Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Palomar Mountain 12/19/2010 In The Rain

Well we braved the weather for a 4 mile hike on top of Palomar Mountain. It had been raining for three and a half days straight and was still coming down steady as we set out on our hike. We were the only ones at the trailhead and we didn't see anyone all day except for one ranger in his truck near the trailhead. This section of the mountain is a mixed pine and oak forest which surrounds French Valley meadows with two main creeks, French Creek and Doane Creek which merge to form Pauma Creek. The sights, sounds and solitude were incredible. The creeks were flowing hard. We got out of the rain for a few minutes as we took a break at the old dam and gauging station on Puama creek that was built back in the 1920's. Further exploration took us through the meadows and then back into the dense forest with what had to have been the largest oak trees that we have ever seen. The rain and wind really took it out of us though. Beautiful but tough day. It was well worth it though.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

San Mateo Canyon Wilderness 12/12/2010

Well, Several of my family and friends called me and asked me to take them on a hike. I know I just hiked here recently but I just couldn't resist introducing them to Tenaja Falls. This time though, we visited the falls, then explored upstream, then back to the falls again for a nice lunch. The trail upstream gains elevation, leaves the creek and goes high up on the chapparal covered slopes offering a view of the mountains and valleys below. It was an unusually hot day in December, Upwards of 85 degrees! needless to say we didn't last too long up on those shadeless slopes so we headed back down to the falls.

Mission Trails 12/10/2010

I was making my usual trip to San Diego to pick up my daughter. I left a little early and hiked around the mission trails area which surrounds a section of the San Diego River. First I hiked up the steep trail around 500 feet up onto the ridge of kwaay Paay mountain and took in the views of the preserve to the east, north and west. Then I went down and explored by the river a little. Nice day. Nice fall colors. Slight little workout up the hill and then some nice peaceful moments by the river. San Diego has a lot of small open space areas to check out.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa Margarita River 12/5/10 Again

So Robie and Ron heard about the Santa Margarita River and they took me back to explore much further downstream. NICE!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Santa Margarita River Solo Hike 12/2/10

I,ve been eyeballing the beginnings of this river gorge from the freeway for many years and I have wanted to explore it. Seeing this cut in the earth from afar just intrigued my interest too much too leave it alone any longer. There are no trail descriptions on the web or in any books that I could find. Finding my way to the beginning of the gorge was not too hard. I found a decent creek crossing on a tributary creek that flows into the river. Then I found a small dirt road that leads to the river. There was much evidence of human trampling at the first couple of swimming holes, some grafiti and trash, but the further down the river I traveled, the cleaner and more pristine it got. This is a really beautiful river gorge and the river drops into many huge pools and cascades over some really neat granite formations. The slopes and walls on both sides of the river rise up i'm guessing 2 to 3 hundred feet on either side. I found a nice spot on a granite formation in the middle of the river and rested and meditated and ate a nice snack and drank water and just enjoyed the river as it cascaded by. Nice day.