Saturday, June 5, 2010

Small Adventure, Good Exercise

We have found a cool place to take a walk. Here is the place on Google maps. The Aqueduct. There is a stretch of the California Aqueduct that runs through the desert near the Victorville/Hesperia area. It finally comes up to the mountains where it is pumped over from a lake created for this water system. A lake the the cute fiancee points at and fondly says my childhood camp ground is down there at the bottom of that lake. Lake Silverwood. We drive by it twice a day on most days to get cute fiancee to work. The Aqueduct flows for most of its length by simple gravity. When it reaches a point in Hesperia it comes to small canyon that it must cross, then flow across a small group of foothills, then cross another, lower valley to reach Silverwood. The part that crosses the foothills is about a 2 and a half mile length of open canal that has a paved road paralleling it. If you zoom in on the map in the aqueduct link above, you can see the water channel we walk along. When it isn't boiling hot it is a cool setting for a walk.

I like the whole engineering aspect of this thing. Water flows to an end point in Hesperia and is channeled into, I think 3 pipes, gravity lets the water flow through the pipes and over to our little section that is at the same level then flows over to that lengths end and back into 3 more pipes and gravity fed over to Silverwood which is also at the same or slightly lower level.
One of the stenciled signs where the water boils up into our walking canal says "siphon".
I know what that is. I used this siphon stuff a lot in High School to get gas for my car. A small joke there. Dad I swear it wasn't from your car..grin
Where was I, oh yes, we walk along this little stretch of aqueduct.

There are some land marks that make some nice places to either make goals to reach or marks for your progress. There are actually two roads paralleling the channel. one is paved and on the other side is a graded dirt road. There is a road that crosses the aqueduct but they have it blocked from traffic. Using Google Earth I mapped out the distances to these land marks.
First land mark, High Tension Power lines that cross over the channel. .9 miles
Second land mark, Bridge crossing the channel 1.15 miles
Last land mark, South end of Canal 2.41 miles
I need a good land mark between the second and the last land mark to make a kind of 3/4 way, but we haven't gone that far yet.
We have seen and heard some wild life along the aqueduct. The second time we walked the channel we were watching a couple riding on the dirt road on the opposite side and the guy riding by all of the sudden swerves to avoid something. The look on his face said to me snake. He rode up a bit to a pile of rocks ( we saw several of these piles of rocks on that side when we took our first walk and now we know what they are there he picks up one he can carry and goes over to the point he swerved at and starts throwing the rock down at the ground. There is a berm at edge of the road so we can't see the rock landing. He throws then dodges out of the way. He is such a Macho man. He gets another rock, throws then dodges. We ask what he has found, he said "rattle snake". Several rocks later and his primal fears assuaged he peddled on. He was not very graceful killing that snake.
Not to long after that cute fiancee pointed to something on the pavement. It was a baby rattler. I was determined, if I had to kill this very small coil in the road I was going to do it gracefully. Cute fiancee would not let me get near it. Darn her I just wanted to look, and maybe poke at it with a stick...grin
I guess there is fish in the Aqueduct. There are people fishing there all the time. We saw a Cormorant on the edge near the water the other day. Cormorants are those birds that dive under water and chase after their pray. It dove to the water when we got close. On the way back I saw it diving for fish but not coming up with anything. As we got back to the car there was a couple at the edge fishing. The lady was hiding near a wall for some shade, and asked us if we saw anybody catching anything. I told her, no and that even the Cormorant I saw diving for fish was coming up empty too.
I'll report back when we reach the other end and see where the water drains out toward Silverwood. I take my camera now just in case we find some more wild life.
Speaking of that. Two weeks ago it was a lot cooler and cute fiancee wanted to walk before we headed home. I hadn't brought a jacket, but I did have a Serape that I had been given for the Cinco de Mayo celebration we had at my work. So I covered up in that and we started walking.
I got an idea for some comedy so I had the cute fiancee take a picture of me with my phone wearing the serape and my Indiana Jones look a like hat, and I texted the picture and the words "this man" to my friend Kevin, Then I took a picture of the canal and texted that and the sentence "will swim this body of water to reach the US and bilk the American system of thousands of dollars and send it back to Norway". He and I are of Norwegian descent and with all the hoopla over the new Arizona Law it made for I was hoping a chuckle...grin

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