But, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself… Charley and I took a couple of guys, who hadn't been down around the Petroglyph Trail before, with us on a quick "make sure everything is still ok for riding" trip around some possible, future club ride sites. [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Petroglyph Trailheads]
We landed at… Whitney Junction and rode down into Middle Gold Butte, stopping at the Mud Wash Sink Hole and Petroglyphs, before running to Kurt's Grotto to check out what the newspaper reported as some "major interventions" by the "fiend's" sponsored group on behalf of the BLM. Like it reported, they had plastered the area with railroad ties, cemented into the ground. It wasn't finished yet but it looks like the same 'architect' which was responsible for the Falling Man corral.
The paper reported that the fiend's spokesperson claimed they were going to put "some kind of hiking route" which will be usable by visitors of "all capabilities." Was the reporter enough of a cretin that they actually believed it? "Some day," "in the future," "some kind of route"? Sure you will!
The trailhead that they are making is 500 FEET UP IN THE AIR OVER A CLIFF! The trail now will be completely OFF LIMITS to most seniors! And to top it off, just when do they intend to make said trail? Even lame-brains would think to have the "stairs" or "switchbacks" or whatever they intend (it's a secret) in place before they blocked off the entire area!
Just another of the many examples of the "true agenda." Visitors aren't really the concern - exclusivity and shutting off the area to everyone is all that matters to them.
Of course Devil's Fire is now closed off, except by a long hike through quite soft and deep sand.
First Rock is still the same - the only area where a sign is the sole limitation and the walk is only a few feet. It is well taken care of, despite being the most accessible.
Falling man was another story. The Parking Corral is still there, becoming more of an eyesore every day. But ooooh... the trail... the once nearly un-noticeable trail!
I thought after what I had seen last year of the cretinistic "restoration" going on, I had seen it all. The tomato cages and other garbage strewn all over the trail... the Popsicle stick name tags... the girl-scout camp pebble trail liners!
But, they weren't happy with their initial train wreck. They had to come back and take still yet another run at it. They caught so much flack over their last efforts and generated so many letters to the editor - THIS TIME THEY HIRED AN AMATEUR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT! I say amateur because it sure doesn't look like he/she knew much about the desert, let alone "restoration."
Only one of the plants in the original tomato cages has actually survived and it doesn't look too good. BUT "we shur do got dem purdy Popsicle sticks", with offenders names on them, all over the desert. They've now more than doubled the number of metal cages - these ones are smaller, screens, and I saw only two Popsicle sticks on them; but they're everywhere.
They've brought in mounds of Beaver Tail cacti and planted them in silly, pristine straight rows! They've brought in thousands of dollars worth of barrel cacti and planted them often too deep, not facing the correct direction, in trail bottoms with poor drainage! [I'm running out of exclamation points!]
Astonishingly... for people who CLAIM to be "Friends" of Gold Butte they exhibit incredibly little knowledge about desert plants, less about "restoration" and almost nothing about treating the desert with respect! It's just a game to them, and another way to earn a buck for their lobbyist.
I'm always worried about bobcats jumping on my back, even when I'm in town.”
The poor Beavertail's looked like someone had kept them in the trunk of their car for a month… Barrels develop a "sunny side" and should be transplanted in the same direction they were harvested… neither of them should be planted in poor drainage… and PEOPLE… NO PLANTS GROW ANYWHERE IN NATURE IN A STRAIGHT LINE! Additionally, over half of the recently planted bushes under the cages were already dead – even though the ground still appeared slightly damp from the recent planting.
And of course, not one person in the group gave a thought about what visitors actually need in a trail. They've put the plantings over most of the trail, the low flat part, leaving the visitor to either walk single file (good-bye to any side-by-side strolls through the desert with your companion), listing 30 degrees on the side of the old trail to break a leg, or blaze yet another trail on ground which is level enough to walk on.
Lastly, as if most of us desert lovers weren't completely heart-sick enough with this crap — the so-called 'designer' flanked both sides of the 24" gate with two transplanted Mojave Yucca's! They grow to 4-5 feet in diameter, have some of the longest blades of any Yucca, and never... NEVER... ever... flank... door... openings!!!!!!!
IF they actually grow, they will more than likely meet in the middle, covering much of the opening – probably what they wanted anyway.
Where is the address to the BLM commissioner or president or whatever they have... we've got to say something about all this nonsense!