Part 2: MogFest 2020 Day 2


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The Trip

We had a pleasant night with good food, wine and a large campfire circle.  Kathleen found an old video projector and put some mog videos from one of our Rubicon trips on it for the group's entertainment.  We hung a bedsheet on Alan's trailer and used it as the projection screen.

The plan for the day was to hit the trail after breakfast and see the sights.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Thor served us well on this trip.  Our indoor galley allowed easy and comfortable meal preparation for 4 adults without undo hassle.  The county park had full hookups that provided water, electric and sewer so we had no need to be aggressively conservative on water usage (usually an issue during clean-up after meal preparation).  That said, this IS a desert and water availability is always an issue.

The signage for Calico is written in paint on the far hillside.  While the letters look small, they are actually huge.  That hill is very steep with loose rock so the act of painting it must have  been very scary.  The open campground at Calico can be seen in the foreground of this photo.

The second day's travel involved lots of dirt roads and traversed an area called "Black Mountain Wilderness".  We passed the small "town" of Hinkley to get to our trailhead.

Black Mountain is so-named due to the black volcanic ejecta that covers the hills.

Terry was the day's trail leader and took us directly to the base of the mountains.

The basin terrain was sand and gravel while the hills were covered with basalt ejecta.  It is likely that the hills were there due to the ejecta preventing erosion, thus resulting in the hill.

A water trough for cattle that were run in this area "back in the day".  This would have been a lean area for cattle given the minimal ground cover.

The Black Mountain area is BLM-administered (no, not that BLM...) and has reasonably well-marked trails.  Of course, having numbered trails is only useful if you have a trail map.

A quick trail-side stop.

The shimmer on the horizon is a large solar plant down in the (usually) dry lake bed.

Basalt ejecta covered most of the hillsides.

The fuel leak from the previous day was not fully addressed.  As every mechanic knows, opening the hood and staring at the suspected problem will eventually resolve it.

Black Mountain was, well, black and heavily covered with basalt ejecta.

Our path took us past some petroglyphs in one of the canyons.  These glyphs, while being romanticized as being mystic or shamanistic, were likely the same as the other marks on the rock: graffiti.  Recent graffiti overlaid some of the older marks.

It is quite lame that folks felt compelled to write on rocks, but at some point including the date becomes interesting.  Ray must have enjoyed his session; back in 1947 this place was really remote and hard to reach.

The one rock art panel that was worthy.  JB left his mark, like it or not.

Now, if I am reading the inscription correctly, 1874 would be an early mark and that would make Mr. Tillman a true pioneer.

More of the "classical" rock art symbols.  As a side note, the de-facto standard for rock art is "Petroglyph Canyon" on the China Lake Naval Weapons Base near Ridgecrest, CA.  The Matamorango Museum hosts escorted visits to the canyon, but since the site is on an active-duty base, you have to reserve ahead and go through a  background check.  You will be escorted at all times, but drive in your own vehicle.  It is totally worth the trip if you are in the area, but plan ahead.

Once we past the petroglyphs, we headed around Black Mountain and over it.  Some of the trails were quite steep and littered with loose rock making 4x4 a requirement.

It was a great trail run and despite the smoke from the forest fires, the weather was warm and not too windy.  The group headed back to camp for cocktails, dinner and more entertainment compliments of Kathleen's video projector.

Many thanks to the event organizers.  We had a great time and look forward to MogFest 2021.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2020, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.