Cool and funky weather last Sunday suggested that a hike in the Teanaway Community Forest was in order. Normally I like to visit this area in late spring, after the snow has melted and before the grazing cows appear. But with our "July-uary" weather pattern, the weather was perfect in the lower Teanaway, with partial sun and cool breezes blowing over the hills.
We parked near the bus turnaround in the N. Fork Teanaway road, then started hiking up a gated road, which is little used except by cows. It climbed gently through open mixed forest. There was still green grass and wildflowers despite the lateness of the season. After a mile and a half, the grade steeped and the road climbed to a ridgeline where there was a fork in the road. The right branch headed toward Shirk Creek; we continue ahead on the ridgeline road, which steadily decayed the higher we climbed. The final climb to the 3200' unnamed summit was on an old trail that was overgrown with brush.
The view from the summit was expansive, encompassing the high Teanway peaks and Red Top Mountain. The hillsides around us featured a number of sandstone outcrops and bluffs, giving the area a bit of a southwest feel. This area once was the coast of N. America, and the sand was a product of old beaches and deltas. Swamps turned into coal seams, which where profitably mined in the Roslyn area for many years.
After lunch, we continued hiking the brushy ridgetop trail which dipped to a saddle then ascended to a second summit, where we picked up a good road. From here, I spotted a large and intriguing-looking round rock outcrop to the south, and we decided to try to get to it. This turned out to be a bit of an adventure, as we followed old road beds, then plunged through a gulch on a cross country route. Finally, we got there:
Could this rock be the site of the fabled Teanaway Vortex? Sedona has a lot of "Vortexes", why shouldn't Washington have some too?
I tried to feel the vortex energy. Didn't notice much of anything. Oh well...
From the rock, we descended a hill and picked up an old road, which led us south to the main Lick Creek road, where a pack of wild cows eyed us warily. The Lick Creek raod lead us in a mile to the main N. Fork Teanaway road at another gate. From here it was a short walk back to the bus turnaround and our parked car.
Overall we covered about 6 miles. No other hikers were seen. Lots of cow poop.
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