Carrizo Gorge Railroad Camp Exploration: Sept. 24th, 2017

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BorregoWrangler
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Carrizo Gorge Railroad Camp Exploration: Sept. 24th, 2017

#1

Post by BorregoWrangler » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:07 pm

This was certainly one of the more difficult 3 mile hikes I've ever done... cross country, steep cactus-covered slopes with loose dirt, rocks, scree, and stabby branches. Our goal was to explore some of the construction camps that helped build the “impossible” San Diego and Arizona Railway, constructed between 1907 and 1919 along the rugged Carrizo Gorge. At the time, many people were convinced that it couldn't be done, but John D. Spreckels didn't rest until it was completed on November, 1919 at a cost of $18 million. Our adventure involved a bit of off-highway driving to a somewhat remote trail head overlooking the gorge. My hiking buddy Larry and I wanted to avoid walking along the tracks as much as possible... all the stickers and spines in our shoes and socks can attest to this. It also allowed us to spot some mountain lion tracks heading up a gully on our way out.

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Further down Carrizo Gorge we found the site of Young and Crook's Camp 1. The bottom photo dates back to 1917. The slope's gradient was too steep to build closer to the tracks.

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One of the railroad campsites we found in Carrizo Gorge. Not much is left of Marsh Brothers and Gardenier's Camp Number 3. The bottom photo was taken on July 25, 1918. The top was taken September 24, 2017. Construction workers were housed and fed at these camps while building the railroad tunnels.

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"I'll go this way... nope too much cholla. How about this way? That rock is way too loose. Oh, over here... nope, I'm staying clear of those agave spines. Now what? Crap."

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-John Graham
1989 YJ & 2000 TJ

View all my trip reports here at my blog: GrahamCrackers

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Re: Carrizo Gorge Railroad Camp Exploration: Sept. 24th, 2017

#2

Post by DaveK » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:34 pm

John

Sorry that I missed that one. Looks like a great hike. I recognize some of those photos. I keep hearing rumors that the RR line will be open soon. Did you see any truth to it?

Keep us in mind on the next one!!!
DaveK
K6DTK


Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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BorregoWrangler
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Re: Carrizo Gorge Railroad Camp Exploration: Sept. 24th, 2017

#3

Post by BorregoWrangler » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:17 am

DaveK wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:34 pm
John

Sorry that I missed that one. Looks like a great hike. I recognize some of those photos. I keep hearing rumors that the RR line will be open soon. Did you see any truth to it?

Keep us in mind on the next one!!!

Will do, Dave.

I hear the same rumors too, but haven't seen anything concrete. As of right now, there's a lot of work that would need to done on the tracks. There are a couple landslides and partial collapses further down the line.
-John Graham
1989 YJ & 2000 TJ

View all my trip reports here at my blog: GrahamCrackers

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