2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

For the 2008 BorregoFest Event Report and Outcome Discussion
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THATSALEXUS?
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2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#1

Post by THATSALEXUS? » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:53 pm

Well, we all got on the road on schedule and headed out towards Ocotillo Wells. The turn off for the Slot is a couple miles before the Ocotillo Wells OHV area and since My GPS had "lost" it's maps and waypoints somehow, I missed the turn :oops: But luckily realized the error of my ways and took the next "trail". We had to backtrack 50 yards or so. While we were airing down, Ollie realized that he had left his camera behind on a picnic bench and headed back to save it. The rest of headed on down to check out the Slot Canyon, some for the first time.

The canyon is a nice way to take a small hike on hot day. It is almost completely shaded and only takes about ten minutes to get through. For as many people as I have seen hike through it, there are still portions of the sandstone walls that are so narrow that you have to walk through sideways. I would almost think that all of the traffic over the years would have widened the passages. I don't know if the remnants of the bird we saw were once the inhabitant of the nest but I think it is more likely that the nest belongs to a hawk that perhaps made a meal of a crow or raven he happened upon. Just as we had returned to our rigs, Ollie was back and resumed his place in the lineup.

Next we headed of into Fish Creek and towards Sandstone Canyon. Just as we neared the portion that becomes a little challenging I saw a few people sitting around their rigs. I stopped to ask if they knew how many rigs might be further in the canyon so I'd know what to expect as far as congestion. That was when then they informed me that this was the "end" of the trail. Before I could correct them, they told me about the blockade. I was in disbelief! I have actually had drivers of other rigs inform me that I was at the end of trail before only to later clarify that what they meant was that they couldn't or wouldn't go any further. I had to see for myself. Alas, it was true. The trail has been closed. I'm still not over it. It is one of the most scenic and exiting trails in AB and a travesty to see it closed. We had no choice but to turn around.

Since we now had a new sense of time for the run, I wanted to make sure that everyone that wanted to, got to see the Wind Caves. So that was our next stop. We all parked and I hitched up the hounds for a nice, balmy one mile hike. You're not going to believe what happened next. We get to the trailhead to be greeted by yet another newly installed sign: "No dogs on trail". WTF! I was just here a few months ago and the sign read "Dogs must be on leash", rediculous. Now I'm being descriminated against because I have a dog? What should I do? Leave them in the car? Do the pads of their feet somehow do more damage to the fragile trail than all of the hiking boots? So.........I guess I didn't see the sign after all and we check out the Windcaves which are a pretty incredible sight. We rested a bit at the top and then headed back to the rigs.

We ended the afternoon on the trail at just about the perfect time to head back, relax with a cold one and get started grilling. All in all, a pretty good run. I just wish that Sandstone hadn't been closed down.

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Marc P
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Re: 2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#2

Post by Marc P » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:08 pm

They closed it?? How far back? Is it as far as the boulders with the bypass on the right?

gon2srf
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Re: 2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#3

Post by gon2srf » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:15 pm

According to Steve the closure is right before the trail significantly narrows. :evil:
Image_Image_Image

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THATSALEXUS?
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Re: 2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#4

Post by THATSALEXUS? » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:20 pm

As peeved as I am over the closure of Sandstone, I just love posting this pic. It's closed about a hundred yards past this point, the first obstacle:
Attachments
1-29-07 158 (Medium).jpg
1-29-07 158 (Medium).jpg (68.04 KiB) Viewed 4473 times

gon2srf
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Re: 2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#5

Post by gon2srf » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:24 pm

I don't get it, stupid me?
Image_Image_Image

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THATSALEXUS?
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Re: 2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#6

Post by THATSALEXUS? » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:43 pm

Every time I see that pic, I get a little chuckle. Perhaps, it's because I actually saw you hop up into there as well. Anyway, I'm pretty sure you were parked right at the first obstacle you encounter in Sandstone, which is actually taller and steeper now than in the pic. The trail ends about 75-100 yards past there, where the you have to drive up on the sandstone itself because it is so narrow. I'm starting to wish I had taken more pics this trip :oops:

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Re: 2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#7

Post by byteheed » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:05 pm

Despite the closure of the fun part of Sandstone Canyon, this was a really fun and scenic run. The drop-off near The Slot is always good for some sandy sliding with the rigs and the crevice itself was neat to walk through. We really enjoyed the drive back into Fish Creek and seeing Sandstone Canyon too.

I attached a GPX file with tracks.
Attachments
BorregoFest2008-SandstoneRun.gpx
BorregoFest2008 Sandstone Cyn
(78.41 KiB) Downloaded 459 times
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Re: 2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#8

Post by BorregoWrangler » Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:41 pm

Man, that is a bummer! :evil: We've been driving back up into there for years. I was planning to take my dad up into there in a few weeks, but now it looks like he's never gonna see it. I guess if you can't get around on foot too well you're out of luck. :(
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Re: 2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#9

Post by BlueFJ » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:12 pm

I know what your saying John. I wanted to take Sue back there...
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Re: 2008-10-25: Sandstone Canyon Run Report

#10

Post by OLLIE » Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:54 pm

Some pics from the run. Below is the link to all of them in full size.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fj-ollie/2992541182/

The driver's meeting.:
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LUNCH:
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Random Pics:
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