Successful hike up Q mountain the other day with my friend George. It’s just a big hill, really, that has a giant “Q” painted on the front—hence the name. Much of the landscape is super flat here, so anything that sticks up like that looks like a mountain to me.
We walked up to the top in about twenty minutes—a pretty easy hike. But I was really glad to do it, after I’d punked out on the Dome Rock hike the other day.
I had actually read the brochure they gave me when I checked in to this long term visitor’s area of the Bureau of Land Management, (BLM) & (LTVA). There was a section on wildlife one might encounter here, and it informed me athat there were numerous diamondbacks here; I already knew about the rattlesnakes. With a rattlesnake, I figure I have a sporting chance. The get into this S shape and rattle before striking, I think. But diamondbacks? I know nothing about them beyond what the name tells me. Are they active in the cool winter months? How high do they strike, when they do? Will my hiking boots and jeans protect me at all? Where do they like to hang out?
After I drove to the Dome Rock area, and parked the rig, I didn’t like the way the place felt, actually. I wanted to hike up the dome. Beyond my snake worries, there were only a couple of old RV’s camping over there—and no people around at any of them. And there were some grim young guys standing around with their ATV’s. I didn’t like the looks of them, or the way they were looking at my motor home. Were my New York plates a sign that this rig likely has some expensive stuff inside? Were they likely to take a screwdriver to the door lock after I walked away? Dunno, but I honored my intuition, and blew off the hike. I got out and walked around a bit.
I was curious to examine some areas there that had obviously been prospected—long low piles of discarded rocks. From a distance, they almost looked like the New England stone walls that we find everywhere in the woods. But here, the trench on the far side tells that someone was digging to a certain depth, perhaps looking for geodes, feldspar, or other valuable rocks.
The earth all around Quartzsite is, geologically speaking, very rich, and complex. It contains many veins of ore: copper, silver and gold. Also, numerous valuable minerals are present, and they are worth digging for. George and I took a quick walk through Gemworld after our hike, where there were rows of bins holding rocks and geodes of various flavors, all priced by the pound or by the size of the pieces. You can find Quartzite and the surrounding areas—check out what type of rock is where, and see which period the geologists have dated the different areas of rock from, on the interactive map, courtesy of The Arizona Regional Geology at http://azgs.az.gov/services_azgeomapg.shtml
I started fooling around with this site yesterday morning, and became so interested in the geology of this place, that consequently, I never finished this post. So for today, I will share the link, and sign off.