Roadtrip 2019 Fall: Vancouver - Richland - Twin Falls - Provo - Kanab - Yucca Valley - Paso Robles - Sacramento - Brookings - Yachats - Cannon Beach - Vancouver

Day 18 - Mansard Trail

The run-in to Mansard Trail looks innocuous enough, but – we are going to the top of the big mesa to the left, and then some.

Ellie scales the first large obstacle, the infamous Hillary Step.

Wendy points out our objective for the day.  I have no idea how she does it – everything looks like everything else out here.  We are headed for that brown-red triangle shape in the big white cliff in the distance.

Russ ascends another tricky part of the trail – a set of narrow and steep stone steps.

The view from that alcove we have been striving for all day.  It is breathtaking.  But – wait 'till you see what's inside the alcove…

The alcove is filled with 1000-2000 year old petroglyphs, unusually picked into the floor.  There are the usual abstract spirals, concentric circles, wavy lines – our students will recognize these common abstract symbols from their studies.  Then.  Check out the complex figures – many of which need some thought to interpret – probably wrong.

Mating frogs?  There are no frogs in this part of the desert.

The giant lollipop awaits the polyp with great big hands.

The deep-sea diver ascends with his bounty of sea-urchins.  Oh, yeah.  Desert.

This is the only sign of plant matter in the alcove. It has not fared well. The high temps today are only in the mid teens C – but it's blazing hot with no wind here.

We depart the alcove for our return journey. There's a big steep scree slope to return to the trail.

Wendy was correct.  The alcove is indeed the red-brown semicircle in the middle of the white cliff upper center.

Somehow, this side-hill is way scarier when you are on it.

The team assesses the route down the Hillary Step.

Just look at those feet fly!

A last bit of fading light peeks around the mesa – providing gorgeous illumination for the grasses – and a much needed dose of warmth for us.

Life is tough out here on the steeply edged mesa tops.

The last hiker off the mesa for today. Really – we were the only people on this trail all afternoon.






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Russel Kwan and Wendy Kwan
Vancouver BC Canada











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