Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ride 15 - Lime Kiln Cactus

Seeing an old standard ride through the eyes of a new friend makes it a new ride for all. Lime Kiln Canyon is one of our favorite rides - especially since we "bonded" with the fish.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 15 - Lime Kiln Canyon]

But someone new called and wanted to know where there was a good afternoon ride - so "we takes him." The thing is, that seeing it again this time helped me notice cactus that we never noticed before. We trailer'd to the White Rock Road trailhead (where it splits with Cabin Canyon Road) and headed our rigs Southeast to the mountains.

Too often . . . I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.”
Louis L’Amour

There are several clumps of Pencil Cholla near the mouth of the canyon that had previously gone un-noticed. And there are quite a few more Grizzly Bear Pricklypear plants in the canyon than I had seen before. Both of these are fairly rare around this area.

We had discovered a couple of isolated plants of the "Pencil" (Cylindropuntia ramosissima) on the trail through the flats down from Middle Canyon. But here, there are many more specimens - and larger.

Additionally, I had noticed a few plants of "Grizzly" (Opuntia erinacea aka Grizzlybear P. aka Mojave P.) near the top of the canyon before; but, this ride brought out many more along the canyon trail. There were even several examples of both "regular" pricklypear and "Grizzly" growing near each other for comparison.

Not only that, we have seen "Utah Agave" plants on the Whitney Parashant side of the mountain before, at Red Pocket Tanks; but, today we saw an entire side of the canyon plush with the 5 - 8 foot, spent, flower-spikes rising through the pinyon's and cedar's. Talk about being blind... where did they come from?

The vista at the top was grand, as usual, and the ride down to the mine enjoyable through the red and yellow rocks. We had a break, then retraced our route back through the canyon.

We did, however, cut across the flats going back. Over to the Cabin Canyon road, and took that route back down to the trailer. After all, "we hates to do the same thing twice."


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