Gary and I spent the long 3 day Memorial Day weekend leisurely traversing the Carrizo Gorge Wilderness with no more of an agenda other than getting back to our trucks sometime by the end of the day Monday. Mr Tom was kind enough to drop us off at Jacumba on Sat morning and was going to hike with us for the day but the weather was kinda cold and blustery and I guess his jacuzzi and booze back home sounded better so it was just Gary and I.
Carrizo Gorge is one of those easy to get to wilderness areas that just never gets old and it has a long history with the railroad and the now famous Goat Canyon Trestle. The trestle seems to be growing exponentially in popularity and I suspect that will continue until the railway patrols pickup again. This particular trip we saw as many as 10 motorcycle adventurers in addition to all of the usual hikers and MTB'ers.
There is something about the Gorge that seems to beckon film photography and I always enjoy taking at least one older analog camera with me. The B/W photos here are from my Fuji GW690 6x9 medium format camera and the film is Fuji Acros 100 developed 1+2+100 in PMK Pyro @13 minutes. A few of the photos I took were an attempt to mirror photos found in the The Impossible Railroad book.
Carrizo Gorge with Sombrero Peak way off in the distance to the right
Following the tracks, some of the trestles are in good shape, others not so much
One particular set of railway cars that has been out on the tracks for several years now has been heavily vandalized.
On page 36 of The Impossible Railroad book there is a picture showing the Young & Crooks Camp 1 and all of the workers tents and the compressor plant equipment. This is the roughly the same photograph but the only thing you can still see are foundations of cement and many of the cleared areas that were built up with rocks to form a tiered foundation for the large tents they used
Gary at a few of the railroad camps
This workers camp overlooks the gorge and has approx 5-6 built up tiers for large tents. Most of it is overgrown with cholla now though.
Here is another photo from The Impossible Railroad book
on page 40 showing tunnel 15 where they eventually gave up on that tunnel and built the tracks around it
We found a huge horseshoe, looked more decorative than useful
This is one of the cooler tunnels out there
Gary heading into tunnel 16, this one has a history of fires and collapses which is evidenced by the tweak on the top. The inside supports you see in the other tunnels are missing which I am guessing is from the 1986 fire that burned it out
What would a trip thru the Gorge be without a photo of the Trestle
Eventually we found our way to the East Fork and the Carrizo Palms. There was some water and lots of wildlife tracks
Unfortunately this poor gal was not able to make it to the water source. I was able to go out a few days later with a Fish & Game Biologist to perform a post-mortem and the cause of death was determined to be from disease
I did manage to get some digital shots as well, love the sunrise photos with a super zoom
The Goat Canyon Trestle has several "catwalks" built in to facilitate repairs and maintenance duties and there is also an elaborate fire supression system built into the trestle with many pipes and valves that lead up to the water tanker on the hillside above. This photo is looking straight thru the first catwalk and some of the water pipes are visible. I can't recommend walking these catwalks at all, they are sketchy at best
Gary enjoying some of the water at Carrizo Palms
Reptiles were out and about, we found 2 in the same spot with head injuries, pretty strange, anybody have any ideas? We were thinking hawks or such
This guy was chilling in the shade of the tunnels
Railroad camp debris, re-purposing a shovel for something?
This is more my speed, a real fifth bottle of whisky
Anyways, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed...time to turn in.....