So, it’s was Friday. I consulted my favorite local hiking website (birdandhike.com) and chose a place I’d never been before, Crane’s Nest Canyon. I printed out the driving/hiking directions, then headed out. I got an iced tea and some gas, not to mention some chicken fingers for the drive and some M&Ms for the drive home. Lately, my Friday #ArtistDates have me feeling like a fourteen-year-old boy.
Anyway, I head out with the plan of checking out the newly opened Interstate 11, but took the 93 Business Bypass through Boulder City. Fine. I cross the fabulous new bridge and watch the mile markers. The turn is “just past mile marker 8.” The signs went from 7 to 9; no 8. I took the next crossover (there are lots of hiking access roads so thankfully, lots of crossovers.) I got back on the southbound side and took the first turn after what I thought should have been “about” mile marker 8. It led to a scrubby wash that looked nothing like a road to me. So, I headed out and took the next turn. This led me to a back country looking “road.” A nice path with tire marks.
I drove and drove, glad that I have a 4 wheel drive Xterra with very high clearance. And, at about 3.25 miles (that was the next direction on the printout) there was nothing that looked like a trailhead. Sometimes I’m off a bit on my calculations, and the road went on, so so did I. I hit a trail head about 4 miles out. But, the sign said “Hiking Only Lake Mojave Ranger Station .8 miles.” Not at all my plan, but I was there and it was less than a mile of hiking.
I had to cross under two boulders. Very cool and a little strange. Both spots, within 20 feet, were deep spillovers that boulders had fallen on top of. How odd that two spots would create little cave pass throughs. I feared for just a moment that I’d end up like Pooh in the honey tree, but I passed through.
The wash hike was lovely. Steep, twisting canyon walls. And, it rained the day before, so there was a wonderful fragrance from some plant that I truly loved. I followed the wash down to the river, which is, at that point, the start of Lake Mojave. I sat on a rock and ate and apple watching ducks foraging in the water and a group of kayakers pass by. Then, I headed up the trail that led to the historic site. (That’s the view above.)
The sign said Ranger Station at the start of the hike, but the historic marker called it the “River Gaugers House.” Before they built Hoover Dam, they had these stations along the river and rapids to measure water depths to assess how much water passed through the gorge. Pretty cool. Now, all that’s left is a concrete foundation, some paving stones, and rusting pipes and bits of metal fixtures. But, from the vantage were some excellent views.
So, it was a day of adventure, off the map I’d chosen. But, I did great on the rutted, washed out road sections, the hike was lovely, and I ate my M&Ms on the drive home. Plus, I finally drove on the newly minted Interstate 11 in Nevada. They’ve done a pretty great job with the new road, although, I have to say I don’t care for the overpass “art.” I much prefer the nod to Art Deco on other parts of the road.