Sunday, March 15, 2009

Potato Knoll Loop - 3/14/09

Although Oak Creek was on the schedule for today, Ann preferred to take us on a five mile hike around Potato Knoll. There were six hikers who decided to go ahead with the bouldering plan and ended up bouldering to their pleasure at Pine Creek instead of Oak Creek. Eighteen others went with Ann and had a very pleasant and beautiful hike which is featured here. Above, you can see Potato Knoll which lies at the base of Wilson Peak within the Escarpment.

We parked at the horse trailer parking lot at the exit of the Scenic Loop of Red Rock and hiked out into the desert towards the knoll.

Along the way, we noticed that the joshua trees had produced large seeds where the blooms had been last spring. We also found our first wild flowers of the season. Indian Paintbrush peered out from under desert brush as we passed by. We can expect a nicely flowering season ahead as we received a good amount of rain this winter.

During the hike, we crossed Oak Creek six times. (Three times each way.) The creek was about one third full and flowing. It was easily crossed over stepping stones. Another interesting find of the morning was part of an old bone lying next to the path.

This picture shows why Rainbow Peak of the Escarpment is called Rainbow Peak! It is located to the right of Wilson Peak when facing the Escarpment.

We circled around Potato Knoll in a counter clockwise direction. On the back side of the knoll, we stopped to take a snack and chat a while. Then we continued around and headed back through the desert. The day started chilly but quickly got warmer with the arrival of the higher sun. We enjoyed every moment of the return of warmth.

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