An amazing journey to the Domelands and oyster beds
We were a little late joining the rest of the group, and with the help of cell phone, and radio, directions from Jahoadi, we found the trailhead. We got all our gear together, and once we were finally ready, we took a couple of pictures before starting the adventure.
Along the trail someone spotted this little horned lizard who sunned himself and posed for us for a long time.
After that brief stop, our group continued along the trail that afforded spectacular views.
We finally arrived at the Domelands and in my search for the cache, I climbed to the very top of "Religious Rock," named that, according to M2, because it was so "holey" . . .
Caching Widow took a picture of me up on top.
And here is a picture of me and M2 taken by TrailGators
The wind-sculpted rocks were spectacular and it was great fun scrambling around on them. It reminded me of hiking through Arches National Park—a Disneyland for adults—where the sculpted sandstone looked like petrified salt-water taffy.
On the trail towards the slot canyon, I ventured near a very scary edge of the ridge to take this picture of the mud clods, the edge . . . and the far distant views.
This was the incredible fossil of a clam fisnjack spotted and called to my attention.
Then we also saw this amazing fossil sand dollar . . .
We worked our way through a stunning, and challenging, slot canyon.
After negotiating that canyon, which was much more difficult for one of the Blondes Run Amuck because she had a cast on her broken hand, we entered a deep wash where the group found a place to stop and rest in the shade.
We were only about half way through the hike at this point . . .
On the way out, we hiked high above a deep wash. I looked down and at my feet saw fossilized oyster shells—there were no rocks, only oyster shells . . .
I first learned about the oyster beds back in the '70s when a friend gave me one as a going-away present prior to my move from San Diego to Sun Valley, Idaho.
To see them in place, where they have been for eons of geologic time, and to see them in such numbers, was an incredible experience. I was so stunned, I didn't get out my camera to take a picture . . .
The canyon walls in the wash were often spectacular. Here TrailGators is taking in the view.
This is the track and profile of the nearly ten-mile hike:
The entire day was a great experience. I am indebted to Jahoadi and John for the ride to Denny's where we met some other cachers for breakfast, and to "lostguy" for the ride out to the trailhead, and to duganrm for having an extra bottle of Gatorade, which I drank almost in one swallow, and to Jahoadi for some delicious lemonade she prepared ahead of time and served up to the group at the end of the hike.
I am already looking forward to the next group outing. With the price of gas going up, up, up every day, the best way for us to go caching is as a group with several people to each vehicle.