Friday, February 24, 2012

Laguna Mountain and Kitchen Creek Falls

I was up before the sunrise. I tried to encourage my daughter and her friends on last time to go with me, but they wanted city life for the day. I changed up the itinerary a little and geared up to go up to Laguna mountain and hike to an un-named peak in the snow and the several more miles out to Laguna Meadows and back. I accomplished this hike and I have to tell you. it was only a several hundred foot climb to the top of the mountain but it was really cool to hike this peak in the snow that no one really hikes up to. It was just me and the dear tracks. After comming back down off of the mountain I followed and old dirt road out to the Big Laguna Trail where I followed a cross country skier's tracks out to Laguna Meadows. After I was done with this hike I Drove down to the southern slopes of the Laguna mountains to the Kitchen Creek Falls trailhead. I hiked in to the falls and explored downstream of the falls and also well upstream of the falls. Great day of hiking. I did around 8 miles on Laguna mountain and around 5 or 6 miles in the Kitchen Creek Area. I made a video of this hike as well and it is on my youtube channel. See the link below.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blair Valley - Ghost Mtn - Palm Canyon

I experienced the magic of the Anza Borrego desert last Saturday. I got up at 4:15 am and was on the road by 5:30 am. As you see in the first picture, I watched the sunrise over Lake Henshaw through the shroud of clouds on the east end of the base of Palomar Mountain, One of the gateways into the Anza Borrego arriving from the west. The forcast for the mountains and coast was clouds, drizzle, and showers. I drove through the clouds and dropped in to the sunny and very windy desert. It was a most beautiful scene as the clouds formed along the top of the eastern escarpment of the San Diego mountains as I drove south to Blair Valley.
I succeeded in hiking to 4 destinations around Blair Valley:

1: The top of Ghost Mountain to the ruins on the Marshall South Cabin - on a flat just below the top of the mountain. The skeletal remains of the house, known as Yaquitepec, still stand — a rusted bed frame, the base of a large adobe oven, the frame for an arched doorway, and the many cement and barrel cisterns that once caught the seasonal rainfall, the only water available other than what was hauled up the trail. Here is where poet, author and artist Marshal South and his family lived from 1930 to 1947, pursuing a primitive and natural lifestyle - I have to say the view from the cabin area was beautiful. I can see why they chose this spot to live.

2: An ancient Kumeyaay Indian village site where the Indians lived during the winter months for at least a thousand years or more. Their morteros are abundant there. I had a lot of fun scrambling around the many giant boulders in that area.

3: The Kumeyaay Indian Pictographs. These are the first Pictographs that I have seen. I can only wonder what they mean.

4: Smuggler Canyon Overlook - To the lip of a dry fall overlooking across the desert to the eastern escarpment of the Laguna Mountains.

After a good 6 miles of exploring the Blair valley area. I drove over to Borrego Springs and went for a hike as far up Palm canyon as I could allowing enough time to get back down to the desert floor by dark. All in all I hiked around 13 miles through some of the most beautiful desert landscape around.