Published: March 4th 2009February 10th 2009 Tuesday 10th February 2009
Red Rock Canyon
Our view as we drove in
Tom and I decided to hike up Le Madre Springs in the snow. We aimed to find the old hut and mines above the spring head.
Red Rock Canyon area was looking stunning as we drove in. The first part of the hike is the 1/4 of the White Rock Hills Loop, so was familiar ground to me. Then we peel off to the left and start to head up.
Not far from the spring head we met a guy who had just been up to the hut and was on his way home. He said to just follow his steps in the snow. He was right - he was the first and only one up there that day so it was easy to follow his steps. Mostly the trail followed a stream up hill. But with the snow covering any trail we both thought how well he did.
The hut has been 'restored' - I think it was a mining or hunting hut. It is more like a large shelter. Tom found out our guide's name written in the snow: Cowan. I thought he my have written it in pee, but no he
used a stick. I found the log book inside the hut and logged our visit (and Cowan's who hadn't made an entry). I also found a really nice entry that made me smile:
Here I sit all worn & haggered
with three little pups all tired & ragged.
Water's all gone, the sun's getting low.
It was worth the hike but now it's time to go.
Bonnie (paw print)
Peggy (paw print)
Noodle (paw print)
We then continued up in hope of finding the mine shafts. Tom and I split after a while to cover more ground. I had given up and was about to walk back down when I spotted a rock on top of a log in such a way that looked like it had been placed by a human as a sign (there are cairns along the route but lost in snow). I followed my instinct and shortly found a 'mine entrance'. It look filled in mostly and I was very disappointed. I called Tom up to see. As he came up I climbed up further hoping to find the second shaft entrance. Instead I came across a
cross made of wood marking the location of the two real mine entrances - much more impressive!
One was cut at about 45 degrees and to steep too investigate with out ropes. The other was cut straight across and so was easy to investigate most of it. Part went down with a low ceiling. My fear of what I might find inside kept my curiosity at bay.
I was really pleased we found them both and the views back down the valley were stunning. The sun was starting to get low but I wanted to race to the ridge above us before the sun dropped below the nearby peak. I just made it. Then we make a quick decent as I had to pick up Lisa. On the way down White Rock Hills was ahead of us and we talked of how to get to the top - one day :-)
Another great hike with some stunning views, especially with all the snow. Good hiking buddy Tom!
See the video here
There are more photos below