ALL HIKERS

DAY 6: OLD BASS MINING CAMP TO LOWER SOUTH BASS

 

     After breakfast, I find a lot more artifacts than I originally saw yesterday.  Most interesting is the name of the stove imprinted on its side ("Mary").  The condition of these items is excellent considering it has been almost a century since Bass was here.

Old Stove
11-3-2011 @ 7:19
Skull on the stove
11-3-2011 @ 7:19
Shovel head
11-3-2011 @ 7:19
Frying pan
11-3-2011 @ 8:14
Galvanized bucket
11-3-2011 @ 8:59
Wire and posts
11-3-2011 @ 8:59

     The group decides to explore down the drainage a ways and see how far they can get.  They reach a large pool beneath a pour-off and start working on ways to cross it, so I decide to go back and explore that second mine I found.

Exploring down the drainage
11-3-2011 @ 7:46
A large pool obstacle
11-3-2011 @ 7:50

     The mine shaft only goes in about twenty feet.  However, I do find some interesting motor and carbide lamp parts near the entrance.  I'm still puzzled why the Park Service hasn't erected an entrance barricade here like they did on the other mine.  Maybe they feel the shallow depth of this mine does not support bat populations.  The barricade's main purpose is to keep humans away from the habitat of the bats.

Second mine
11-3-2011 @ 7:53
Engine part
11-3-2011 @ 7:53
Carbide lamp parts
11-3-2011 @ 7:53

     Some in the group explore up the drainage a ways.  When they return, we pack and start a steep climb up the hill next to camp.  There's some light scrambling and climbing on the way to the top.  After about a half-mile, we reach a flat spot and take a break.  I discover I left my sunglasses back at camp.  Bert and Mark volunteer to go back for them.  I explain to them that this is one of the reasons I buy the five dollar ones at Walmart and not to bother.  Even though I plead with them not to go back for the sunglasses, they strike out for the Bass camp.  We decide to go on, knowing they will catch us in short order.

Climbing out of Bass camp
11-3-2011 @ 9:38
Break on a flat spot
11-3-2011 @ 10:01

     We use a little dead reckoning, climb a small hill, and meet up with the Tonto Trail.  After that, it's easy walking.  Again, no blooming flowers today, but there are more desert plants.

Lichen
11-3-2011 @ 9:44
Soaptree Yucca
11-3-2011 @ 10:53
Black Brush
11-3-2011 @ 10:58

     Our first view of the River today reveals that it is flowing a dark brown color.  Since it hasn't rained anywhere near here in some time, we try to figure out what is causing the color change.  Bert and Mark catch up with us just before the trail splits, so we stop there for lunch.  Thanks to them I'm wearing my sunglasses again.

A brown Colorado River
11-3-2011 @ 11:50
Richard with sunglasses again
11-3-2011 @ 12:02

     After lunch, we take the left trail at the branch point, which begins to descend rapidly.  Just before reaching camp, we come to an odd tree-like cactus.

   
  An odd cactus tree
11-3-2011 @ 12:44
 

     Everybody puts their gear down and we hunt for water.  We find a big pool in some slick-rock, but the surface of the rock is much more slippery than it looks, so Bert uses a hand line to help him get down to the pool.  After filling all our water containers, we head back to camp.

Bert getting water
11-3-2011 @ 1:20
Bert getting water
11-3-2011 @ 1:26
Bert getting water
11-3-2011 @ 1:42

     Several in the group do a day hike down to the River.  There's some discussion about whether it will rain tonight, so Fred and I aren't the only ones to set up our tents.

Richard's tent
11-3-2011 @ 2:55
Fred's tent
11-3-2011 @ 2:55
Bert and Mark's tarp
11-3-2011 @ 4:29
Marcey's bivy
11-3-2011 @ 4:30
Leslie's tent
11-3-2011 @ 4:31

     Marcey brings out the Halloween lights and Jim arranges them on the rocks by the kitchen.

Marcey and Jim
11-3-2011 @ 2:58
Halloween lights
11-3-2011 @ 5:32

     Our plan for tomorrow is to hike up the South Bass Trail and make camp on the Esplanade.  Since that may be a dry camp, we are each carrying two quarts of community water in addition to our own personal water (and of course, our share of the community food and a piece of the two plastic cache buckets we cut up).    

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