Barton Creek Mystery solved


West end showing the water

West end showing the water

I was still very curious how Barton Creek could just stop its flow between Sculptured Falls and Twin Falls and was determined to try to solve the mystery. So with cameras all ready packed and plenty of water, I once again set out for the Barton Creek Greenbelt. This makes the third trip in 7 days and all to the same area.

This time, I had a much better idea where I was going and parked once more at the Loop 360 entrance and hit the trail that ran alongside of the creek heading West. I had a much better idea of where to locate the “Puddle” that I discussed in the previous blogs and the first small waterfall. I made good time walking in and decided that the best approach would be to get to the falls and try to work my way downstream until I was near a solution to the mystery.

Getting to the falls was easy as there was a trail already there but heading downstream was much more difficult. In some places I could stay in the stream bed but in others, I had to get back up on the bank and literally make my own path to get through. The vegetation was pretty thick and it was slow going. I stopped to take pictures as I went until I finally came to a spot where the rocks had made a natural dam. There was a lot of vegetation in the creek bed with water filling in and around the rocks. At the west end of this area which probably was about a half mile or so, the water was a pretty steady flow but by the time it had reached the East end, it had all but disappeared.

Barton Creek Mystery East end

Barton Creek Mystery East end

I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping to see  a hole in the ground with the water very dramatically pouring into it but no such luck. What instead is happening is that the water is making its way down through the fissures and cracks in the rocks as it seeps into the Edwards Aquifer below.  Even so, there must be some fairly extensive openings to lose that much water because no more than half a mile upstream, the creek is full from bank to bank with a steady flow. Given this as a fact, there has to be a tremendous amount of water flowing for it to provide enough water to fill the downstream area.

I walked my way back out of the area and passed a pair of huge rocks. This is the last picture of the video. Incidentally, the first 4 video pictures are of the two massive Live Oaks that I mentioned in the previous blog. I couldn’t resist taking more pictures but I can’t do them credit as I am not portraying the size of the trees very well.

When I return to the green belt, I will try a couple of other entrances to cover new ground.

Barton Creek Greenbelt Mystery video 10-12-2013 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

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