So, not having found the bridge I needed to make one more attempt, we took a rest day to recover from walking on all those rocks then set off in search of the mystery bridge. We drove the little road stopping at the place calculated to be closest to the canyon with the bridge, at that point I realised the bridge wasn’t marked on the map I had, but I thought I remembered it well enough.
We wandered across some flat land, avoided cholla gardens and crossed a couple of small hills before coming to the main canyon entrance.
This canyon looked narrower and more overgrown than the last two, and had a troll guarding it just upstream.
Once again we were presented with a series of tanks.
Eventually we reached a side canyon off the main canyon where the bridge was supposed to be, just a little up on the left.
Right at the entrance was a tank with a pouroff that required some climbing around, I assume this is Arch Tank.
The side canyon also had many tanks,
and some impressive vegetation. We walked and scrambled all the way up the side canyon but there was no sign of a bridge, there did appear to be a shelf on the left side of the canyon so perhaps it was hidden behind that, we bravely climbed the steep loose side of the canyon.
and found an arch or bridge, but it’s only 6″ tall. If this is Tank Bridge some cartographer needs to die a slow painful death.
We wandered about all over the ridge above the side canyon but there didn’t appear to be another way down than the way we came up, Biff doesn’t like backtracking and wanted to climb the canyon walls.
Just a trickle of water feeds the tanks in the main canyon.
So back to camp without finding the bridge, studying the original map it seems maybe the bridge was closer to the entrance of the side canyon above the tank with the pouroff but that area had steep tall walls, another expedition will need to be mounted in the future..
This night was our last on King Road, time to start heading north. It was a nice spot but with limited and somewhat uncomfortable hiking options with all the rocks and cholla.
The maps I’m looking at have a bridge marked up a canyon near where I have been the last two days, near the base of the canyon there is also a notation of some Horse Tanks. I though these would be man made tanks like those for cattle, but not at all! I drove right to the end of the little road I started on yesterday and discovered that there were two information signs about the canyon, truly in the middle of nowhere.
Just a few yards down the path Biff found the first water.
Naturally he had to take a dip.
The water just trickles down over the rocks.
The wildlife people have built some dams to increase the amount of water available, primarily for desert bighorn sheep. I didn’t see any large wildlife the entire time I was in the area.
Some of the tanks were quite large, this one was at least 6 feet deep.
Looking back down the canyon from above the first set of tanks.
The canyon got narrower and a bit steeper, by now it was obvious I wasn’t in the right canyon for the bridge.
In places it was almost tropical.
At the top, looking over to the King Valley beyond the humps.
Biff seemed bemused by the amount of water.
This scene reminded of home in Wayne County with all the rocks laying about.
There has obviously been a lot of rain recently, the desert is lush.
I am camped on King Road which continues up the hill from my site and through a gap in the mountains to the east, I had to see where it went.
As I drove through the gap I happened to look over at exactly the right moment to see a tiny arch high on the ridge
I drove about 10 miles east of the tiny arch on King Road but it crosses a large expanse of flat and fairly featureless desert so I turned back. This area is marked on the map as part of the Yuma Testing Grounds used for live fire but I don’t think they use it any more as all the signs were covered up. On the western side of US95 there are signs on every road telling you to get a range pass before entering.
When I was exploring the area for camp site possibilities I noticed a small road heading south just before the gap so I decided that would be a good place for a walk with Biff today. We walked down the road then took a detour to avoid a camper and there it was, another arch!
This one looked like it might be accessible.
Climbing up to the arch I came across this cactus growing out of the vertical face of rock.
Since it’s not marked on the map I’ll call it Biff Arch
Rare selfie, getting a bit shaggy after a couple of weeks on the road.
Looking back the way we came.
Last view of the arch, the angle of the canyon on the other side made it invisible from that direction.
The way down from the arch, it was a bit of scramble in places.
Lots of desert flowers in bloom.
An Ocotillo sprouting leaves, they pop out of the stems after a rain and fall off as the area dries out.
Looking back at the exit canyon, the arch is in the shadow in the middle of the picture.
Up early this morning to get to King Road before all the other people, my plan worked pretty well and I found a nice spot with a good view, right after I got set up 4 RVs pulled into the spot next to mine! They are about 200 feet away so not terrible.