|Kyle Canyon with 11,918 foot Charleston Peak on the left|
I never really thought about this before, but as I entered high school my oldest brother, Neal, took an interest in me. I used to think it was because he had no patience for young children, even if they were his siblings, and he just waited until I was no longer a small kid. And that was true enough. But now I think our dad’s death had a lot to do with it, too. Neal was thirteen when our dad died, so Neal went through his entire teenage years without a father. Dad was an avid outdoorsman, and so it was natural for Neal to submerge himself into hunting and fishing. Although not necessarily so, those hobbies can foster isolation if the trapping is solitude with nature. I guess that sort of fit Neal based on the issues he went through as a young adult.
Anyway, I find it more than a coincidence that Neal’s involvement with me began when I turned thirteen. It’s also no accident that what he wanted to share with me was his love for hunting and fishing. And although Neal introduced me to it during my early teen years, it really wasn’t until college that we enjoyed fishing trips as equal partners.
|My dad, Ray Vincent, holding a large trout |
from a New Hampshire lake (circa 1955)
|Ray Vincent with his Weimaraner "Queenie" |
and a brace of New England pheasants (circa 1955)
The Charleston Peak Loop Trail is an awesome hike in many respects. First, the peak is the tallest in the Mojave Desert, and one of the tallest peaks in all of Nevada, topping off at 11,918 feet above sea level. Second, the “rise and fall” of the trail rivals that of the Grand Canyon. Starting at about 7,800 in Kyle Canyon, the trail has a 4,000 foot elevation change both ways (up and down). Lastly, the views are amazing from the ridges, which in themselves are a contrast. The south loop has grassy fields on what appear like rolling hills, while the northern loop cuts through craggy cliffs that often give you pause while stepping across avalanche shoots. That contrast sticks with you.
|Doug Tueller snacking on the south loop ridge|
|Doug "motoring" on the south loop trail|
|Looking down on Pahrump from south loop|
|Glimpsing the Charleston Peak from the south loop|
|FisherDad on the peak, freezing in the middle of summer|
Approaching the peak from the south loop you would come across the wreckage of a DC-9 crash from the 1940’s or so. I recall seeing a propeller resting on the north-facing slope, like a camera tripod, propped on two blades and the engine housing. What a sight. There are not many remnants of that wreck anymore. At the peak there is an American flag with a sign-in box. Even in the middle of summer, the winds at 11,918 feet cut through you like icicles, and so the obligatory sign-in ceremony was very quick.
|Approaching the peak from southeast, with DC-9 wreckage visible|
|Charleston Peak from the north loop|
|Looking at the south loop from the north loop side, Kyle Canyon|
The memories of those early southern Nevada hikes will stay with me always, but the Charleston Peak Trail shines as one of the most memorable. Here are a few other pictures from earlier treks in southern Nevada:
|Toyota 4x4 and X-Country skiis at Deadman Canyon, |
Sheep Mountain Range, circa 1981
|Desert bighorn ewe jumped while skiing Deadman Canyon|
|Kevin McGoohan at Hidden Forest cabin, Sheep Mountain Range, circa 1983|
|FisherDad clowning around in the Hidden Forest outhouse|