My husband wandered to the east and when he came back said he wished he had had a camera because he saw a bull elk silhouetted against the sunrise. Alas, it ran off so no one else got to see it.
We prepared breakfast and I couldn't help but wander around a little more and take photos. Such gorgeous light!
These tree roots reminded me of a ram.
I was feeling restless, so I climbed a hill and got a wider view of the Table. Our goal that morning was to explore it. It looked big, stretching to the north and east, a big grass-covered plateau.
So after breakfast we set off, deciding to look at what appeared to be a hut on the northern horizon.
It turned out to be a rock structure taller than the kids. Not sure who built it or why.
A deep canyon intersected the plateau, and I couldn't resist getting closer. Some tall quartzite cliffs lined the northwest side of the canyon.
I could see it connected up with Smith Creek.
There are some neat bristlecones on the far edges of the Table.
As I turned and headed southeast, I found more broad expanses of the Table. Everything was so dry, and we were a little worried about predicted afternoon thunderstorms. One spark could easily start a conflagration.
And then I came across a trail. Can you see it in the photo below? Obviously trails don't get used much up here.
Here's the trail sign. Hope you have a map, because this sign just tells you the names and numbers of the trails, but nothing more (you can download free USGS topo maps here; search for "Mount Moriah" under 'USGS Map Name'--change it from 'Address and Place'). Looks like the colors in Hendry's Creek are changing.
It was 4.5 miles to travel along the perimeter of the Table. Have I said it's big?
We ate lunch and packed up to head back to the vehicle.
Once again, hiking downhill was no problem.
We took a little break before heading uphill.
In the end, it was definitely a trip worth smiling about.