Monday, September 17, 2012

Aqueduct Adventure

I went on this hike two weeks ago.  I was interested in fully exploring an old aqueduct that I had hiked up to fifteen years ago.  This time it was a bit easier, since there was a trail leading up to the site and the brush was cleared by someone, well, some of the way at least.

This is the point where the old aqueduct would head out of the canyon and down to the valley to meet the irrigation needs of the settlers.  I reached this point by hiking over the shoulder of the hill from the valley floor below. It is quite a hike just to get to this point, but this wasn't a big deal for me.
As you can see, I still have a lot of hiking to do.  On the left, you can see the canyon road that leads up to some radar towers. This road used to be really busy with outdoor recreation, until it was closed down due to a landslide.

These little guys were sticking up everywhere. I think they look like mushrooms. 

Of course, what I was seeing were the steel bands left over from the pipeline.  The aqueduct's pipe was constructed of wood strips banded together with thousands of these pieces that you see here.  The bands and accompanying hardware are still all over the place, stretching nearly two-miles.  Almost all of the wood had either been destroyed by fires, or rotted away.

These bands tripped me up quite often.  I had several occasions where I was nearly gouged. Fun!

This large elbow was of such size that I could hide a dead body in it. I sometimes wonder why my mind works the way it does.  Hmm.

There were some cool outcroppings along the way. This was about where I had to start bushwhacking to get to the final third of the aqueduct and to the gates.

As I got closer to the gates, I found a peculiar object on the ground. Having to look where I had to put my feet paid off.

I cleaned off the object to find out that it was a stop watch of some sort.  I could make out that it was made in Germany and that the dial went to 30. The dial read "Mills". I want to find out what in the hell that's about. Anybody got a clue?

Anyway, the body is silver plated and the needle was rusted off. I'm guessing that it is rather old, but not older than a hundred years. I still am too afraid to open it up, for fear of launching a bunch of springs and gears all over the place.

Here are the gates.  Not much to look at, but not many people, I would gather, have been up here in the last 40 years. I have always been curious about what things the old timers did and how in the hell they built/got all this crap up here. 

I forgot my WD-40. Damn.

Instead of coming back the way I came, I hiked down to the creek and up the north side of the canyon to a good trail.  I knew I was getting close to the road when I saw the "Satanists" cave.  This is a good place to get loaded and set shit on fire, btw.


Christielli said...

Awesome hiking post dude! I couldn't imagine hiking where I have to worry about gouging myself on old metal things.

That watch is cool. Let us know if you find out more about it.

Jules said...

Please invest in some mid calf hiking boots, so gauging yourself in future won't present itself as a problem. Also, for pete's sake, bring the oil.. I was dying to see what was inside that contraption. Awesome hike, Grunty. How long did the whole thing take?

Jules said...

Oh right, the stopwatch... take it to an antiques dealer and see what they say. I wouldn't open it up though...

The Grunt said...

Christielli~ Thanks! It was only bad in certain places, with the metal bands. But it is always good to be aware of where your feet are, due to rattle snakes.

Jules~ Mid-calf boots are a bit on the warm side, but they sure do offer good protection. The hike took me about four hours because I like to explore, and that usually means doing some bushwhacking. The contraption was a head gate, or were you referring to the stopwatch?

I will do a followup post on the stopwatch when I find out more on it.

Logophile said...

Be careful with that stopwatch!

makes me think of this

Logophile said...

BTW, if you want a tag, you have one waiting at my place.

Nessa Roo said...

Did you look inside that pipe just to be sure nobody had the same idea as you? I mean, it would be dreadful to haul a body all the way out there, and then have to find another hidey-hole, don't you think?