We got an early start and didn't give the weather a thought until we got out of the car at the "Ranchita Microvillage" where the wind was blowing like crazy, and it was cold. Until the moment I stepped out of the vehicle into that freezing wind, I didn't give the weather a thought . . . Doh! Since strong winds in the desert can turn a fun trip into a miserable one, it was something I should have thought about.
Since this was the first time I visited the cluster of little houses during the day so I took many more pictures I combined into this "collage."
We replaced the cache for GeckoDad just in case it will be a while before he can get there. If he wants to re-enable the cache for all the cachers heading to the desert for the camping trip, he can.
Down the road a bit we found a couple of caches, braving the wind to climb up the rocks. At the second cache, "Jasper Trail," we saw the cold clouds tumbling over the mountains and disappearing in the dry desert air.
Further down the road we saw this incredible pile of boulders in which there is no
cache . . .
We didn't take the time to place a cache in the morning, thinking we might do it on our way home. Alas, it was nearly dark when we drove by in the evening, so the impressive rockpile still lacks a cache . . .
Up on Yaqui Pass there is a nice walking trail on which there were three caches for CTYankee9 to find, and two for me, both of which had been DNFs during the camping trip back in October 2005. The gusty wind threateden to push us of the trail and into the various cacti that bordered the trail.
The view from the Mescal Bajada marker is extraordinary. I didn't know if my pictures would turn out because the wind buffeted me as I tried to hold the camera steady.
On Highway 78, we started down Old Kane Road, which is a powerline access road that runs in a perfectly straight line for miles and miles and miles. We found several caches along that road and then tried to get back on it after it crossed the highway in Ocotillo Wells. We had to give up and go back out to the highway and try to access the caches from a different road. It was along that road we got caught in a sandstorm . . .
We were making good progress towards our goal until we came to a huge gap in the earth's crust. Unlike most of the washes in the flat part of the desert, which frequently have gently-sloping sides, this was a huge, steep-sided crevasse. There was no way across it, so about half a mile from the cache we wanted to find, we had to turn around and retreat.
Later, on still another road, just after we found the first caches in a few hours of driving, we had to retreat when our road disappeared under some newly-formed sand dunes . . .
Once again we had to retreat and since the gas guage needle was leaning towards 'E', we decided to drive back to Borrego Springs and head home, but not before stopping for two more caches, one of which had a Red Jeep TB in it. CTYankee9 grabbed that one since I got one earlier in the day in one of the caches on which we were FTF.
It was a great, exciting, really fun day, but the strong winds reminded me how important it is to check the weather forecast in Borrego Springs before heading out to the desert.
Once again I am very grateful to CTYankee9 for wanting to head out that way and for doing all the driving. I look forward to our next adventure, wherever it takes us.