Turtle Mountain Wilderness
March 17, 2011

Pov, Cathy and I started from Lisa Dawn trailhead and soon came upon a large cairn with the NW and SW corner markers of the Lisa Dawn mining claim. We were on our way to ward Valley Wash over Mishap Pass to Gary Wash to a campsite near the head of the wash. The next day we traveled crosscountry to Vidal Valley and Mopah Spring. A corrugated, galvanized shack remnant was wrapped around a palo verde tree in the middle of the wash just south of the pass to Mopah Spring from Vidal Valley.

We found prickly pear, palo verde full on desert mistletoe, nolina with old flower stalks, and desert poppys in bloom. A side blotched lizard was willing to be photographed. Ocotillo were leafed and some in bloom. There was a well-camouflaged round tailed lizard.

Mopah spring was half full at the end of the day then full to three quarters full by the next morning. Perhaps the palms pull water out of the pond during the day.

We looked for a way to get to Kettle Mesa that is south of Umpah Peak. We went around Mopah to a valley from the east. From there we could see the entire eastern cliff of the mesa and could see no reasonable route. We found a rusted artifact that looks like it fell out of the sky. I think it is likely that it was wind blown in storms to account for the damage. There was another piece of this several yards south. Our guesses range from propeller, to burner, to ceiling fan. It remains unidentified.

On our way form Mopah Wash to Gary Wash we again were impressed by Patton’s airstrip and rock structure. We saw several humming birds, a few hawks, several quail coveys, many fast moving brown lizards, a few horned lizards, desert cottontails and jack rabbits.

We followed the direct route from Gary Wash to Coffin Spring that goes through Cactus Garden. Coffin Spring was full of water.

The last day we visited and explored Brown’s camp.