Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ride 24B - The BLM and Petroglyph Trail

I needed to delay writing about the "second part" of this trail only partially because of the logical split in content. Another large part was in order to calm down enough to be coherent — for the BLMs misguided, heavy handed closures "stirs my soul." [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 24B - Petroglyph Trail]

As we have spoken about before, the mis-guided mayor of Mesquite joined forces with the fiends of gold butte in order to manipulate the odds of her proposed land-swap for airport reasons.

No matter that it would disenfanchise a significant majority of her citizens from enjoying the land that they bought houses in the area to see — you see "wilderness" type areas are prohibited areas to anyone who can't hike miles — like seniors.

Once the fiends get involved, however, the ball doesn't stop so easy — witness their paid lobbyists relationship with the decision makers of the BLM.

Even though the "land-swap" was defeated, the BLM contracted with a bunch of "institute" kids to descend upon the area this summer and closed access to most seniors from every petroglyph and rock formation in the area.

We've already reported on the closures in the middle Gold Butte area. We trailer'd to Whitney-Junction to ride the Petroglyph Trail and see what they've done there.

First Rock: This one site is pretty much the same as last year. The trail runs within walking distance and there is ample parking for a quick walk to the glyphs. There are "motor vehicles prohibited" all around the rock, but they were there last year.

Amazingly, I'm sure to the fiends, the glyphs are also the same as last year, no defacement, no damage, no harm — in spite of the fact that they are the most visited and most accessable of all the sites. Sort of removes credibility from their arguement about how us "nasty offroaders" are "destroying the desert."

Falling Man: One and a half miles down the trail is a new blockaid across the trail to Falling Man which is supposed to serve as a hiking trailhead. The lunacy begins here.

Over the years, in their infinite wisdom, they have moved the "parking lot" a little farther back several times. Each time a new parking lot forms such that now there are several and we are now starting a completely new one.

Now lets talk about the new quarter-mile hike they want us to do to get to the glyphs. Where do we do it? Not on the previous trail! The institute kids have thrown all the desert debri the could find onto it attempting to try and "hide" it from us! So where do we walk? — WE MAKE A NEW TRAIL! Pathetic!

Nevada Bear Poppy: A new addition to the trail is a 0.1 mile section lined with Rail-Road ties and cable purportedly so no-one will trod on the poppies. They claim it's a "pure strand"; but, in 4 years we've never seen anything there that we haven't seen all over the desert. [Maybe we should look better?]

We've now got post and cable fencing all across the desert ostensibly to prevent offroading in an area where there are no trails! No damage! No one has ever, it seems, ridden off the main trail. There is nothing to see or place of interest to go, unless they figure their closure of 21 Goats would spur the creation of an alternate trail unless they fabricated the "conservation story."

Twenty-One Goats: The idiocy continues at the wash to 21 Goats. There is a new flexible sign at the turnoff with deliberate confusing wording making you think you shouldn't drive on. In reality, it warns that the trail has been closed up further. When you drive up the wash you are soon stopped, about a half mile from the glyphs, in the middle of the wash.

That's the "new" trailhead, and it's barracaided with rail-road ties and cable on three sides! At least the institute kids did put a "gate" (of sorts) in the blockaid, unlike they have done everywhere else. However, I don't see how one is supposed to get a horse through the barrier (they are legal); but the BLM doesn't really care about that!

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into... political... office.”
Robert Frost
Khota Circus: And finally, the biggest idiocy of them all, they have placed rock barracaids IN THE WASH going to the Khota Circus trailhead. A sign states that they are "restoring" the area! IT IS A WASH PEOPLE! The only restoration that now needs to be done is to get garbage bags and clean out all the crap the institute kids have tossed all over the wash!

What kind of a brain-dead idiot "restores" a wash?!! The trail into the glyphs has already been blocked off for years and required nearly a mile hike (one way) into the site. Now, they have added an additional 1 1/4 mile (one way) to it - making it a 4 1/2 mile hike round trip on foot!

If you continue straight past the wash and up the trail it will lead higher up on the mountain before it peters out. There you will be able to look back and see the wash which they are trying to "restore." It is rock, sand and hard-pan slick-rock - just what do they think they are going to restore? Absolutely nothing will grow back... ever, and rock is rock!

That's it. The Petroglyph Trail. What was once a magnificent destination for the burgeoning senior populations of Mesquite and Bunkerville, now turned into a playground for the elite hikers and rock climbers without even one consideration given to the impact on the current population.

I told you it stirred my soul!


Desert Walker said...

We feel your pain. We have seen the trash laid by the institute people. There are better ways to preserve these things.
There are more glyphs as you come out of the 21 goat wall area continuing in same wash look up and left - looks like a little red streak, not pictograph but more goats on wall if you climb up slick rock. On Yellow sandstone, under ledge.
Part timer in Mesquite - ride every time we are down. VERY agitated that we can no longer take grandkids unless they can hike the distance to these things. Found you blog recently - great information. We appreciate the travel commentary, and the maps. Have been to many of the places, but not all. Good riding to you.

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