An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveCold Pink at a Hot Spot
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Cold Pink at a Hot Spot
Wednesday, 16 March 2005 5:55 PM MST
Cache Found: Hot Spots by KLondyke and Yiners
5:55 PM Wednesday, 16 March 2005
My brother (caching handle Percible) and I felt the need to get out in them thar hills and do some exploring and cache hunting this evening, so we climbed into my old caching beast (a rattly black Chevrolet S-10 Blazer) and drove out to Apple Valley, then turned off the highway onto the dirt road that angles back westward up onto the Short Creek mesa.
It's been many years since I'd been out on the Short Creek Mesa. I remember while growing up coming out here to gather firewood to feed our wood burning stove during the winter. I remember the large CAT bulldozers that would drag a huge chain between them, knocking over all the juniper and pinion pine trees between them. Locals like ourselves were welcome to come with their trucks and chainsaws and cut up the felled trees and haul the wood away. I think it was called “railing” and was used to clear some of the land to improve it for cattle grazing.
Since Percible had the G.P.S. receiver, along with the small topographical map and cache description page we'd printed out, I periodically polled him to see where his G.P.S. was pointing. Mostly we just followed the main road, until we were within a few miles of the cache, then we turned off onto a less-traveled and much more rutted road , and shortly turned onto an even more bumpy and rugged road. As we passed a water catchment pond, I recalled the cache description mentioning a pond, but Percible noted that we were still too far away for this pond to be the one mentioned.
It wasn't long before we saw a stretch of exposed sandstone in front of us, not covered with dirt or soil. The road split yet again, angling in two directions. Neither was a direct path to the cache, since the cache was directly in front of us across a stretch of rock. We chose the right-hand path and followed it to within 500-600 feet of the cache, where we parked and then made our way on foot the rest of the way.
Now I'm familiar with a lot of the different forms of sandstone we have in this area, (not formally -- I can't tell you the geological name of the stone) but I know what I've seen. This rock was similar to other formations in the surrounding area, with one exception. The color. It was a grayish pink, and not the warmer fiery red or orange pinks that are common to the red sandstone of Southwestern Utah, but more of a purplish-pink. Most of the rocks I've seen like these were more ordinary whitish gray in color, not this odd hue.
Percible led the way with his G.P.S. so we made a beeline across the bare rock towards the cache site. As we neared, Percible counted down the distance, 25 feet, 20, then 10. There before us was a lump of rock with a crevice carved out below it. We both gazed at it, knowing it might be the place. Sure enough, Percible spotted a few loose rocks arranged unnaturally to conceal something.
As he extricated the cache, and opened it up, I opened my bag, pulled out my camera, and took a few shots, then grabbed my laptop computer I'd brought along, and began typing a few paragraphs that I intended to later expand and make a part of this cache find log entry.
Here's what I wrote:
What a pretty spot! It's been years since I've been up here on top of Little Creek Mesa. And I don't think I've ever been in this particular area where so much slickrock sandstone is exposed to the air, a most unusual pinkish-gray color. I also didn't know there were so many water catchment ponds like the one right by this cache. Thank you for bringing us up to this spot. I need to remember it and come visit again sometime, perhaps camp out or picnic here.My trade idea was preempted. While I was busy typing on my computer, Percible had already traded the Cach-U-Nuts game piece for the WD-40. So instead, I settled for a Silver Talon folding knife in exchange for the foam football.
We parked my caching beast about a tenth of a mile away at the edge of the slickrock to the north. The pond to the south looks interesting. After I make my trade and log book entry, I think I'll check it out before we head back to the beast.
My brother, Percible, is trying to figure out what items to take from the cache in trade so as to make room for the very large Cach-U-Nuts game piece #176, which he's had in his possession for a little too long, as he readily admits. I think I'll take the WD-40 and leave a small foam football in exchange.
There's a chilly breeze blowing, and I didn't bring a jacket, so I'll keep it short and add more later.
While I wrote my entry in the cache's notebook, Percible went exploring the nearby pond. Once I finished my log entry, I squeezed the cache contents back in the container, and hid it. Percible had everything in the container except the log book and pen, but since the container was so full, I had to rearrange things to get the notebook to fit. Fortunately my cache addition, the foam football, compressed nicely. Then I joined Percible exploring and taking pictures.
The pond nearby is quite full from the abundant moisture this area has received recently. It was larger than I expected, and quite pretty in the dimming gray light coming from the lightly overcast sky. There at the pond, I could see Smithsonian Butte and Caanan Mountain out towards the communities of Hilldale and Short Creek. The towering cliffs of West Temple above Springdale were also visible above the mesa.
Though the air was chilly in my short sleeves (yes, I'm a bit crazy), it was invigorating. What a beautiful spot, perhaps even a Hot Spot...
After retrieving my bag, we returned to my black beast, once again crossing the slick rock. Up a bit higher than the pond and cache, looking northwestward, the snow-bedecked Pine Valley Mountain stood above the mesa's edge, cold and majestic. Beautiful.
Did I mention that in cracks and seams around the cache, where enough soil had collected, twisted dwarfed pinion pine trees managed to take root? Their forms were beautiful. Oh, don't let me forget mentioning the natural bowls all over the sandstone surface, where during rain, water would collect and pool. One rather large one right by the cache still had some water in it.
The trip home in the dimming light was also beautiful. I'm glad we came to this cache. I need to come back to Little Creek Mesa again and drink in more of the scenery. Once back at my parents home in Hurricane, I reopened my laptop computer and added some more to this log entry, which I later completed at my own home in St. George even later.
Thanks, KLondyke and Yiners, for one Hot Spot of a cache!
St. George, Utah