Saturday, May 17, 2014

Riding for Joy.

I looked up the definition of "joyriding"; it's a crime.  Joyriding is stealing a vehicle to drive with no specific destination in mine; the act of theft and driving is the intention.  Such a shame that this term has nothing, but a negative meaning; so instead of joyriding, I have to say that I went riding for joy.  That's exactly the feeling one gets when riding through the canyons and mountains...pure joy.

After finding the Alkali Ridge National Historical Landmark (don't worry, I'm going to write that up), I decided to simply keep riding down Alkali Point Road towards Perkins Road, swing east towards Montezuma Canyon Road and back home again.  Jenna, one of my dogs, was with me, and she was looking forward to our hiking stops.  Personally, I think she enjoys looking for lizards and rabbits as much as I enjoy looking for ruins and rock art.

4.1 miles down the Alkali (from the junction of Alkali Point and Mustang Roads), I stopped once again to look out at Devil Mesa and the rock pinnacle that gives the mesa its name.  Haven't quite figured out how to get closer to that area yet, but looking for the road or trail is half the fun.

Driving along Perkins Road, all I can think as I see the beautiful canyons is, "Where are the roads to get out there!?!"  Patience Grasshopper, those adventures are yet to come.

Montezuma Canyon Road comes along and I stop at Bradford Canyon Ruins to check once more for rock art.  All those ruins along the ledges, yet not a single drawing against the flatter sections of rock wall.  We were greeted by a Chuckwalla Lizard sitting against the rock; he let me take a few photos before squeezing in between the broken rocks.

Jenna is very adept at walking among the broken boulders to seek out lizards and rabbits.  She likes to look, but she never touches.  She is such a good girl.

Just 2/10ths up the road, northward, I found an area that the rain and snow had created into, what I can only describe as, a sand castle wonderland.  This is also the time of the spring season when the cacti are coming into bright bloom as exhibited by Claret Cups and Barrel cacti.  Definitely look, but do not touch these spiky little beauties.

Barrel Cactus

Claret Cup Cacti

I found this abandoned cabin along Montezuma Canyon Road; it is so quaint and yet so sad.  Sad, because inside there is nothing but piles of garbage; fast food bags, soda cans, beer bottles, etc.  Whomever owns this property would make a fortune by fixing it up and renting it out for the primitive camper; the canyon landscape is breathtaking!

Almost home, but I stopped to take another photo of the tree limb climbing up the rock face in a snake like manner.  I wonder if it is a natural occurrence, or was someone going up there and helping it form that way; the boxy turns seemed fashioned somehow.  If traveling from the beginning of Montezuma Canyon Road (CR 146) and Route 191, this site is 6 miles going south and looking westward.

A much deserved steak dinner awaited me at home; poor Jenna was so tuckered out, she slept till the next morning.  Lovely photos and great memories of a most awesome joy ride; and if it's a crime to have so much enjoyment, I plead guilty!

Mary Cokenour

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