Sunday, April 24, 2011

Daley Ranch - Boulder Loop

I spent the afternoon hiking the boulder loop at Daley Ranch open space preserve. It was an extremely beautiful day with perfect hiking weather after the drizzle and most of the clouds had cleared out. The grasses are green and the flowers are still in peak bloom right now. There were very few people in the areas where I was hiking so I peace and meditation at one of the mountain peaks with great views and giant boulders. I have been taking advantage of the cool weather lately to do some desert and foothill hiking where it gets baking hot in summer. Soon the summer heat will drive me to hike at either above 5000 feet or in some of the canyons with plenty of flowing water and swimming holes to cool off in.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Anza Borrego Calcite Mine and Slot Canyons

On our way out to the Anza Borrego Desert a road was closed so we were detoured up the south grade road to Palomar mountain where just the day before it had received a dusting of snow from a storm that moved quickly in and out. Then we drove down the east grade road to get back in route through the rolling grasslands, through oak woodlands, through the Pinyon - Juniper transition zone and the finally dropping down into the vast Anza Borrego desert, then winding across the desert to the southern spurs of the Santa Rosa Mountains. This was my first time hiking in this type of terrain. It was incredible. We explored the washes and slot canyons and then hiked up into the mountains a little further and explored the old Calcite crystal mines. We got down into some of the trench mines and seen the huge veins of crystal in the rock. We got to see two desert iguanas along the way. Its amazing to see them run super fast along the desert floor. Great day of contrasting landscapes and total peace and serenity while perched up in those badlands eating lunch and looking out over the desert and the Salton Sea basin.

Anza Borrego Palm Canyon

I teamed up with Ron and Robie and set out for an adventure to the Anza Borrego Desert. We hiked across the desert from the visitor center and then several miles up into Borrego Palm canyon. This was one of the most beautiful days I have had in the wilderness. Weather conditions were perfect, The grand desert flower bloom was at it's peak, The open space, The solitude. I was really feeling the magic of the desert. Although the creek goes underground once it reaches the desert floor it was flowing very nicely up in the canyon. There were lots of nice small waterfalls and groves of palm trees. We seen lots of lizards and frogs and we even got to see some bighorn sheep up on the slopes of the canyon, one big male ram and four females. This was my first time seeing these animals in the wild. During the journey to and from the desert we drive through miles of rolling hills, grasslands and pastures with lots of cattle grazing. That area had huge fields of golden and purple flowers. We were all pretty mindblown about the whole day.