛

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  29. Your shots are amazing, as usual.
    I like the evening ones with the playful moon. ;)
    Happy weekend!

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  30. So beautiful! Love Smile rock and Hot Dog rock!

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  31. That looks like a lot of fun! I would love to do some exploring out there. The scenery and rock formations are fantastic. Beautiful moon photos! Having other elements in the photo makes the moon much more interesting.

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  32. The helicopter over the moon is a keeper! I probably wouldn't have climbed in and out that steep cave for a photo ... maybe for food or water? You left your backpack, and squeezed yourself through that narrow spot - my fear would have been"what if I can't back out of there?" can see you're a big risk taker!

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  33. Beautiful photos, what a nice place for a hike. I love the wagon wheel and moon shots!

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  34. I'm so glad I found your blog. Such a different type of place in so many ways from where I live, and your photos are stunning.

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  35. so many interesting finds and mysteries behind.

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  36. That was amazing —. heart pounding even just reading and looking about it (if you are even slightly claustrophobic) because of the squeeze between the rocks and that hard hike out, even if this time you had a partner in crime. Just beautiful scenes and I love the historical mysteries you discover.

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  37. hi peter . we met a few years ago . 15 minutes of fame .i was the one that signed the log book on 12-29-2018 . i wondered if you had been back to check the log book . Terry

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    1. Hi Terry. I remember you! Diamond solstice picto site, right? I saw your email and am totally thrilled. As far as I know, it's just you and I who have climbed into this alcove. Well, at least recently. Someone built that little fireplace area, but that might have been a very long time ago. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and hope to see you in the park again sometime!

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  38. So many great finds and interesting surprises from your hike. Amazing rock formation and beautiful full moon shots.

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  39. Yes, that rock does look like a hot dog, Peter, and so does the broken nose. Interesting to find the discarded cans and the camp site, plus the possible spirit sticks. I wonder if you and Mitch often or ever encounter other hikers on your outings? And, it was fascinating to read about the wagon wheel as well. The bonus shots of a full moon were a great way to end the hike.

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  40. What a clever machine that Arrastra is! It always amazes me how industrious miners were in trying different techniques to squeeze out all the natural minerals they could from a site. You are very brave to crawl into all those caves and tight spots. I would also be curious as to what is inside but probably too cautious to try to explore them. How nice someone signed your log book, which I'm sure was exciting for you.

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  41. What A Fascinating Adventure - So Dig These Images - And That Wheel Contraption Is Rather Brilliant - Stoked You Crawled And Roamed Around And Pretty Cool To Be Treated To Old Mr Moon Rising - All The Best To You And Your Tribe - Take Care Spare Parts

    Cheers

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  42. Wow, the photos are incredible ... Super, especially the moon! I envy you, you could see everything with your own eyes!

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  43. What an exciting and interesting (and hazardous) walk. The skyscapes are amazing. I am surprised and gratified that the wagon wheel ore grinder and the artifacts have stood the test of time. I suppose that if they were more accessible they would have suffered from pillaging and graffiti.

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