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Piedras Grandes and the search for desert wildflowers

by surfponto 1. March 2010 04:59
Piedras Grandes and the search for desert wildflowersMary and I left early Sunday for a day trip out to Anza Borrego. Our destination was Piedras Grandes in the southern end of the park. While Saturday's heavy rains had  dissuaded us from doing an overnight trip, Sunday had dawned with blue skies and warm temperatures. Perfect weather for an Anza Borrego trip. After a quick stop at the Subway in Jacumba we dropped down into the desert around 9:30 AM. We drove up the S2 scanning the vast desert for any sign of desert wildflowers. A few budding Ocotillo and some yellow Brittle Bush flowers but not much else blooming. As we bounced up the Mortero Wash trail, we caught up to a 4Runn... [More]

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Journey to the Railroad Construction Camp in Anza Borrrego

by surfponto 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]

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Desert Bighorn Sheep in Anza Borrego

by surfponto 25. January 2010 17:34
Desert Bighorn Sheep in Anza BorregoJust 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]

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How not to cook a turkey in the Desert.....

by surfponto 29. November 2009 23:49
How not to cook a turkey in the Desert.....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]

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Flooding in Ocotillo and a mystery train at Dos Cabezas

by surfponto 10. September 2009 16:19
Flooding in Ocotillo and a mystery train at Dos CabezasBelieve 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.  

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Desert solitude in the heat of the summer

by surfponto 1. September 2009 05:00
Desert solitude in the heat of the summerWhile 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]

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Hiking to the top of Combs Peak

by surfponto 26. May 2009 01:07
In an effort to escape the Memorial Day beach crowds, Mary and I left Leucadia and pointed the LandCruiser east. Our destination was Combs Peak located in the northern end of Anza Borrego. At 6193 ft or 1888 m Combs Peak has the distinction of being the highest mountain in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park as well as one of the highest, most remote peaks in San Diego County.   For reference here is a list of the top 10 mountain peaks in San Diego  Rank Peak Name ft m 1. Hot Springs Mountain 6533 1991 2. Cuyamaca Peak 6512 1985 3. Mount Laguna 6378 1944 4. Mount Laguna-West Peak 6299 1920... [More]

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Carrizo Gorge East Fork To Carrizo Palms

by Administrator 20. April 2009 05:48
Carrizo Gorge East Fork To Carrizo PalmsWe left the coast on a sunny Sunday morning and pointed the LandCruiser east out to one of our favorite areas of Anza Borrego. A quick stop at Starbucks and Subway to fuel up and we were our way. This time we had a couple of Anza newbies, our friends Steve and Haeja. Late April the temperatures begin to approach triple digits out in the Anza Borrego Desert so we knew this was one of our last trips of the season. Our plan was to hike from the East Fork of Carrizo Gorge out to the seldom visited Carrizo Palms. The palms are located in a remote location below the Carrizo Gorge Railway and are a bit difficult to get to. Our hike began with a ... [More]

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Exploring Canyon Sin Nombre

by surfponto 30. March 2009 14:47
Exploring Canyon Sin NombreThe Anza Borrego wild flower season is coming to a close so we decided to take a day trip out to explore the Canyon Sin Nombre area with a group of friends. Canyon Sin Nombre translates to "Canyon Without a Name" which makes it sound a bit more ominous then it really is. Sure there are some deep sand sections and some boulders to negotiate, but in general a stock 4WD can traverse this section of the Carrizo Badlands without any problems.   We left behind overcast skies on the coast and by the time we reached the Tecate divide the sun was shining and the sky was a brilliant blue.   Our first stop was the overlook just south ... [More]

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Hike to the pictographs at Indian Hill

by surfponto 8. March 2009 20:12
Hike to the pictographs at Indian HillWhat started out as a quick day trip to see the wildflower bloom in Anza Borrego, turned into a trip back in time. Our original plan was to do some hiking and take pictures of wildflowers but at the last minute I decided we would try to find the pictographs at Indian Hill. There are numerous sources on how to find this magical place but most are sketchy at best. Many feel that the less exposure this area gets the better. That being said this is not a post on “How do I find Indian Hill and the pictographs?” . Rather it is a virtual tour of the area that you can take from the comfort of your computer chair. If you do decide to... [More]

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