Borrego Springs, CA
On our Wednesday adventure we had planned to hike up a mile trail to visit the Wind Caves, but we took the wrong trail and ended up on a long march on a very rocky wash. To exhausted to climb to the caves once we finally located the trail, we decided to return another day for the experience.
After a day of rest and high winds on Thursday, on Friday our trip planner mapped out a long ride on a jeep road that would go back to the Wind Caves, but approach them from the south, rather than the north. After a long ride of about fifty miles on the main road to the west, then to the south, we turned off the main road on to a jeep road headed back to the north. The road was quit smooth for a jeep road, and we enjoyed a nice ride through some badlands.
The map showed what’s known as a “dropoff” where the trail takes a steep turn down into a wash. We watched a video of a jeep on this dropoff so we knew it was “driveable” for a couple of novices.
It turns out there are three dropoffs, but we were able to get down them fairly easily.
We then thought that the road through the wash would be an easy ride through the sand. Boy were we wrong. Things suddenly became very rocky and narrow. At one point we contemplated turning around, but the dropoffs are marked one-way and would present more of a challenge going up than we had coming down. But after examining the position of the boulder scraping a spring mount and assessing little possibility of damage, we moved forward with all four wheels spinning at one point or another. We would like to show pictures of the ordeal but the photographer was frozen in her seat with her heart in her mouth and we were fare down the wash before she could move again so no visual record of the experience is available. Some research on the Internet later revealed that the route is called Broken Shaft Gulch! We found a picture of someone else going down the main section.
The wash finally widened and we were able to continue to the goal of our journey, the Wind Caves. We found the spot where we hiked on Wednesday and could see the caves on the hill in front of us.
We parked the Jeep and made the one mile climb up the hill to the Wind Caves. The hike was well worth the effort as we really enjoyed climbing over and through these sandstones hollowed out by the wind.
The return trip up the Fish Creek Wash through Split Mountain was beautiful.
So after an exciting Jeep ride of over 25 miles through ever-changing terrain and over fifty miles of highway through the desert, we returned to the motorhome safe and sound. The event planner is now busy planning tomorrow’s adventure. More on that later . . .