Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Geo 365: August 13, Day 225: Sand Mountain Saddle

A panorama of the High Cascades from the saddle between Sand Mountain and another cinder cone to its north. We're looking roughly SSE to NNE here. Size options can be seen here (right click). And here's an annotated version:
(Size options for the annotated photo)

This was taken at the old parking area and trail head. About a mile and a half of the road has been closed to the public due to off-road driving and concerns over the delicate ecosystem. As lush as it looks, soils here are very young (3000 years), susceptible to erosion and fire, and extremely dry during the summer (though not on this particular trip). So what I had read online as a half mile hike with 200 feet elevation gain ended up being a two mile hike with 500-600 800 feet elevation gain, one way. I'm achier today than I was yesterday- it takes a while for the muscles to enunciate how much they feel they've been abused.

Despite my comments on the road into the area yesterday, the person manning the fire watch tower here had driven a rather modest sedan up to this point, so drivers with even more confidence than me may, in fact, be able to navigate to the new parking area. (It's gated there, so unless you have a key, driving up to this spot is not an option.)

I'm not going to systematically go through the features in this photo; I'll save that for later posts. Of particular interest though, is Hayrick Butte, a tuya erupted through glacial ice. Though unlabeled, and not readily visible in the size of the above photos, Hogg Rock is about halfway between Three Fingered Jack and Hoodoo Butte, below the former's eastern flank- that is, it's below the horizon, but pretty easy to pick out in larger sizes. It looks as if it might be a tuya as well.

The cross hairs in the location link below are on the old parking area, but this view is backed out enough to see the Sand Mountain chain of cinder cones, Hayrick and Hoodoo Buttes, Big Lake a bit to the south of them, and Clear Lake to the west.

Photo unmodified. August 11, 2013. FlashEarth location.

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