I went back to the area with the Big Cave in it to see if I could find more caves and interesting things. I was successful in this endeavor.
This is a small hole in a little rock apart from the main mountain.
I crawled inside to see if anything interesting was going on. Nope.
This is a sheer, imposing rock.
As I made my way around, I found something interesting:
The one on the left isn't really a cave or even much of an overhang. The one on the right is a 1-room cave that was fairly good-sized. I had cell service here, so I texted a couple images to a co-worker who was stuck in pointless meetings, while I was enjoying the day off.
A hole in the wall.
Peeking out. I headed back out and kept moving.
Very imposing as we look up about 400'. It is very crumbly on this face. These scenarios are always a little nerve-wracking for me. There were some very large rocks appearing to just sort of be dangling up there.
Cool looking tree.
As I moved along, the rock cliffed-out and I thought I would have to head back up the way I came down. Instead, I kept kind of poking my way south and kept finding opportunities to explore further. I thought this was the end of the trip, but the mountain kept going.
This entire area gets very little human traffic. This particular cave even less, but I did find a fun fruit wrapper in here.
This is looking above that cave to a small area. I almost climbed up here and just decided not to for whatever reason. I think there may be some other interesting things up there. These types of places generate a great deal of "cool spot paranoia", in that you always suspect something great is just around the next corner, looming, and if you don't explore, you'll miss it.
Speaking of which, I kept moving south towards that suspected cave.
This is just down from that last overhang and is generally where I thought I saw another cave. That other cave turned out mostly to be an illusion, but this was still a cool looking feature. It is an interesting formation. I do not remember if that forms an arch or if it's just the angle. In retrospect, I should have figured out how to get up there and take a closer look. I named it Kissing Rock.
The ground right here was about as steep as it is anywhere I went on this trip. I looked down further and noticed a distinct change in the terrain. The ground flattened out and stayed that way, so I knew I had reached the end of the rocks.
This is the southern-most point of the rocks. It feels like you're at the bottom of the world as you stare up that sheer rock. Considering it is only .5 miles from this point to my starting point and it is an 800' elevation change, that feeling is sort of understandable.
From here, there's nowhere to go but up, so I began the trudge back up to the road, this time along the other side of the rocks.
There are quite a few of these little false caves throughout here. But...if you want to know for sure, you have to check them all out. I did not today, especially on the second half of this trip.
Still down towards the bottom, this spire shoots out.
On this side, there are 3-4 large areas where the ground pushes back up into the rocks. I started to explore the first one I came to until I realized just how large it was. Back up in there was also where the rock cliffed-out on the other side during the first half of the trip. I backed out because it would have taken more time than I had remaining. Then I walked past 3 more just like it. Pictured is the largest of these areas. Not only does it take time to climb back in there, it takes time to explore it. This one alone would easily burn an hour.
See that tree?
There are countless scenes like this throughout the rocks, but this one stands out. (HA!)
It is far from uncommon for a tree to be seemingly growing straight out of the rocks, or at least on a precariously small amount of dirt on the rocks. But, to see a tree of this size doing that is pretty rare.
These are from playing with the pre-shot color filter and are from a huge madrone tree. The west coast of the US (and a little bit of Canada) is the only place on Earth where madrone trees grow and they are unique and interesting tree.
As I headed up to the car, I went through a flattish section of forest on my way out. The other way is a very steep scramble.
A swampy area that I need to explore a bit more.
This swamp looks more primordial than most I've been to. Then again, it's probably thinking I look more primordial than most of the people that visit it.
Up along the road, there was a huge patch of these Del Norte County irises.