Split Mountain and Windcaves
December 13, 2002
This is a continuatin of our Anza Borrego Trip to Borrego Palm Canyon, The Slot and Split Mountain Fish Creek region .It was getting dark when we passed the Ocotillo Wells Off Highway Recreational Vehicle area and headed down Split Mountain road. We turned off the paved road which continues to a working mine and drove into a dry wash. I had to turn on the headlights to illuminate the rocks and boulders scattered throughout the road/wash. About one mile in I saw a particularly sharp rock in the middle of the trail and steered around it. Just past it I noticed a dark brown streakin the sand about six inches wide heading briefly into the canyon. The streak quickly made a large wide turn and headed back toward the paved road behind us. That's when we figured someone tore a hole in their vehicle's oil pan and was leaking oil at a rapid rate. "What a terrible place to break down", I said aloud. I cohntinued into in between the oddly split mountain.
Split mountain is a separation of the Vallicito and Fish Creek Mountains and has many unique geological features. One such feature is the Anticline. This area appeared on our right but it was geeting too dark to really appreciate its magnificense. Layers of rock seem to have folded over eachother like roast beef on a deli sandwich.
We reached the end of the road and made a uturn at the convulutions of washes near Fish Creek. It was almost dark now and we were starting to get a chill. We donned our fleece and I led the quick paced charge up the steep hill towards the signed windcaves trail.
The windcaves are not visable for the first half mile or so which probably discourages some people. I crested a small hill and they came into view. Also there was a spectacular view down into the Fish Creek Wash and the Elephant Knees hills. I had run out of film taking photos of all the sheep so we relied on Dave G for these shots.
I raced ahead toward the windcaves in a attempt to find another geocache before it got too dark. I punched in "Got Caves" geocache and honed in on a large rock outcropping. Poking and probing into dark hole in the rock presented a challange. I used my mini-mag flashlight to illuminate the holes. Dave G. checked a few pockets and found a large blue cookie tin wedged in between the rocks. He had found "Got Caves". We signed in and checked out the nearby windcaves. The sky was turning from brilliant blue to a blue violet and stars began to twinkle above.
After a brief stay on top the windcaves we had to navigate in the dark back to the car. The route down was quick and we reached the car safely within minutes. The ride out of the Split Mountain region was slow and tedious. We were all tired and ready to head home. We followed the dark oil stain back to the highway where it seemed to fade away. The 2 1/2 hour ride home was quiet and uneventfull. Most travelers were heading out our way as it was a friday night.