Thursday, October 26, 2006

Devil's Thumb

I read about this peculiar rock formation from an old scout book published by Aramco, many years ago and handed over to me by a fellow worker, Gary Robinson. The thumb is about 160km from Dammam near the old town of Judah. On a clear day, it can be seen from a distance of tens of kilometers away. In spite of the many trips I took to Riyadh, I didn’t pay attention to this rock which sticks up like a sour thumb. The name of Devil’s thumb was given by Aramco scouting group in Dhahran. It must have been a favorite place for them to camp there.

One day while coming back from Riyadh, it occurred to me that this must be a good place to hide a cache. So I took a turn off the highway at Judah and proceeded to the thumb. Since this was not planned, I used a traditional metallic container (Bustook, used to store honey or butter) for the cache, which I got from the nearest gas station.

I drove on hard desert tracks till I arrived at the thumb. The place below the rock is so visible and judging from the leftovers nearby, I decided the thumb was not the place to hide the cache. It was exposed at the bottom from all direction, so I opted to go to the nearby escarpment which I could see from a distance in the north. I reached the closest canyon and found a terrific hiding place and there I stashed my cache.

Cache before hiding
Cache after hiding
It’s a great place for camping, as there are many interesting rock formations and even some caves. Later I discovered that this odd looking rock formation was photographed decades ago by early Aramcons and it was a favorite thanksgiving camping spot.

No comments: