19. February 2010 04:32
In the small desert town of Ocotillo, CA the winds may be changing.
Pattern Energy, a San Francisco based energy company is proposing to turn 15,000 acres of public lands bordering the Anza Borrego Desert State Park into a 561 megawatt wind farm with 240 wind turbines.
Unfortunately for the small town of Ocotillo and the Imperial Valley, little would be gained as the power would be funneled to San Diego over the infamous Sunrise Powerlink.
John Calaway, Pattern Energy director of wind development states that the area would benefit from 400 construction jobs during the two year construction period of the Ocotillo Express Wind Farm.
Let me ... [More]
16. February 2010 05:06
Our trip began with a late afternoon stop at the Lazy Lizard in Ocotillo. Mary and I had planned to head straight out to the campsite but Linda would have none of it. "We are stopping at the Lazy Lizard, aren't we ?", she inquired as we started to drive up the S2. Hard to argue with that so, three beers, two t-shirts and a few dollars lighter the three of us were heading up the sandy washboard road of Mortero Wash.
After our last failed attempt to find the railroad construction camp, I was determined to try again. This time I was lucky since recently I had been sent a scan of a topographic map with an "x" m... [More]
15. February 2010 21:57
SDG&E has scheduled a series of "Community Council" meetings in communities that will be affected by construction of the Sunrise Powerlink. In their words the purpose is to "keep the community informed so that accurate information is available and inconveniences can be kept to a minimum."
If Alpine is any indication of "keeping the community informed" then SDG&E has not been doing its' due diligence. Many Alpine residents who attended Monday nights Community Council meeting still feel like they are being left in the dark about the undergrounding portion which will run under Alpine Blvd. There were questions with regards t... [More]
8. February 2010 20:16
It looks to be a great year for wildflowers out in the Anza Borrego desert due to the record rains we had in January.
We are planning on heading out this coming Valentine's weekend to scout out some areas. From what I have been reading, late February into mid March will be the peak, so make your plans to head on out. This year I am extra excited since we finally picked up a decent camera. Hopefully you will be able to tell by the new pictures we upload.
I am hoping to report back Monday so check back. For now enjoy these pictures from our previous flower hunting trips.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has a wildflower hotline for Anza ... [More]
1. February 2010 14:23
I spent a couple hours Saturday, helping the ECCAC get the word out to members of the Lakeside community about the Sunrise Powerlink . The East County Community Action Committee has been doing a great job of informing back country communities about the destructive path of this project.
What amazed me was the number of people who had no knowledge of the project and its' route through El Monte Valley and other protected, open-spaced habitats of San Diego's backcountry.
Many east county residents feel they have been blindsided by SDG&E and are now having this project dumped in their backyard. One attendee pointed out that he was going to ... [More]
25. January 2010 17:34
Just when I feel like I have seen everything there is to see in the Anza Borrego Desert, I read a BLOG or catch a book entry about someplace new and exciting. This time around it was an abandoned railroad camp in the southern end of the park. The ruins are almost 100 years old and were built to support the construction of the Carrizo Gorge Railway.
According to Jerry Schaad's book, the railroad camp ruins are located NW of Indian Hill so I felt pretty confident we could find them.
With this fresh on our minds, we packed up the LandCruiser in the late morning on Sunday and headed east. The straight week of heavy rain in San Diego had also ... [More]
15. January 2010 06:50
Although the Sunrise Powerlink has been re-routed to avoid the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, the battle continues for many residents of San Diego's backcountry. One such community, Alpine is being faced with having 6 miles of 12 ' trenches dug along its' main artery to accomodate the 2 parallel 230KV lines. Representatives from SDG&E state that the "undergrounding" of the Alpine portion of the Sunrise Powerlink, will take two years to install; one year for the
conduits and another year to pull and
splice the massive cables.
According to San Diego County supervisor Dianne Jacob, Alpine will ... [More]
29. November 2009 23:49
Our annual Thanksgiving tradition is to spend Thanksgiving with our family and then head out to Anza Borrego the following day for a couple days of desert fun. This year turned out to be one of the more memorable trips we have had, so sit back and I will try to explain what transpired.
Friday morning found Mary and I heading out to Carrizo Gorge to meet Jan, Gina and crew at one of our favorite campsites. Jan had left the night before to get the Imu Pit ready. Imu Pit ? you ask. Well yes, this year after 5 successful years of grilled turkey perfection we opted to try the Polynesian method of cooking the turkey in a pit in the ground. Th... [More]
10. September 2009 16:19
Believe it or not a week after my solo Torote Canyon trip I found myself camping in Mortero Wash with Mary. We were actually trying to scout out some places for our post Thanksgiving trip.
Hilights of our overnight trip were :
Flooding in the desert town of Ocotillo
The mystery box cars in Mortero Wash
Incredible red moon rising over the Salton Sea
Numerous jackrabbit sightings in Carrizo Creek.
Pie in Julian on the way out. :-)
The evening temperature was perfect and the semi-full red moon was surreal. Wish I could figure out how to take moon pictures with my cheap Canon camera.
Photo album is here.
1. September 2009 05:00
While most people were trying to escape the record high temperatures by heading to the beach, I decided to head out to Anza Borrego for the day. This trip would be solo since my claims of a fun desert adventure fell on deaf ears. Mary simply wasn't buying it. She said something about triple digit temperatures and that was that. She was right, the weather had been over 110' for the past week out in Ocotillo but that failed to dissuade me.
I dropped down into Ocotillo around noon figuring if I was going to experience the desert in the summer why not do it at midday when temps would be peaking?
As expected, Ocotillo was a ghos... [More]