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Author: Subject: Agua Caliente and Canyon Vibora - Part Two
Neal Johns
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Posts: 1687
Registered: 10-31-2002
Location: Lytle Creek, CA
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[*] posted on 11-17-2002 at 07:35 PM
Agua Caliente and Canyon Vibora - Part Two

The next morning we headed for Canyon Agua Caliente. However?..when George tried to start his 4Runner, there was only a faint clicking sound. Rushing over with my magic electronic engineer meter, I gave an instant diagnosis: ?Something is wrong! You got no juice!? Investigation showed the battery was only putting out four volts under load rather that the usual 8-10 volts at the terminals. A jump start got him going but he could not restart when the engine died. We finally installed my magic two and a half pound jumper battery in place of his battery and were in business.

The two track road changed to soft sand as we went over the edge of the arroyo wall and in a mile or so we came to a mini-summit (31 deg. 42.48 min. ? 115 deg. 35.41 min.) where there were dozens of grinding slicks on the boulders, and a shack, corral and palms a hundred yards further. This was La Palmita. Friendly Senor Castro was in charge of 60 or so cows and he looked as least as old as the palms. His transportation to the ?city? was a horse and you can?t get much further from the city than this place in Baja. He said no one was living at Agua Caliente and to go on up.

Driving past the shack, there were no tracks as the cattle had obliterated them. Onward! Faint tracks begin to appear in the wash and an unlocked fence gate appeared. Ahead a mile or two was ??Smoke! And it was spread out like a wildfire. We proceeded cautiously and it died down quite a bit. Shortly, we noted a house in some trees and saw that the agaves around there had been burned. We walked a hundred yards to check out the ?wildfire? and a lady from the house came over to us. She was not exactly unfriendly, but said we were in a left side canyon belonging to the Pai Pai?s (she was one!) and could not go any further without tribal permission. She said the fires were set to burn the agaves that stuck the cattle and Agua Caliente was ?thataway?.

We had gone wrong about a mile past the fence gate, following some tracks that turned left out of the wash instead of following the wash west-ish on the right side of a large butte at this junction (31 deg. 41.06 min. - 115 deg. 35.83 min.) There were no tracks in the wash, but Marian had said previously ?the wash looks like the way to go? while I had insisted on following the (wrong) tracks. Damn women!
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