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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Anza Borrego - 3rd Shift w/ Dan, Rachel, Jeff and Jaden - "deep into a mudcave"

 We were meeting the third shift of Anza Borrego explorers in Blair Valley at the traihead to the Marshall and Tanya South home.
While waiting for their arrival I hiked up to the ruins of Yaquitepec on Ghost Mountain.
I first read about Yaquitepec in old Desert Magazines years ago and never seemed to find the time to visit the site. 
Photo credit and more about the Souths and Yaquitepec click here.
"The Yaquitepec Lake"
The sundial that Marshall South described making in the November 1940 issue of Desert Magazine, page 24.
Dan, Rachel, Jeff and Jaiden arrived earlier than planned so we had time to drive some trails. After talking for a bit we hit the road and drove through Box Canyon and over Campbell Grade to View of the Badlands Wash.
 Photo Credit: Rachel Dyer
Pushing our way up the canyon trying to reach the viewpoint before dark.
Photo Credit: Rachel Dyer
We reached View of the Badlands just in time.
Jan struck a pose in her lovely pink fleece.
Driving back down the canyon looking for a place to camp.
 Photo Credit: Rachel Dyer
Our camp in the morning sun.
 Beginning another day of exploration.
 Photo Credit: Rachel Dyer
After a brief stop at Mesquite Oasis, no water, we drove on to Palm Spring.
Plenty of water at Palm Spring.
We continued our drive along Vallecito Creek until we reached the Hollywood and Vine sign. Rachel and Dan climbed up for a photo.
'James A. Jasper, a San Diego County supervisor, was responsible for signing this and many other places about a mile apart along several of the dim and dusty trails threading the San Diego backcountry in 1895. The old emigrant trail from Teofulio (San Felipe) Pass southeast to Carizzo gap was marked in such a manner by Jasper's iron signs. Directions painted on the signs gave distances to settlements and water holes. Long ago, a wag painted the words "Hollywood and Vine" on the metal plate of Jasper's sign here, and the name (but not the original sign) stuck.'
Anza-Borrego Desert Region: A Guide to State Park & Adjacent Areas of the Western Colorado Desert - by Lowell and Diana Lindsay

Another theory about the sign here.
After exploring Arroyo Hueso, we drove on to find
 Photo Credit: Rachel Dyer
the mud caves of Arroyo Tapiado.
One of several entrances to our first mud cave.
We chose an easier entrance.
 Photo Credit: Dan Dyer
 Working our way deep into a mudcave.
 Photo Credit: Rachel Dyer
Jeff and Jaden down below.
This mud cave was hundreds of yards in length. Jan is looking at a bridge in one of the several places where this cave opened up to the light.
Driving farther up Arroyo Tapiado looking for more caves.
Rachel climbed high up a trail with her father to scout another mud cave.
Using the Tapiado/Diablo Connector we crossed over to Arroyo Seco de Diablo. At a high spot on our route across Dan discovered enough cell service to send photos to his wife. Rachel had a painful encounter with a cholla when she hiked with me out to a topographical place name. She stood bravely on one leg while I removed the spines from her ankle. Tears came to her eyes but not a whimper from her lips. Feelings of compassion overpowered journalistic instincts and resulted in no photograph being taken of the 12 very serious looking cholla spines sticking into Rachel's ankle. I should have shot a photo because it would have taken only a few seconds, although it might have seemed much longer for Rachel.
Really wanted to dig this out and see how big it was but I took a photo and walked away.
 Our drive NW in Arroyo Seco del Diablo ended at this rockfall. Interestingly this rockfall was just a 1000 yards from the same type of blockage in Sandstone Canyon. Did the same event produce both? Check out the flow behind the boulders.
Reversing direction in Arroyo Seco del Diablo.
At our camp I muddled through another attempt at painting with light.
After dinner a fox stopped by for a visit. I was surprised that every carnivore within two miles didn't come running to our camp after Jeff prepared bacon wrapped hotdogs.
Dawn at our Arroyo Seco del Diablo camp.
 Photo Credit: Rachel Dyer
 Close up of the Dyer camp with toilet equipment ready for use.
Second Shift poses for a photograph. Jaden, Jeff, Rachel and Dan.
 Jeff and Dan drove down the Diablo Dropoff on their way to Fish Creek Wash and a visit to Sandstone Canyon and the Wind Caves.
 On my last visit to the dropoff our group made the descent down to the lower landing without much difficulty where we stopped for lunch. While lunching we watched another group of vehicles begin driving down the dropoff. Things were uneventful until the driver of the second truck used too much brake and slid sideways to a lurching stop. Everyone thought the truck was going to roll. It must have scared the bee jeebies out of the driver because all of us were gasping. We watched as members of the group attempted to recover the teetering truck but, after asking if they needed any help, moved on thinking that they probably didn't care to have an audience. Dan and Jeff descended the dropoff without problem.
Jan and I returned to Arroyo Seco del Diablo and continued our exploration of Anza Borrego.

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