Departing the Memorial day camp site about 8AM the following members left for Mansfield Mine and canyon: Gordon & Kathy, Mitch & Susan, Dave & Vicki, Leon & Dorothy, Stacey & Angela, Lisa, Justin and assorted dogs. As promised, we waited at the Patagonia School until 8:30 AM and left for the Temporal Gulch trail head.
Waiting for us at the trail head were Ray & Kenny and Peter, for a total of seven vehicles into the breach. As we turned left off the Mansfield Mine road into the canyon, Dave noticed the road marker was missing. We need to have the Forest Service replace this marker.
The first obstacle, left around the rock and up the hill was successfully negotiated by all. Low 4wd up the canyon, through where the fence and gate used to be. Some new barbed wire laying on the ground indicates the rancher using that area intends to re-fence. We need to make sure the USFS insist a gate be placed there.
Left after the gate then right into the climb up through the narrows.
Although the rocks were still there from the previous attempt, the
climb through the narrows still proved to be an excellent obstacle.
Once through the narrows, we had to go high around the trees and then
down the hill, into the wash to regain the trail. So far, no major
mishaps, just a few bings and bangs. I think we have renewed our faith
in skid plates.
Still 4wd low rock crawling, somewhere along here Peter need a tow to
correct a high center, thereby claiming the dubious distinction of
becoming the first club member to pay the $1.00 tow fee. As the run
leader, I collected the dollar. Good sport, Pete.
We continued up the canyon until about 10:00 AM when we found we could go no further. The trail has completely washed out in a narrow defile resulting in a 20' vertical cliff across the road making the road completely impassable. This will require a major road building effort to make this section passable. After studying this obstacle extensively, the group decided to return down the canyon to continue up the Mansfield Mine road and reenter the canyon at the cabin. Yes, the cabin is still there and appears no worse for wear after last years monsoons.
We stopped for lunch at the cabin under the shade. Stacey spent some time trying to straighten his track bar that was supposed to straightened itself, but didn't. Stacey must be a mirror magnet because as he walked by his driver's side mirror, it jumped out at him. Not being much of a magnet though, the mirror just fell to the ground.
We decided to go downstream to the point where we were stopped coming up the stream. The first good obstacle was the waterfall, which has changed somewhat. It still has the narrow space between the two rocks at the lower end. After Leon and I negotiated this obstacle, I parked to watch the rest come through when I discovered Angela driving. She successfully negotiated the waterfall (Stacey has to, again, straighten his track bar).
Continuing down the canyon, we encountered a new obstacle which some bypassed and some attempted - all successfully. We reached a point downstream where we knew we couldn't negotiate the impassable portion of the trail and turned around to return to the cabin. Thus discovering the 20' cliff is the only obstacle stopping us from negotiating the entire canyon.
Being the thoughtful woman she is, Angela decided to pick up some more firewood. We do want to thank you, Angela, however, 3 inch green tree limbs won't burn, we need dry wood, and jamming them between the roof of your jeep and its roof rack is probably not the best place to carry wood.
Continuing upstream, we found some off-camber areas and lots of rocks and 4 vehicles from Tucson repairing a tire. As we couldn't get past them at this point, we dismounted and had some good conversation and met some new friends. Since it was about 2:30 PM and we still had about 1 mile to go, some members elected to return to the cabin and exit the canyon. Peter, Leon & Dorothy, Roy & Kenny, Dave & Vicki elected to return.
While we were waiting to continue up the canyon, we received a CB radio transmission that Pete had discovered his jeep rides better with his wheels on the ground instead of on its driver's side. He also discovered its not possible to keep a jeep from rolling on its side by putting out his hand. All of us had some really scared moments until we found nothing really bad had happened to Pete. He sustained some minor dents and scratches to the driver's side door, 14 stitches to his finger and a bruised ego.
We really feel bad about the injured finger, Pete, and if any of us can assist with something, don't hesitate to ask. The rest is just 4 wheeling. Thanks to Vicki, who is a nurse, Pete's finger was professionally bandaged a the scene.
Following this exciting and scary event, we decided it was too late to attempt the run to the mine, so we returned to the camp site to enjoy the illegal alien incident with the Border Patrol.
As the Run leader, it was brought to my attention that it took two tows to get Pete's jeep back on its wheels again. By the new club rules, Pete owes the club $2.00 more. However there were some members that felt by charging Pete the $2.00 we would be adding insult to injury, thereby possibly alienating Pete toward the club. As the run leader, I brought the issue before the club members involved on the run and still in camp for a vote. Sorry, Pete, the majority voted $1.00 for the wench to get you back on your feet and $1.00 for the strap to get you out of the hole. No hurry, Pete. The club can wait until you can get your finger into you wallet pocket.
All - in - all, a very successful day with some very capable vehicles and drivers. It was a great run with excellent cooperation between members, professional ground guides and spotting and sincere concern for each other's safety. Thanks, folks, for a an exciting day and a great run. See the pics on the web site as soon as I can get them there.