Thursday, December 01, 2011

Palen Pass Continued

Just on the west side of the pass sits the most difficult challenge. A small hill leaving the wash. It might be rated 3 or 4 (depending on conditions) and it was easy and fun to climb up. These two videos posted on youtube make it look harder than it is (video 1, video 2). I mounted my gopro to the left passenger door and the resulting video sucks, so I won't post it here.

Here are some shots of the rock shelters at the top of the pass.

East of Palen Pass, the trail heads down the Arlington Mine Road which is in a very wide wash. Luckily, it's a somewhat graded surface and very easy to follow.

There were some sandy sections in the wash itself and that was fun as the trail twisted around the brush in up to 4 inches of sand with a gentle downslope. I almost coasted through that at 25 mph.

Approaching Blythe from the north, I came across citrus groves, then cotton fields.

I had planned to also drive the Old Palo Verde Road, Milpitas Wash Road, and Graham Pass Trail, but decided to head home. That turned out to be a bad decision. A big car crash on westbound I-10 just east of Red Cloud exit held up traffic for a long time. The news reports said that traffic was stopped for 4 hours. I was near the front of the held traffic and was stopped for about 45 minutes. People were walking around outside their cars, walking their dogs, kids were peeing along the the side of the road. At least it wasn't real hot or real cold. I could see the flight-for-life helicopter land and then take off.

As far as I know, nobody died. But it was quite a bad crash scene.

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