2011 Trip Report - DE Rendezvous - Tapiado Mud Caves
Tapiado Mud Caves!
Written by Leaders Alan & Claudia Heller
A handful of Desert Explorers bravely became Desert Spelunkers on the last day of the recent Rendezvous in Anza Borrego. The drive to Tapiado Arroyo took the group through the beautiful Blair Valley, past Agua Caliente and onto a dirt road. Shortly past the road to Palm Spring, they came upon an unusual sight. On a low hill stood a street sign which read: “Hollywood Blvd. and Vine Street.” Climbing up to investigate, another surprise awaited. There a geocache was discovered and investigated. After adding a few of their own items, it was carefully replaced.
Some 3.5 miles from the base of the arroyo the group reached the Tapiado Mud Caves. Flashlights in hand, they negotiated through three caves including the Big Mud Cave, Carey’s Big Mud Cave and Chasm Cave. During their spelunking adventure the group climbed through narrow passageways, found rooms with skylights, negotiated through slot canyons, photographed arches and clamored over boulders. In one cave, they gathered below a shaft of sun which broke through a skylight , listening intently as leader Alan Heller relayed the story of the Mole People who once lived beneath the earth and held sacrifices in just such a room.
Tired from their spelunking expedition, the group settled down in the shade for lunch. It was a fun and educational trip, especially enjoyed by the two young girls along, Hanna and Emily.
Trip leaders: Alan and Claudia Heller. Participants: Rebecca, Leonard and Hannah Friedman; Ted and Joan Berger; Mike and Katie and Emily Berger, and Fredric Raab.
This report was prepared by Alan and Claudia Heller. We have more photos, if desired.