Editors note: the posts in this series are excerpts from Jason’s field notes.
20180725: We drove both vehicles to the Trail Canyon trailhead and camped near there in a lovely spot in a Pinyon-Juniper woodland. Very intimidating thunderstorms were looming all along the White Mountains and ranges to the east. We decided to delay for a day in Trail Canyon, and stay in Cottonwood Basin the following day.
20180726: We spent the morning painting and exploring the outcrops across the Trail Canyon valley. I found a good horse trail across creek finally but not before thrashing through several dozen feet of roses the first time I crossed. The outcrops turned out to be limestone, with good populations of Anaptychia ulotrichoides, Seirophora contortuplicata, Caloplaca biatorina, Acarospora spp., and Rinodina spp.
Later in the day we drove to Bishop. We got Nastassja a new foam sleeping pad at the used camping goods store, Marvin had a burger, and I looked for a book (nothing inspired me), and we finished with a Thai dinner. At around 6 pm we finally drove up to the trailhead past Patriarch Grove, a grove of 5,000 year old Bristlecone Pines. We stopped briefly at a random campsite early on the White Mountain road. It had an intriguing sign about leaving artifacts alone, so of course we went searching all over to find said artifacts. There was a limestone outcrop along the top of the nearby low ridge. It had a nice Acarospora tintickiana population. And it had some red stains which we hypothesized were created by fires so that they could make a red pigment. Marvin was initially spooked and didn’t want to visit the outcrops, so Nastassja went alone and talked to the stone people, then Marvin wanted to join. Near sunset we continued up. Sunset was quite spectacular with a vivid red sun barely visible through smoke of fire in Yosemite. We finally reached to trailhead in the dark. Someone had left a lot of firewood, but we didn’t have a fire.