Cross Hill and the Mystery Cat
So I headed out today to try and find the abandoned quarry at Cross Hill, in the Nuevo ( pronounced NEW-WAY-VOO ) area of Southern California. According to what I have read, the quarry should have feldspar, quartz, schorl tourmaline, aquamarine, monazite, thorianite and possibly garnet. So to a new emerging rockhound, this was exciting!! But there was a hitch though, you would have to pass through private property, although only for about 150 yards.
At first I tried to find a less intrusive way of entering, but after a 45 minute search, that took me nearly all the way around the hill, I decided to go back and risk the private property route.
The sign at the entrance stated it was private property that belonged to a Korean church, and as I drove in a noticed someone walking by. I nodded out of respect and continued driving slowly. The road I needed, was just off on the left, and was able to get to it without any problems. Maybe it’s because I was in a moderate Jeep, and not driving fast or loud, maybe because I nodded, I don’t know. I was now on McIntrye Rd and heading to my destination. The road was moderate, with some semi bad area’s, but nothing a off road vehicle can’t overcome, just be cautious when/if you go. They views were absolutely incredible, it seems there wasn’t a bad view anywhere on the hill, in any direction.
I continued on and finally reached and turned left on Wayman Rd. Proceeded about 200 yards and found the road to the quarry, but the climb up was too much for me to attempt, being that it was only me and the Jeep. I just didn’t want to risk getting hurt or stuck, besides the walk is not that far at all. Grabbed the rock hammer, camera, cell phone, locked the Jeep and headed on my way. As I climbed the steep embankment I noticed some VERY large footprints. Coyote? Bobcat? MOUNTAIN LION!?!?! Nahhhhh no worries, it’s all good, or so I though. But the funny thing about being older, and alone, and without a gun, is that now your brain decides to have fun with you. As I walked to the quarry I keep thinking about the footprints, if it’s a coyote I’ll be ok. If it’s a bobcat, I think I’ll be fine, but it’s always better to be more aware of your surroundings.. But what if it’s a mountain lion? My God those things are HUGE!!!! Brian just morphed into hyper sensitive!!
Finally reached the quarry and I just could not relax, it was quickly becoming early evening, hunting time for wildlife, and once I was in the quarry, I noticed a cave to my left about 20 feet off the ground. I’m trying to get samples, but just kept thinking that right now, in that cave, a mountain lion is watching me and thinking ” that’s nice, Sizzler came to me “, and I was the ” all you can eat buffet “… I’m older, heavier and I have a 2′ vertical ” leap ” and can’t run at all. Grabbed my specimens and started back to the Jeep QUICKLY!!! Sort of… It was more uphill on the way back, which caused me to take several extra breaks before I made it back to the Jeep. Once inside, my bravado came back, funny how that happens.. LOL!!!! Overall it really was a very nice trip, but next time I will go with a friend, during the day, and with protection… That way my brain will relax, the older people among you will understand, and so will you much later in live…. Enjoy!!!