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.

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