Thursday, January 05, 2012

Hiking the Grotto - Mecca Wilderness

A couple of years ago we hiked the Grottos in Mecca Wilderness and didn't think it was too challenging. This time the conditions were tough because mother nature made some changes. With a couple of scrapes on both legs, I know now I should have worn jeans. Watch the above video.
To see a previous hike we took two years ago of this same trek go here : The Desertnut Vlog: Hiking 1st Grotto - Mecca Hills, CA

After our hike Jim called me Sacagawea and gave me a gold coin with Sacagawea on it as a keepsake. The first thing that came to my mind was "sacapuntus" which means "pencil sharpener" in Spanish but that doesn't have anything to do with!  Read the following post written by Jim Cavan about our hike and why he called me Sacagawea.

Today, January 5, 2012, have just returned from one of the more "interesting" hikes of our little group, which includes Linda and Gordie McClure, Leo Finnegan, and me, Jim Cavan.

We left Woodhaven, our home, at 0800, and Gordie drove to the Mecca Hills area, where we parked for the hike to the Gottos, which they had hiked a couple of years ago.

We hit the trail at 0850, and hiked for about 2 1/2 hours, when we found the canyon that would lead us to the Grottos.

We encountered a couple of pretty tight spots that required shedding our packs to crawl through, and Gordie assured us that we were on the correct trail. And by the way, the scenery in this section is quite breath taking. You are in a small chasm, looking up several hundred feet to the sky.

After walking a few hundred yards in this magnificent scenery, we came to the real "Grotto". For some reason, they hardly recognized the area, as mother nature had somehow changed the topography in the past couple of years. And in these areas we had to use flash lights to see where we were going and what the footing was like. Leo had a mining type light that he put around his head, and by turning his base ball type cap backwards, in the rally mode, the light shone through the crack in his cap, providing pretty good forward lighting.

We came to a very steep crevice in the rock, about 15 feet in height, with a rope hanging down, which allowed you to pull yourself up through the crevice, providing that you had the horse power to do it.

This is where our girl Linda (our Sacagawea) comes through. She goes up through the crevice first to scout out what lay ahead, and she comes back to report that all looked OK up ahead.

So the next one to go is Leo, and with a little boost by Gordie, he made it in fine style. Then Jim went next, and also with a boost by Gordie, he made it up OK. But this left Gordie (our strong man) to the last. But when he seemed to have difficulties, and no one to aid him, Linda went down the rope again and showed him how she negotiated the crevice, and stayed behind to aid Gordie.

Finally we had all successfully conquered the crevice, and rested on top for a spell.

Then Linda, or scout, again goes forward to check out the terrain, and slipped through a small hole and skinned up her leg, so she advised another way around.

The long and short of it is that without Linda, I doubt that we would have made it out the way that we came. Now you will understand why I refer to Linda as our "little Sacagawea", and I just happened to have a Sacagawea dollar in my pocket, which I had been carrying for some time, but I could not think of a better time to donate the keepsake.

Jim Cavan

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