Thursday, February 8, 2018

4 Wheelin to Dripping Springs

Woke to a chilly morning today.  With temps in the low 40's, I was slow to get out for a walk. I finally got it going, just about the time the group called about where to go today. We met at Larry's trailer and planned some 4 wheeling to Dripping Springs.

The Dripping Spring is a feature in the Plomosa Mountains just east of Quartzsite, south of I-10. We made plans to meet up at the kiosk on Gold Nugget road. I was elected trail leader today, hmmm. I was not eager to lead, as I usually take at least one wrong turn looking for the Dripping Spring road. Yep, today, 2 wrong turns.

Looming over the start of our ride is Guadelupe Mountain, which provides the high spot for cell and radio antennas serving Q and Interstate 10.

From there, we head south in Italian Wash. This wash is pretty wide, with plenty of crossing routes to confuse the trail leader (me). Along here, I got the first few turns right, then missed 2 in a row.

My partner was reading the directions from a Charles Wells book, and that was sort of working, until we hit a stretch were the road had been washed out last fall. Fortunately, there are many alternate routes in this wash.

Along the way, we head in the general direction of Elephant Back Mountain. Along with the book, I had downloaded the way points to my GPS. That helped a lot in keeping me going more or less in the right direction through the network of roads.

As we head south, the next landmark is Dos Picachos Mountain, and up above the wash, a lone saguaro.

From memory, and a bit of guessing, I head up the road that climbs a hogback next to Dos Picachos. That was a fun climb and turns out to be the right route. Once we hit the top, the Dripping Springs parking spot is visible across the next valley.

The route to that parking spot involves a fun decent off the hogback, and even more fun driving through the wash. This wash is just barely wide enough for my jeep, but easy for the more common UTV riders.

We exit the wash at the sunny spot seen in the photo above, and then climb up to the Dripping Spring stop. Up there, we are initially greeted by a field of Teddy Bear Cholla.

Here is a look back across the valley at the decent coming down off the side of Dos Picachos.

After lunch, I walked up the trail to see if there is water in the spring.

The dripping spring is tucked back in the shadows below the cliffs tp the right of center.

We left by the same access trail, and turned south in the wash. This is the alternate access to Dripping Spring which can be taken from the south, or in our case, we will exit to the south. Route finding is easy here, as there is just one road in a very narrow wash.

A few miles, and a couple fun obstacles later, the wash opened up and we could see the south end of the Dome Rock Mountains across the La Paz valley.

From here, it was a dusty ride across the flats to the La Posa South LTVA. Shortly from there, we were back in camp with the water heater on to shower off the dust.

After a relaxing afternoon shower and a cold one, we all met for dinner at Quail Run. Tomorrow, we plan to head over to the RC Airplane Air Show and then check out the new arrivals in the flea markets.

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