Pointless Waymarks

Ramblings, Questionable Geographics, Photographic Half-truths

Created by Charles Miles on 5/31/2021. Updated on 6/2/2021.

2021 April Topaz Canyon and Castor Temple on the way to Walapai Point
Topaz Canyon and Castor Temple on the way to Walapai Point. Charles Miles. 4/21/2021.

A now familiar rhythm: driving good dirt roads, driving not-so-good dirt roads, hiking on dirt roads, maybe hiking on definitely disappearing dirt roads, helpful elk paths, elk paths subtly turning in the wrong direction, wandering along the rim... The hike takes just a bit over 3 hours - it is without notable difficulty, the permits are easy to get and the destination is neither hidden nor unnamed - so why it is taken over two decades in Arizona to get here is a mystery...

2021 April View from West of Walapai Point
View from West of Walapai Point. Charles Miles. 4/21/2021.
2021 April Confucius and Mencius Temples and Shadow
Confucius and Mencius Temples and Shadow. Charles Miles. 4/21/2021.
2021 April Night Sky and Clouds over the Grand Canyon from West of Walapai Point
Night Sky and Clouds over the Grand Canyon from West of Walapai Point. Charles Miles. 4/22/2021.
2021 April Stars and Clouds over the Grand Canyon
Stars and Clouds over the Grand Canyon. Charles Miles. 4/22/2021.
2021 April Hazy Sunrise near Walapai Point
Hazy Sunrise near Walapai Point. Charles Miles. 4/22/2021.
2021 April Camped near Walapai Point
Camped near Walapai Point. Charles Miles. 4/22/2021.

Created by Charles Miles on 5/21/2021. Updated on 5/24/2021.

2021 April Diana Temple from Mescalero Point in the Sunset
Diana Temple dividing the world into light and shadow. Charles Miles. 4/23/2021.

Foreign names - Brahma, Isis, Vishnu, Pollux - but unmistakably American Gods, 70 million year old geologic survivors towering above the eroding canyon.

Today I'm alone - hiking along the rim far away from the handrails and signs that guide the worship of the masses at popular Grand Canyon viewpoints.

At midday I pause on Mimbreno Point to watch Vespa's white house shining in the sun, setup camp on Mescalero Point where Diana's Temple splits the world into light and shadow, rise in the darkness to see Pollux in the moonlight and at first light greet the emerging pantheon.

With luck wind and weather will erase my footprints before the next pilgrim arrives at the edge to make traceless offering to these American Gods.

2021 April Vesta Temple from Mimbreno Point
Vesta Temple from Mimbreno Point. Charles Miles. 4/23/2021.
2021 April Diana Temple Shadow from Mescalero Point
Diana Temple Shadow from Mescalero Point. Charles Miles. 4/23/2021.
2021 April Sunlight thru the gap between Diana Temple and Mescalero Point
Sunlight thru the gap between Diana Temple and Mescalero Point. Charles Miles. 4/23/2021.
2021 April Tower of Set in Sunset Light from Mescalero Point
Tower of Set in Sunset Light from Mescalero Point. Charles Miles. 4/23/2021.
2021 April Moonlight on Pollux Temple from Mescalero Point
Moonlight on Pollux Temple from Mescalero Point. Charles Miles. 4/24/2021.
2021 April Looking Up Canyon from Mescalero Point
Looking Up Canyon from Mescalero Point. Charles Miles. 4/24/2021.
2021 April Standing on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon near Mecalero Point
Standing on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon near Mecalero Point. Charles Miles. 4/24/2021.

Created and Updated by Charles Miles on 5/10/2021.

2021 May Ironwood Flowers in the Sun
Ironwood Flowers in the Sun. Charles Miles. 5/5/2021.
2021 May Blooming Ironwood
Blooming Ironwood. Charles Miles. 5/5/2021.

The Ironwoods are blooming!

