STANDING IN AWE OF THE PALMS
First order of business this morning was to get ourselves an egg pocket & photograph it, so by 9 a.m. we were on the road headed for Calicos. Egg pockets go fast so we were lucky they still had some left. A few free cookie samples first & then we purchased our egg pocket. Set it on the table, took a few photos, & then we ate it. Took some great photos of Kelly wolfing her half down but she wouldn't let me put them in the photo album. Grabbed a couple of coffees to go (plus some more cookie samples) & headed off out of town for place about an hour or so away called, Mountain Palm Canyon Campground. Not too far from San Diego. AND, THIS IS AN EGG POCKET:))
We had been told there is a whole herd of elephant trees in one of the canyon's there & the guide book we had said they were there too, so that's what we were looking for........but, we never did find them. I think they must have rumbled away when they heard us coming.
It was a beautiful mornings drive from Borrego Springs to Mountain Palms & once again we were just bowled over by the majestic mountains all around us, the winding roads twisting through the desert, the big blue sky & the many hues & colors in the air, the rocks, & the mountains themselves. This is such a beautiful land & if I thought it was hard to go home last year, I'm really going to have a hard time of it this year. We talk a lot about staying in the American Southwest but we know it's just not probable for us. Not impossible, just not probable!!
We reached Anza-Borrego's Mountain Palm Canyon campground shortly after 11 & already the mornings sun was heating up. From the parking lot we saw palm trees up 2 of the 3 canyons so headed off up the one to our right. The trail led up a wide sandy wash but soon narrowed into a rock strewn path that we had a hard time finding in a few spots. The rocks soon turned into boulders & we had some good rock scrambling ahead of us. Took us about 15 minutes to reach the small grove of palms & we could hear voices nearby. A couple of older fellow hikers were perched on a rock under the palms taking a break. They were very helpful in answering our questions about the area & the older fellow actually lives in Borrego Springs. They had some good guide books with them & that was helpful. Another group of hikers with dogs came by on their way up so we decided to follow them. They were younger folks & were soon out of site as they quickly clambered over the large topsy turvey boulders. We persevered though & soon reached a second stand of palm trees & large bowl like plateau. These towering fan palms are truly awe inspiring. We were just trying to figure out a secondary route back down the canyon when the dog hikers returned from over a ridge. They had been looking for a standing water source they knew was in the area but never did find it. We asked about the elephant trees but nobody knew where they were.
In the company of the dog hikers we all headed back down the jumble of rocks to the first palm trees which we learned was called Mary's Grove. Stopped for a short rest here & the hikers watered their dogs. As is quite often the case we all asked where each other was from & wouldn't you know it, one of the fellow's Mother lives in Spencerport, NY. That's where Kelly grew up & her Mom & Dad still live there. Small world once again. It was a short rocky drop to the parking lot about a quarter mile away as we said good-bye to the dog walkers & headed up another canyon.
SOME FELLOW HIKERS WATERING THEIR DOGS
The second canyon walk also had a grove of palm trees plus some running water trickling down a sandy wash. We reached those palms in about 10 minutes, but still nothing looking like a grove of elephant trees. Took a break here & ate our peanut butter sandwiches in the shade of the majestic palms. We headed back down the sandy wet wash to the parking lot & were heading to the car when Kelly spotted a third path leading up a rocky slope. So, off we went again climbing steeply up a dusty path that someone had spent a lot of time lining with stones. We climbed for about 15 minutes until we reached a plateau of sorts. We were really hoping to see some elephant trees somewhere up here but the path just wandered aimlessly through the rocks & off across the desert plateau. A decision was made to turn back once again because by this time we were beginning to get a little pooped under the heat of the relentless sun. Back down the narrow rocky path & headed once more for the car. We were nearly at the car walking across a flat stretch of sand when unbeknownst to me at the time, Kelly felt an unusual twinge in her right ankle. She didn't think much of it at the time so didn't say anything. EGG POCKET
From the Mountain Palm Canyon campground we drove south to the Carrizo badlands overlook. Had debated about going all the way to Ocotillo but decided it was time to head for home. Once again we marveled at the beauty surrounding us. Just over the mountains about 40 short miles west of us lay the city of San Diego, but here in the peaceful desert we were basically the only people on the road. Might have seen half a dozen vehicles in about 3 hours. That would never happen back home anywhere that close to a major city!! THE DESERT IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
Waved to Ghost Mountain as we went by again but we'll be heading back there in the morning. Took a slightly different route on our return to Borrego Springs this time. Instead of heading through Yaqui Pass we decided to come across the backside of the San Ysidro mountains & take the hair raising plunge down Montezuma's Grade which would land us right in Borrego Springs. It's an 8 to 9% grade for 11 miles all the way to the bottom. About half way down we came up behind a large Class C motorhome towing a fairly large trailer. it was about this time that we began smelling hot brake linings. Took me by surprise because I was staying off the brakes as much as possible & using the gears to keep my downward spiral in check. Thought occurred to me I might have a brake pad sticking but everything felt normal. The smell kept getting stronger. The Class C ahead slowed & moved to the right a bit & I was able to get around him on the left. Strangely enough, the hot brakes smell dissipated almost immediately. Only then did I realize it wasn't our brakes after all. It was the Class C & trailer's brakes we were smelling. The next thought that occurred to me was, if he loses his brakes he's going to come barreling down the mountain right behind us. After a few tight turns I never saw him again. He may still be on the side of that mountain somewhere white knuckled to his steering wheel forever. WE ATE OUR PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES IN THE SHADE OF THE PALMS
We were home by 3 & so far, all was well. Butch, Kapeesh, Doug, JoAnn, & Fillmore dropped by for a chat around 4. Talked about the day's hikes etc. Kelly went in & out of the motorhome a couple times to fetch a book & some maps & it was during one of these trips that her ankle let go but she hid the pain until everyone had headed back to their rigs. For Kelly to acknowledge or admit any kind of injury is a very rare thing. By the time I came into the motorhome her face was knotted in pain. She can't put any weight on her foot or turn it. Her toes felt numb & the pain was radiating up to her knee. I suggested we head for the medical clinic but she wouldn't have any part of that. And I thought I was the only stubborn one of the Bayfield Bunch. She iced her ankle & wrapped it but the pain didn't back off. Only thing that brought her some relief was a couple of aspirins later on. Right now she is using an old baseball bat as a cane to hobble around with & still cannot put any weight on the foot. We'll see what the morning brings. She's pretty darn stubborn you know....................................................
The hikes sound interesting.ReplyDelete
The story of the long grade and the smell of brakes reminded me of our last trip over Targee pass from Idaho on the way to Jackson, Wyoming, in 2007. We've been over that pass a lot of times in the past, but never towing a 11,000+ lb. trailer. The grade down is 10% and I was doing fine in second gear until I decided to slow down to let someone in a smaller vehicle go around. Shortly after that was when I started smelling "the smell." It was a little intense for a moment or two, but I managed to get her stopped and, after letting the brakes cool a bit, went down the rest of the way in first and only had to lightly touch the brakes occasionally to keep the speed down. Lesson learned. We were on some other 8 to 9% grades later in the same trip and I always used first gear when things got steep.
We still have the truck, but traded the fifth wheel in for a 25 ft. class C motorhome. We think we'll use it a lot more.
Thanks for sharing egg pockets. As a daily reader, I'm anxious for a report on Kelly's ankle. Hoping for the best.ReplyDelete
I certainly hope Kelly's injury is nothing too serious,ligaments or tendon injuries can be rather nasty. Please keep us posted.ReplyDelete
As usualy the pics taken during your hikes give a real good idea what the area is like.