Neither of us had seen most of what our good friend Coy showed us on Wednesday! The exception was Castle Rock where as teenagers we spent many a Friday or Saturday night partying with our crazy friends. It is a beautiful spot that I know we never appreciated enough back then.
|Caves and arches make up much of Castle Rock|
Coy tells us he has seen herds of mule deer in the area. All our years out here, we never even saw signs of them. Now we notice droppings and tracks all day. He explains there are several water sources further up the mountain.
|Followed by large cat tracks|
|Bill pointed out the heart in the rock|
Apparently at the same time we kids were partying at Castle Rock there were at least two small "communities" in the nearby hills.
The first is the remains of a small hippie commune where a tiered garden with rock stairs and a sitting area were built along the deep creek bed. Large pieces of shiny quartz remain at the site.
|Large tiered garden|
We don't see the road so "find" our way through the rock and sand, adding some more desert pinstriping to the Jeep, appreciating the trail-rating in several spots.
Just before we reach our destination, we join the road :-)
|"Hidden" at the top of a large boulder. We knew the family, but not Roi|
|One of many wonders at this stop|
|Spotted pumpkin rock|
|More signs of humans. Shade made for bad photos of the stove and bed springs "inside".|
|Complete with plumbing|
|Coy and Tessa|
|The water tank is about four foot deep and twenty yards long, solidly constructed|
Parts of the trail still have concrete sections, but most of it is loose rock, narrow in places. When we round the final bend and see the 20 foot tall "Mustard Seed Dam" built of large rocks, and the large concrete slabs to the other side of it, we wonder how they hauled everything up there - and who stacked all those heavy rocks that high? Perhaps divine intervention? Likely mules. I'm also impressed with the paint that has lasted at least 38 years on these dark rocks exposed to the harshness of the desert!
|The path to "Zion"|
|Mustard Seed Dam|
|I love these guardian stones along the trail|
|Not sure what it's waiting for|
|Until I see the other side. Okay, sorry......|
We had such a great time hiking just under four miles, back in our desert, enjoying these new discoveries with our good friend. Many thanks Coy.