1. September 2011 04:37
After driving out to Ocotillo to voice my concerns over the proposed Ocotillo express Wind Farm, I came to realize that the Bureau of Land Management's definition of "public input" was a bit inconsistent with mine.
Representatives from the BLM, Imperial County officials and Pattern Energy were all given center stage, but when it came time for Ocotillo residents and others to voice their concerns, the presentation quickly came to an end. We were told that this was an informational meeting only and comments would only be accepted via email and letters.
Personally I think the whole project makes the BLM very uneasy.... [More]
1. May 2011 15:48
At an Elevation of 6533 feet/ 1991 meters, Hot Springs Mountain has the distinction of being the tallest mountain in San Diego. It tops San Diego's next highest peak, Cuyamaca Mountain, by a mere twenty one feet. The amazing thing about Hot Springs Mountain, located on the Los Coyotes reservation, is that the peak is accessible by a high clearance vehicle preferably with 4-Wheel Drive.
For our ascent, we chose to hike up the old jeep trail leaving our vehicle at the campground 2000 feet below the summit. Large fields of yellow wildflowers and daisies lined the trail as we trekked upwards. The cloudless, blue sky beckoned us further and we so... [More]
2. April 2011 17:25
This started out as one of those trips that looked like it might not happen.
First there was the over anxious border patrol agent that hassled me at the Mortero Wash checkpoint. I am not sure why he singled me out? Perhaps it was the combination of the sunglasses, beard and the Lazy Lizard baseball cap that aroused his suspicions?
Next as I pulled off at Indian Gorge, Daren was heading out in his big Dodge diesel looking a little stressed. OK sure I was an hour late (sorry Daren) but this looked like something else. He explained that while on a short morning hike, he got stung by an irritated bee which caused an allergic reacti... [More]
21. March 2011 04:59
We did a quick overnight trip to Anza Borrego to check on the wildflowers and to do a little hiking. We were excited to find some Monkeyflower, Sand Verbena, Desert Pincushion, Desert Dandelions and a few blooming barrel cactuses.
I will have to say the big winners are the Ocotillo and the Chuparosa. I have never seen such amazing Ocotillo blooms! The tips range from a flaming red to a bright orange and they are all over the southern Anza Borrego Desert. The Chuparosa bush, a hummingbird favorite, has also been quite prolific in the southern areas and worth checking out.
I think the cold weather has delayed the wildflower peak, &n... [More]
7. March 2011 17:08
The morning fog that was shrouding the coast, finally let up as we dropped down into Santee from the Mission trails summit. We were driving out to Anza Borrego to meet up with our hiking buddy Daren for a hike out to Inner Pasture. A majority of our hike would be just west of the Anza Borrego State Park on BLM administered lands.
Besides being one of the more isolated, beautiful regions of the Anza Borrego desert; the area is also a corridor for immigrant traffic, a fact we would soon substantiate by the clothing and water bottles discarded along the trail.
First thing we noticed as we hiked up the wash towards Inner Pasture, was tha... [More]
21. February 2011 05:40
What I love about living in San Diego is that I can be walking our dog Diesel on the beach in the morning and an hour and a half later be on a snow covered road about to drop down into the Anza Borrego Desert.
Granted the snow part is somewhat rare, but usually a few times a year the conditions will be just right to transform our local mountains into a winter wonderland.
As we approached the Sunrise Highway turnoff, we considered abandoning our Anza Borrego desert plans and taking a detour up to Mount Laguna to enjoy the snow. A quick glance at the hundreds of cars lined up to get their "Adventure Passes" before heading up the m... [More]
4. February 2011 21:11
My overnight Anza Borrego wildflower scouting trip began with a stop at New Leaf Biofuels in Barrio Logan. New Leaf is currently the only location in San Diego where you can buy B99 Bio-Diesel. I filled up 10 Scepter Gas Cans (50 gallons), helped Danny load them into the LandCruiser and headed east hoping to find a campsite before dark.
By the time I arrived in Mortero Wash, I barely had enough light left to crank up the Maggiolina Tent, pull out the chair and open up a cold Bohemia.
The desert sky was clear which was good and bad. The good is that I counted 5 or 6 shooting stars, the bad was that it meant nightime temperatur... [More]
5. December 2010 17:44
I had barely rinsed off the dirt and dust from our Thanksgiving trip to Carrizo Gorge, when we found ourselves heading back out to Anza Borrego to meet up with a couple friends for a day hike. Our destination this time, was at the opposite end of the Anza Borrego Desert, a remote area called Rockhouse Valley.
While the adjacent canyon, informally titled Rockhouse Canyon, shares its' namesake with our favorite hiking area to the south, the two areas are worlds apart. Rockhouse Canyon "north" is a curving, narrow canyon with vertical walls on both sides which eventually opens up to the broad expanse of Rockhouse Valley. A majority of... [More]
29. November 2010 05:15
Our annual Anza Borrego Thanksgiving camping trip is something we always look forward to. While it sounds like a big hassle to lug all the food, tables, barbecues and drinks out to the desert, the rewards of sunshine and desert solitude are worth it. Nightime temperatures were in the the low 30's, but the Maggiolina Rooftop Tent kept us pretty warm. We camped in Carrizo Gorge, which is our favorite area of Anza Borrego, and did day hikes up the East Fork as well as Four Frogs Canyon.The Ocotillo are simply amazing this time of year. During the dry summer months the Ocotillo resemble dried up sticks poking out of the desert soil. On... [More]
29. October 2010 15:01
High up on a ridge overlooking the vast expanse of Anza Borrego 's Indian Valley is a room size rock shelter once used by Native Americans to honor and perhaps foretell the coming of the summer solstice. To the Native Americans, the sun was all powerful and dictated when crops would ripen and perhaps when the time had come to move to higher more hospitable elevations.
To monitor the arrival of "the longest day of the year" native american priests or shamans would paint pictographs which would illuminate at the right time of the year on the rising sun. It is also believed that rocks were arranged in a ... [More]