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Big Bend Day Five Chimney Petroglyphs


Nights are still cool as are the mornings; our coffee supply is running low and I wanted something to cover my ears against the chill winds blowing off the mesas. Cottonwood features a large selection of all sorts of grocery items and other necessities—-including bandannas and hats. I bought a bright green one to wear over my poor little ears.

Our day’s goal was to hike Chimneys. This is a landmark known for many years and used as a shelter for herders and has some pictographs on the walls. The hike was downhill all the way except for the final hundred yards or so up to the Chimney formation itself. That meant it was mostly uphill on return. We met a large group of hikers, and then two couples, and a family with three children. The landscape is desert filled with prickly things.

Red fruiting bodies were on a particularly thorny bush ….Christmas cactus…

and I discovered a small clump of bright yellow flowers. I propped up my camera on some rocks to take photos of it—I did not have a common object to lay beside it to indicate scale—but the entire clump would fit into the palm of my hand.

We had decided to go to StarLight for our evening meal—and our lunch would have been around 2—too late to really enjoy our meal—we snacked on a banana and a handful of trail mix.

Tuff Canyon seemed like a good choice for an easy trek but we were surprised to find one way traffic for a long distance down the Ross Maxwell Drive. A road crew was spreading tar over cracks in the pavement. Parking in the furthest south part of the pull-off as directed by the pylon placer man, we walked along the overlooks; took photos of our shadows on the wall below and decided to skip walking along the canyon floor Both of us had tired feet and legs.

Heading back to our cabin for a bit of rest before going to dinner, we filled with diesel ready for tomorrow’s adventures.

Steps yesterday was 19,833; today’s 15,902. Not bad for two older people.

Dinner at the StarLight featured fried brussels sprouts and salmon followed by a chocolate bourbon pecan pie—it was fabulous.

Tomorrow—Lost Mine Trail and Ernst Tenaja or maybe Pine Canyon

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