Saturday, October 30, 2010

Potato Knoll & Back (& First Creek) - 10/30/10

First things first! Happy Halloween to all of the Around the Bend Friends ... tomorrow.

Interesting fact: In the photo above, we see Potato Knoll rising as a separate hill in front of Wilson Peak of the Red Rock Canyon escarpment. It is believed to have been formed by an ancient landslide which poured off of the top of Wilson Peak. There must have been a large amount of momentum in that slide to have come to rest at such a far distance from the base of the escarpment.

This morning, the 10% chance of rain fell right where both groups were hiking and both hikes were cut short. Twenty- one hikers set out at 8:30am for the First Creek trail but had to turn back after a half mile. While rain drenched the group, a beautiful double rainbow was spotted above. One half hour earlier, a group of seventeen hikers set out to hike up Potato Knoll, the small hill which lies in front of Wilson Peak. This was a change in our scheduled hike of White Rock Hills Loop which was already getting a large dose of the 10% chance of rain.

We parked at the Red Rock Scenic Loop exit and began hiking into the desert towards Oak Creek Canyon and Potato Knoll. The wind whipped up mightily and tried to knock us off the trail. We remained stalwart in our effort and escaped the worst of it when we dipped down into the crossing of Oak Creek. There was no water running at this crossing as seen in the photo above.

When we reached the small canopy of trees on the north side of the knoll, the clouds finally breached the rim of the escarpment and slid over us like a silent cloak. Soon, it began to rain ... sprinkles, at first, then more steady. Wind breakers and ponchos came out of the packs and we persisted. However, when we reached the southeast side of the base of the knoll, we hung a sharp left and abandoned our original plan by circling back around to the tree canopy and back to the loop exit. The rain stopped before we reached the cars and blue skies weren't too far behind. Timing is everything!

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