Friday, March 12, 2010

Teutonia Peak Trail hike on March 9, 2010

As my loyal readers remember, I have been wanting to head up to the Mojave
National Preserve and the site of the BrightSource Ivanpah Solar project for
quite some time now. But the demands of work, the unreal rain we have been
getting in southern California, plus my lack of spending money had forced me
to cancel trips repeatedly.

Finally things came together and after attending an early morning meeting at
my workplace, I was finally able to hit the road! Off I went after going home and
packing up a bag and my daypack, too bad I didn’t plan better as I forgot my
Garmin gps among other things, I was on the road again finally.

Naturally by the time I made it to Barstow, I was famished, and of course I stopped
at the Flying J truckstop and made quick work of their world famous “Big Dog”. On
I went and I didn’t stop until I made it to the Cima Rd offramp of Interstate-15 where
I visited the world famous “Mojave Waterfall Urinal” and also purchased some “Cima
Mining Company” branded pretzels filled with peanut butter and a Vitamin Water
Tranquillo bottle(tateutonia peak hike-mnp 013ngerine+pineapple?)- yummy!
Also notice the chocolate gold coins for desert!

After leaving the store there, I drove east on Cima Rd toward my destination, Teutonia Peak. Along the way I
shot a couple of videos and then I stopped at an old corral which sits on the north side about 7 miles or so from
the store. The first thing I noticed after getting out of the Morongomobile was how cold and windy it was. I was
thankful that I remembered my gloves and a wool pull down cap for my balding pate.teutonia peak hike-mnp 018

After walking around a little, shooting photos and some video, I headed east again.

Continuing on I shot a couple more videos and finally arriving at the trailhead.
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After making sure I had everything and that the car was locked up, off I went, heading
uphill, toward the mountain. Along the way I took the time to shoot more videos and
photos, just taking my time, trying to hold down the shivering.
teutonia peak hike-mnp 028

There were some interesting rock formations along the way such as the one below:
teutonia peak hike-mnp 032

It seemed that there was something interesting no matter where I looked, but the main thing really
was how quiet,except for the wind, and peaceful it seemed. There is something to be said for
being able to look out over a vista and see nothing but nature’s handiwork.
teutonia peak hike-mnp 041

Anyway upward and onward I went passing interesting trees such as this one below:
teutonia peak hike-mnp 039

What a beautiful old juniper tree, I took a handful of the snow tasting it and thinking
I bet the coffee made with this snow would taste fantastic!

The Teutonia Peak trail is marked with signs, at first you share the trail with horses, so
you look out for road apples. After you reach the point where the trail crosses an old dirt
road, you are going up and it’s hikers only after that.

As I mentioned one of the videos I shot, I did not see another person on the trail and
only spotted a couple of cars heading down Cima Rd in the distance. Of course, as I
started the real work of hiking up the hill, all I could do was concentrate on where I was
placing my feet and not worrying about anything else. With no one else around, the last
thing I needed to do was break or twist an ankle, over a mile from the car and no cell
phone signal available!

You reach a point where the trail goes up, with some twists and turns, and at least an 8- 10%
grade it seems, and the steps at places are over a foot above the other. There is a very
interesting location where it seemed like a great place to hide out and wait for a stagecoach
to rob, a “robber’s roost” I think I called it in a video of it.

Also along the way up are some awesome views such as this one, looking toward Clark Mtn
in the distance:
teutonia peak hike-mnp 059

At long last, I finally made it as far as I could go and this was the view there, looking north
towards I-15:
teutonia peak hike-mnp 061

From here I walked over to the second big rock on the right side from the bottom, where I
looked out and shot a video, made a phone call to my younger brother, Robin, back in Alabama
and rested awhile looking out at the valley below and the canyon and Cima Dome behind me.
It was pretty windy and cold up top and once I thought it was going to start snowing, as there were
a few flakes falling and the sky did look pretty ominous.

After about a half hour on the top. it was time to gingerly make my way back down the mountain.
This should have been easier than coming up, but for the fact that my ingrown big toe nail on my
left foot chose that time to wake up. The tip of the sore nail kept hitting the inside top of the shoe
every step down until I finally figured out how to adjust my steps to avoid it. Whew!

The view going down was every bit as beautiful as going up, and I took my time on the return.
On the way down, after looking at the elapsed time, I decided to cancel plans to drive to Cima
and Nipton, but to walk over to Sunrise Rock and the Mojave cross, about an eighth of a mile and
across the road from my car. I also took time to note some interesting rock formations on the
way back including a balanced rock and animal lair which I video’d.

By the way, folks, all these video’s I’ve mentioned can be found at my youtube channel located
here:
http://www.youtube.com/morongobill

Here are a couple of other interesting sites I saw on this hike:
 teutonia peak hike-mnp 049

And this one:
teutonia peak hike-mnp 042

Finally I made it to my car , and after checking it over, I started walking over to Sunrise
Rock and the Mojave Desert Cross. I must confess to having visited the Cross before,
but never have I reacted to the sight of it as I did on this day. It brought tears to my eyes
and I felt like crying, just unbelievable that I reacted like that. After pulling myself together,
I filmed a little video of the area and during the video I said that I hoped the Cross would
be allowed to stay. As most of you know, it is a matter that is currently being decided by
the U.S.Supreme Court. I also said as far as I was concerned, other symbols of religious
faiths should be added if wanted by the people.

A little history, the Cross was put up after World War One ended to honor the memories
of the men who lost their lives over in Europe. At that time, there wasn’t so much controversey
over the separation of church and state,etc. It stayed there over 60 or 70 years without
any problems. However, once the preserve was established, somehow it ended up mired
in a lawsuit. I hope the court rules it can stay. I have always felt that was the right thing to do.
Those men gave up everything those long decades ago and for that reason alone, to honor
their sacrifice it should be uncovered and shown the light of day, freed from the plywood which
encases it at present.
teutonia peak hike-mnp 070

Sitting up on Sunrise Rock, I had time to ponder this and other things, and my normal worries
and fears blew away with the cold winds. It was truly a moment to cherish and remember.

But reality set in, I was getting colder and stiffer,and I trudged back to my car on heavy legs,
but with a lighter spirit and heart.

I decided to head back the way I came, saving the Cima visit for another time, and continued
on to Jean, Nevada and my hotel.

Well folks, I am sorry if I got too verbose, and I hope you will feel free to return for my field trip
report on the BrightSource Ivanpah site which I will start soon. And feel free to watch the videos
at my Youtube channel. And of course your comments are always welcomed here on
the back porch.

As always, vaya con dios, my friends.

Morongobill

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