Wednesday, November 9, 2011

From Snow Covered Mountains to Sun Drenched Desert

Last Saturday we had a break between two storm systems. Linda and I set out to explore mountains and desert all in the same day. First we headed up to Laguna Mountain. We started seeing snow around 4200 feet and by the time we reached 6000 feet everything was covered with a few inches to 1/2 a foot of fresh white powder snow. We stopped at many different locations to see the views, photograph and play in the snow and have some snowball fights. Our plan was to hike a old dirt road that I know of but Linda was kinda cold and wasn't up for the hike so I did a small excursion down the road and back while Linda stayed back at the visitor center. After that we decided to drive an hour or more down to the southern Anza Borrego Desert and hike up into the Mountain Palm Springs area. We have not hiked here before and it was great to explore somewhere new. The weather was perfect around 70 degrees and this area was really nice. as we hiked further west up into the In-Ko-Pah Mountains we started to see more and more palm trees that naturally grow here. As we were nearing a very large grove of palms, maybe 60 or more trees, I seen a coyote running, then it stopped and looked at us, and then ran off. We rested at the palm oasis and had a nice lunch, checked out the views and checked out the area a little. We scrambled up a steep rocky ravine up to a ridgeline and checked out a broader view of the desert and distant mountains. Later, after our hike, we made our way back home for sunset at the beach. What a day in beautiful San Diego County.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Anza Borrego - South Fork Palm Wash

I've explored Palm Wash and the Calcite Mine in this general area of the desert last spring. This time I set out on a solo hike up the South Fork Palm Wash. I left a detailed directions and description of my route with Linda and I did not divert from my route. I did not see a soul all day out there. After winding my way up the wash and through some of the most incredible slots, I took in some true solitude, silence and beautiful view of the desert as I ate lunch and rested on my desert mountain perch.

Palomar Mtn. Chucks BBQ

What a great day we all had at my friend Chuck's cabin up on Palomar Mountain. We met a lot of really nice people and had a great barbeque. We made a rope swing for my daughter Barbara and our new friend that we met there, Xena. Of course I had to do some swinging myself. The girls went with Gary to the Observatory so Linda and I walked the dirt roads in the area and explored the forest a little. We found a small side trail that led to a nice secluded little makeshift picnic area with views down to the Lake Henshaw valley. Another nice day up in our mountains. After the Barbeque in the evening we drove the grand tour of out local mountains, Palomar, Julian, and Cuyamaca. We counted more than 15 deer that we seen along the way.