Trying to make sense of the enormity of my assignment and get a handle on how to approach it, we spent my first weekend in the Preserve just driving around, turning onto any dirt road that caught our fancy.  Many became dead ends, just led back to the main road, or deteriorated to the point of being non-navigational .

Just a few hundred yards further, this became one of the latter, blocked by a tree which had fallen across the entire berm. The ruts ran along the top of the ridge, which was elevated about 10 feet from the surroundings, and the sides were just too steep to navigate.  To turn around, we had to drive in reverse on these tracks to a spot wide enough for a 475-point turn…   Through it all, there was not another soul in sight; the silence was stunning. Occasionally, a bird would tweet, or a lizard would rustle a bush, and the sound would startle us. It was magical standing in the warm, afternoon sun, in this vast, silent wilderness.

We were trying to get to those distant spikes on the left, called Castle Peaks, which will certainly be one of our destinations on a future visit.