Original idea? To maybe try Peppersauce cave, but then, you know, no headlamps, no extra clothes, slight fear of dark enclosed spaces and being lost forever even though the internet swears that is impossible. Follow-up idea? To hike up past it into Nugget Canyon, but then, you know, turns out I really hate driving very narrow winding mountain roads with drop-offs to one side when all the other vehicles coming the opposite direction are large trucks, some pulling improbable RVs. So we stopped at the campground and hiked up the wash/road that led up towards the foothills, and that was a rather short walk, but a nice one. despite having to stand aside to let a progression of ATVs and these new four-wheel souped up golf-cart things past us.
It was beautiful, full of oak trees and sycamores, a stretch with gurgling water falling over the stones.
As we climbed up out of the wash up a steep road, the view spread out behind us:
The mountainside to our right was covered with tailings spilling down from mine workings
Small wonder that the road and the wash were full of the most amazing rocks — huge boulders of conglomerates that I haven’t seen before:
Look at the geological history to be read here…
Lava flows, faultlines, clean breaks between past and present:
Some processed ores, and some local shooting:
Finally we saw three more deer, silently climbing high up the hill just as we reached the car again.
A last view of Oracle too, the antique store in town, still with some holiday cheer very reminiscent of that found in Tucson
But also so much more…
I am a bit sad to be back in Manchester, where the cold and damp are brutal and the sun apparently never shines…