Another trip to the Domelands with 3cd's
For preparation prior to this hike, in addition to making sure I had enough water (more than 80 ounces) and snacks, I uploaded the track from our previous trip to the Domelands. It was really good to have that on my GPSr map to follow. There are some tricky trail turns and trail accesses that are difficult to find without having the GPSr track.
There were four caches for 3cd's to find, and one for me to find—the one we placed on the last trip, "A Huge Desert Mushroom". That would be a FTF for 3cd's since no cachers have made it to over there since its placement.
At the trailhead, we saw three hikers emerging after spending the night. They had lots of gear, but I bet their packs were considerably lighter coming out than they were going in because of the amount of water you need to carry.
We started out on the trail that goes up, up, up a well-traveled track. I stopped and took some pictures as the views emerged.
At the wash where the track on my GPSr turned to the east, there was an arrow, made from stones, to mark the turn to the right. Since I wasn't looking at the GPSr, and since the wash we entered looks well-traveled, it would be easy to miss that turn, as our group did on the last trip here . . .
Here is the Profile and Tracks of this hike, including new waypoints I took along the way, and the waypoint for a new cache 3cd's placed on the other end of the slot canyon.
We walked up the wash for a ways and then started up a trail that went to the crest where the Domelands emerge into our view. The wind was blowing, but the temperature was perfect for hiking.
Near the trail I saw this ocotillo in bloom in front of interesting rocks.
The two boys had a great time investigating all the "rooms" in Fred and Wilma's house.
The view out to the northeast went forever.
After finding the three caches in the Domelands area, we found the elusive trail that headed towards the FTF and eventually to the slot canyon we hiked through.
After the hike through the slot canyon, we made it back to the fossilized oyster beds. This time I took some pictures, but they don't do justice to the experience of looking down and seeing nothing but shells, including one huge shell fragment that might have been from an enormous clam.
From that part of the "trail," high above the wash itself, we made a careful descent to the sandy wash where around every turn I saw things I wanted to take pictures of.
Because it has been so dry this winter, the desert wildflowers are not blooming as they can, but we did see these blossoms on a bush that put out very few leaves in addition to the flowers.
Finally, the track we had been following joined up with the trail we started on in the beginning and we were headed back down that long slope to the truck.
It was a great hike, with great weather, and great company. The last half mile the wind was really picking up, something that made the drive back up the steep grade from Ocotillo to Jacumba challenging as we passed high-profile vehicles and trailers trying to stay in their lanes on the highway while being buffeted by 40-mph gusts.
We soon came into clouds and low fog and on my 15-mile drive home from the Park 'n Ride, I had to turn on the windshield wipers because of the mist. What a change! The contrast made the experience out in the Domelands feel like a dream. I'm sure glad I took all those pictures.
I can review them to remind myself I was really there.