Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fossil Ridge - 11/14/09

Today, the Around the Bend Friends Hiking Club broke a record for attendance on one hike. We had 44 people on the hike around Fossil Ridge on a cool beautiful day at the Red Rock Canyon NCA. The hike began at the horse stables' parking lot and headed up the hill to the right. The large group quickly spread out as the climb of around 600 feet took its toll.

About halfway up the hill, we were able to watch 3 of the horses for hire come through the path we were taking. With the cowboy in the lead, two visitors ambled behind with smiles on their faces from ear to ear. Isn't Las Vegas great? There is so much to see besides the face of a slot machine!

We circled around the ridge as we ascended to the right then took a left turn to come down the ridge on the edge of Echo Canyon. This canyon is a beautiful canyon decorated with dark rock which was made by ancient fissures spewing lava onto the surface above. Within the canyon, and the surrounding canyons, there are many fossils laid into this rock made of limestone and covered with previously molten rock, which then bubbled up making spotted patterns on top of the limestone.

At one point, we neared the edge of the canyon and took our turns at yelling across the "big ditch." Our voices came back to us in about 2 seconds. Thus, the renaming of Fossil Canyon to Echo Canyon.

Returning to the horse stable area, we divided into two groups. One group was finished hiking and ready to exit stage left. The other group of 24 people were still game for a climb into Cave Canyon which lies just past Echo Canyon and shares the same mouth. The climb began again for around a half mile.

We, then, climbed up the side of the canyon wall to a small cave opening and several of us ducked inside. Within the cave, the space was quite large and offered several levels of mystery. After taking our break out on the rocks outside the cave, we returned to the cars with 4.75 miles behind us.

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