October 26, 2008

The Spring that Makes Boss Snort

In this photo taken at yesterday’s trailhead in Indian Canyon, Gray Head Peak juts above Steve’s hat. In a replay of Tuesday’s trip, we once again achieved Gray Head Peak, elevation 9496 feet.
Here’s a picture aimed at measuring the angle of the slope just below the peak. After searching around for a protractor, which was nowhere to be found, Steve used his fancy compass to measure the angle , which appears to be about 30 degrees.

It seemed steeper. Actually, there are some steeper areas, but it’s hard to find sufficient motivation to move off to the side for a photograph when even standing upright is difficult…
In carefully observing the lowest and highest of the bristlecone pines in the area, we found that they seem to exist in the narrow range of 8800 to 9300 feet. Here’s the last bristlecone we passed on the way up to Gray Head.

On this trip, we proceeded downhill on the northwest side of Gray Head in search of one of the springs listed on Topo! The highest spring, called Sulphur Spring on the map, didn’t seem to exist, but a mile in distance and a few hundred feet in elevation lower we found what’s dubbed Meadow Spring. Appropriate to the name, the area around it was a rich, sedge meadow, marshy in places.

The water smelled so strongly of sulphur that it made Boss snort. He wasn’t willing to drink much. Mischief tanked up, and Daisy had a most satisfying drink, giving her the energy to chase an elk and at least one bunny on the way back.

Meadow Spring’s running water had ice on the top, and in places there was a gap between the ice and the water beneath. Perhaps the water had frozen solid downstream and caused a dam as the ice film formed?
The round trip was 15 miles with 4000 feet elevation gain, in about 4.5 hours moving time.

1 comment:

  1. That is funny that Boss was so prissy about the sulfer spring. That meadow is really pretty. The slope looks steeper than 30 degrees to me too.



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