Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Hike 2015.022 -- Vasquez Rocks
Somewhat astonishingly, it's been over five years since my last blogged visit to Vasquez Rocks. I phrase it that way because I'm thinking I must surely have come here with my wife the one time, though I'm not sure if it was before or after my hiking visit. I definitely didn't hike blog it then, so my last digital evidence of a visit was back in March 2010.
This year, it was only my 22nd, despite being about three weeks later on the calendar.
"Semi-lost" means I didn't know the shortest way back to my car, but I knew I could get back to my original trail if I wanted to. But I didn't want to backtrack and I hoped to find a more direct way back.
Along the way, I passed a fair amount of wildflowers. Goldfields carpeted a few areas near the famous rocks. Spent goldfields were also common.
The yellow mariposa poppy was just at a few spots, and the morning glory were also somewhat isolated. Lupine were still coming in.
It was a fair wildflower exhibit, though probably not as nice as it might have been the week before.
And, in fact, "the week before" was part of why I was here, this week. As I headed towards the Antelope Valley California Poppy State Natural Reserve, I had noticed several spots of impressive color in the hills south of the freeway, near Vasquez Rocks.
Yet, because of the "famous rocks," a visit to Vasquez Rocks is always scenic, regardless of any wildflower bonus.
So, on my return leg, rather than completely retracing my steps, I decided I'd loop a bit further to the west, following a well-defined trail, that later split.
So, instead, I walked on a ridge, with a ravine separating me from the route I had taken out. And I began to worry that I might get "stranded, and have to backtrack.
Soon, I could no longer be sure if I was on an actual trail or a use trail.
Then I passed a rusted sign saying entry was prohibited, as this was a wildlife refuge.
However, the sign was well-rusted, and many footprints had clearly preceded my arrival. I concluded this must be an obsolete sign, and continued trying to find my way back to my car.
The last shot I took before I packed the camera away and focused on getting back is the last picture in this post. It was of an impressive mountain that overlooks Agua Dulce. I was on one of those ridges, before the drop, and before I was worried about finding my car without a time-consuming backtrack