We have continued our search for fossils in canyons. Did not find much though, however we DID find that canyons can be quite interesting.
This whole area around Benson Arizona was once a sea bed, which in my take on it…. eventually dried up, then became covered up with other rock. Then the erosion of the rocks from the flow of water created canyons, the bottom of which the fossils from the sea bed become exposed. “Limestone is formed in two ways. It can be formed with the help of living organisms and by evaporation. Ocean-dwelling organisms such as oysters, clams, mussels and coral use calcium carbonate (CaCO3) found in seawater to create their shells and bones. … The water pressure compacts the sediment, creating limestone.”
So the walls of the canyons are largely made of limestone, with all of the rocks held within the strong limestone. (theoretically this is where you would find the fossils, but we were not into hammering into limestone)(too much work)
Climbing down this canyon called Dry Canyon was a bit of a climbing feat (which Ken and I get into from time to time…..) I wish I took better pictures to better illustrate the depth of the canyon. So we had to traverse the sidewalls …. to keep our feet dry, and Tucker, well he just swam. You can see the limestone walls here.
Tucker did not WANT to swim, but he did not have hiking boots on so his feet did not do very well at gripping onto the rock.
But he dried off MUCH faster than our boots would have.
The canyon was very narrow in places, I am sure one would have gotten OUT of canyon very quickly should there be a sudden downpour.
Another interesting thing we found in the canyon were back packs…… we found 5 of them, badly damaged from the water. …. and what was left of a tent… Bearing in mind that this canyon is about 20 miles from the Mexican border, we could not help but wonder about the back packs (really ..just day packs) ???
Well all good things come to an end and we figured we needed to climb up the walls of the canyon (or go back UP the canyon, which has been rather difficult), so we opted to climb up the wall of the canyon. you can see here…. about 100 feet and somewhat steep, but the biggest problem is that Tucker who was ahead of us, kept loosening the rocks sending showers of rocks down on top of us.
We eventually got to the top, and then were met with a whole NEW problem. Someone was shooting a very large gun and we were hearing bullets whistling near us.
So this is the picture I took at that time, somewhere between where I took this picture and that mountain is 1) a massive canyon, 2) Our Jeep 3) a road going down into the canyon and over to the other side where the jeep is and 4) a guy with a gun.
We cannot see him and he OBVIOUSLY cannot see us, nor hear us (he was wearing hearing protection) I have a VERY loud whistle, so I was whistling, Ken had a plastic whistle and eventually Ken remembered he had a air horn (we carry to scare away bears) So he started honking with this. We were yelling at him to stop shooting.
Finally he heard us and yelled back that he was shooting west and we could come down road. (which ever way west was???)
Tucker is just freaking out, ….. and we walked past these guys. They did not even seem fazed at all that they were scaring us to death……. SHEESH what a day.
We do not go out LOOKING for adventure, we just go out looking for rocks, but we do find adventure….. often……
Back at the motorhome………. cutting rocks.
So just to say that rockhounding has many unusual ……sources of danger.
Much love from Janet, Ken and Tucker the hesitant…. swimming dog