It is so dry... Areas covered in flowers last year are empty this year and the first Ironwood Trees we see in Ironwood Forest National Monument are dishearteningly bare - but we keep driving and farther in we are relieved to find trees covered in flowers and buzzing insects.

2021 May Ironwood Flower
Ironwood Flower. Charles Miles. 5/5/2021.
2021 May Small Bug on an Ironwood Flower
Small Bug on an Ironwood Flower. Charles Miles. 5/5/2021.

For us it's too hot for a long desert hike so instead we take strolls from the truck, look for interesting plants and scenes, pick up (thankfully rare) bits of trash and feel grateful to see the Ironwoods blooming again.

2021 May Ironwood
Ironwood. Charles Miles. 5/5/2021.

Created by Charles Miles on 5/7/2021. Updated on 5/8/2021.

2021 April Cedar Mountain Shadow stretching towards the Little Colorado River and Black Knob
Cedar Mountain Shadow stretching towards the Little Colorado River and Black Knob. Charles Miles. 4/19/2021.

I'm not sure if I have ever really read thru a 'tourist guide' to the Grand Canyon National Park - it turns out maybe I should have, even the 1933 Desert View Drive in Grand Canyon National Park Guide has a photo of, and information on, Cedar Mountain - an interesting destination I hadn't even heard of 5 years ago... From the 'Seventh Stop - Desert View (Navajo Point)', p. 10:

Cedar Mountain. To the east of Desert View Point is a small flat-topped mesa, known as Cedar Mountain. This mesa is of especial interest in geological history, since the red sandstones and pebble rocks of which it is formed represent a remnant of wide-spread layers that once covered this entire region. Other remnants of these formations are found near Zion Canyon to the north, in the Painted Desert farther east, and on the plateau to the south.

Desert View Drive in Grand Canyon National Park - 1933 - Page 7
Page 10 from Desert View Drive in Grand Canyon National Park showing Cedar Mountain - 1933.
Desert View Drive in Grand Canyon National Park - 1933 Cover Page
Cover Page from the 1933 Desert View Drive in Grand Canyon National Park Guide.
2021 April Gold Hill and the Little Colorado River from Cedar Mountain
Gold Hill and the Little Colorado River from Cedar Mountain. Charles Miles. 4/19/2021.
2021 April Hills across the Little Colorado River in the Sunset
Hills across the Little Colorado River in the Sunset. Charles Miles. 4/19/2021.
2021 April Wotans Throne
Wotans Throne. Charles Miles. 4/19/2021.

Cedar Mountain's shadow stretches towards the Little Colorado at sunset - the mountain top isn't high enough or close enough to the edge to give you views into the Grand Canyon, but familiar landmarks like Wotans Throne appear on the horizon. After sunset I find a spot to stretch out and escape the wind - city lights appear under the moonlight and in the AM dusty skies mute the rising sun.

2021 April City Lights from Cedar Mountain
City Lights from Cedar Mountain. Charles Miles. 4/19/2021.
2021 April Little Colorado disappearing in the Haze
Little Colorado disappearing in the Haze. Charles Miles. 4/20/2021.
2021 April Skeleton
Skeleton. Charles Miles. 4/20/2021.

Posts Before:
Driftwood Falls, John K. Hillers
Escalante, Mericats, Myself in the Water, I am the Grand Canyon - 5/1/2021
2021 February Water in the Samaniego Hills
Looping thru Ironwood Forest National Monument - 2/8/2021, 2/22/2021
2021 January Looking into Mendoza Canyon from Point 4462
A North East Loop in the Coyote Mountains - 1/5/2021
2021 January Left behind in the desert
Footprints in the Desert - 11/4/2020, 1/18/2020, 1/20/2020
2021 January A View Across the Hay Hook Ranch from Point 4181 with Mount Lemmon in the distance
Coyote Mountains North East Boundary Access Improvements - 1/17/2021
2020 March Windmill reflection in a tank below Crow Windmill
Crow Wash - 11/10/2020, 3/22/2020