Split Mountain Road takes us through an interesting area of what look like "permanent boondocking" spots spread out across the desert. Several mailboxes line the side of the road, some shade and storage structures sit next to various RVs.
The "turn off" to the caves is Fish Wash. For a natural trail, the washboard is really bad for a couple miles. But when the wash narrows, the Wows begin.
We'd seen beautiful pics of this gorge on Sue's and John's blogs, and are still unprepared for how truly spectacular it is.
|Our first hint of what's to come|
We make several stops along the way, walking and scrambling up small cut-outs in the tall walls. There is little vegetation and we only see a couple birds, but the many colors and textures of the rocks is beautiful.
Pam gives me perfect directions to find the caves sign.
I miss it.
In all fairness, there are two vehicles parked in front of it, and it's not very big! So we get a couple extra miles of scenic desert trail until we're confident we've passed it.
Didn't remember the hiking poles (the first part of the trail definitely needs them), and didn't dress in layers so I'm already hot in my sweatshirt. But we figure to make the hike anyway.
No dogs on trail greets us at the trailhead. There are a couple other hikers here, more are coming up the gorge, we decide this is not the time to be "those guys" who ignore the rules.
Across the gorge is one visible cave so we can say we "saw" them. The drive back is like a whole new place, with fresh views and different lighting - and more Wows.
|"Extra" views through the roof|
Ezra and his folks arrive on Christmas evening for a couple of wonderful days together in the desert. Next post!