Saturday, February 25, 2012

And what is your “Fear Factor???”

Wow… another terrific day here in DHS!  Temperatures just perfect, not sure what it got to but it felt around 75 to 80 deg. F.   Made it out to the flying field for a bit this morning, with Judy coming out to watch.  Perfect day for flying…AGAIN!

By 10:30 this morning, we had decided it was time to take a hike again!  Only with a twist.  Judy found this trail in our Palm Springs Hiking Book, however to reach the trail head, you needed a 4 Wheel Drive Vehicle!  We just happen to have one! 

This hike is called the “Mystery Cairns Hike”, and is 4 miles in length, and a 1,000 foot elevation gain…(can you spell “fear factor?”)

We headed out Hwy. 10 west of DHS, and turned onto the Box Canyon Road, and headed towards Mecca.  You hit a big sign along the way, and this marks where the 7 mile Jeep trail starts, to get out to the hiking trail head!

Here we are below just taking off on what is known as the “Meccacopia Trail”


This turned into a great Jeep trail that we really enjoyed.  It was quite challenging at times as we made our way out to the wilderness!



Lots of great views along the way, and lots of different rocks and minerals…


There were lots of side bar canyons and trails we could have followed, but you have to keep your eye on the ball!


We made it out to the trail head, and parked the Jeep, and soon figured out we were going mountain climbing!


In the pic below, we are climbing up this mountain… I stopped as I found this big quartz rock along the trail…


As we started to climb, we soon realised we were at the bad lands of Mecca, and yes, that is the Salton Sea in the background!


It was warm out, so you had to stop and drink water as you climb!  The views just got better and better!


We were following a mountain ridge, and the views around us were 360 degrees, and out of this world!


Ya, I had to get the binoculars going, you could see to Mexico!


You can see the trail we were following below, part of a ridge from one mountain to the next… not too many trees around to block the view!


Judy caught me below piling up some quartz rocks I found along the way… there were tons of them!


You got your cardio going, as you can see from the pic below… it was like “work”!


You can see all the mineral deposits in the mountains as you climb… hard to get a good picture of it!


OK, so below, I look totally in control of my life!  However, as I made the final climb up the mountain to my left, a part of the trail I refer to as “knob hill”, I made it to the top, and decided that… holy cow, it is a 500 foot drop all around me, and what am I doing standing on top of this stupid mountain!   (OK, maybe I used some different words at the time, can’t remember…)


I kind of had to hit the dirt, and Judy walked past me like it was a walk in the park… this is a total turn around for us, as she used to be scared of heights, but has overcome it!  I turned into a warm bowl of Jell-O and was looking for an anchor!  However, we did get to see the Mystery Cairns!  They are just piled rocks along the trail…


Here is the zoomed version of the pic above!


We felt like we were on the top of the world, and I was stuck on the seat of my pants!



The picture below does not reflect the terror going through my body!  I had hit my “Fear Factor”… I would not win the $10,000.00!  Why does the picture look so tame now????



The pic below kind of shows you the trail we came up!  we had climbed up over 1,000 feet!  I will not bore you with the other pictures Judy took of me… you all know what I look like anyways… This picture below I took of Judy, making her way off of Knob Hill…




So, here I am below after reaching my “Fear Factor”, and Judy took this picture with Knob Hill in the background as a souvenir for me! 


I think this pic below give you a good idea of how open it was on this trail… you felt exposed!  We knew we were high, when 3 American Jet Fighters SCREAMED up towards the Salton Sea, and we were looking DOWN on them as they passed!



It was a bit of a slow process on the way back to the Jeep, as we were on the down stroke!  Took this shot of Judy with the smart phone.


We could hear the ATV’s roaring around down in the bad lands below us…  we finally made it back down, about 3 miles of total hiking, and the seats of the Jeep felt pretty good!  Thankfully we brought lots of water, as you needed it today!


There were lots of desert flowers in bloom as we headed back out to the Box Canyon Road.


This little canyon below narrowed down to 1 foot on each side of the Jeep!


This is the 4 wheel drive part of the road, and low range needed to get out of this canyon… it was fun!


As you can tell below, Judy got out and walked a bit!


Phew, bet you are all tired now… all I know is that this hike and Jeep ride, was one of my highlights of the year! 

I also know that “I hit my FEAR FACTOR”!

Till tomorrow…


  1. Tomorrow you will probably say that was fun let's do it again.

    It's about time.

  2. Looking DOWN on fighter jets would definitely be my "Fear Factor" moment. But gorgeous views from the top of your mountain.

  3. Nice photos taken of your hike. The topography is 'moonscape-like'.

  4. Looks like great fun and what wonderful photos...
    Have fun & Travel safe

  5. WOW...Looks like a great day with beautiful views! You two are much braver than we are, we don't like 500ft drops so much!

  6. what a terrific hiking day. Your pictures really captured the beauty and the terror! Now I won't have to do it I can just rely on your photos!

  7. Fantastic post and pictures. What can I say but WOW!!

  8. wow excellent post and pictures...I was scared and jittery just reading about it...whew...

  9. great job overcoming your 'fear factor'!!! worth it once you made it back down safely!!