Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Good Day for a Jeep

Bright and early Saturday morning we picked up Howard and Lynda for some explorations.

Photo credit goes to Lynda.

Our experienced guests know the cool places to go.  

"Have you been to Split Mountain?"
"No . . . ."

So we headed south to Ocotillo Wells and then took a road labeled Fish Creek.  And we found ourselves here:

And here:

And here:

And all of these places:

Past Split Mountain, there is a hike-to "must see" known as the Wind Caves. The trail is a mile back in to the caves, so a two-mile round trip.   The first portion (or last) is quite steep with loose rock.  We passed some hikers coming down who assured us that the only portion that was like that was the portion we were on (relatively true).  They also said that when the trail split, we should take the right fork.

They should have been more precise: "when the trail splits at the three rock cairns" would have been good.   As it was, we took what looked to be the more traveled main trail (i.e. the left fork) and came out at the top end of the caves.  

On the way up.

Here we are: on the last stretch.  Tom lagged behind as photo-journalist. 

We made it!

This cave came complete with a fire pit.

We circled around and took the lower, easier trail back to the split.

 The view back down from the caves was also spectacular.

After the caves, we stopped up the "road" for a picnic lunch.  We then continued on to the intersection of Sandstone Canyon .

We returned via a less traveled road (yet another left fork) along Loop Wash.

It was a great day but boy were we tired.   And the descent from the caves crammed my toes into my hiking boots reminiscent of  Cheryl Strayed's in Wild.

Where should we go next?   I found a site at OhRanger.com with descriptions of several of the popular roads.  We still need to hike the Palm Canyon Trail from the campground.  The hosts tell us that there are bighorn lambs up at the oasis.

Stay tuned . . .