Monday, March 08, 2010

FLOWERS IN COYOTE CANYON & A HIKE UP ALCOHOLIC PASS

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THE TRAIL LEADING BACK FROM THE SUMMIT OF ALCOHOLIC PASS

I was surprised how much our landscape had changed this morning when I stepped out of the rig.  A lot of neighboring RV's were gone with more packing up & pulling out.  There were probably 40 rigs scattered about the desert landscape over the week-end but I only counted 19 left.  The neighborhood was looking very empty.  Ya know, we never met any of those folks but I kinda miss seeing their rigs in place.  Strange huh.

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BEAVER TAIL CACTUS BLOOMS

Winds were brisk & cool when the sun went behind the clouds.  Well actually it's the clouds moving in front of the sun, right.  Short morning walk but we came across some vehicle tracks not far away that I was very familiar with.  They have been there over 2 years now & mark the spot where a Canadian couple from Alberta tried to take a short cut though the desert with their pick-up truck & travel trailer a couple years ago.  I was sitting at the computer that day when Kelly said, "hey, I think those people are stuck."  Well, they sure were!!  Had the four wheel drive truck buried to it's axles.  I hopped on my bicycle & zipped over to Butch's & we hopped in his truck & went to see what we could do for the hapless couple.  Well, turns out.......not much:((  Here are the STUCK PHOTOS from that day.

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2 YEAR OLD RUTS STILL REMAIN IN THE DESERT

We had some errands to run in Borrego Springs this morning & then we drove out to Coyote Canyon east of Borrego Springs.  Figured the flowers would be blooming out there & they sure were.  Took a bumpy jeep road back along the base of Coyote Mountain for a couple miles until we came to the trailhead of Alcoholic Pass.

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Quote: "For centuries, Cahuilla Indians used Alcoholic Pass as a convenient shortcut between Coyote Canyon and Clark Valley. In time, a well-beaten trail was worn across the precipitous slopes west of the pass. Around the year 1900, the Clark brothers, early cattlemen who homesteaded in Coyote Canyon, used this trail to transport some primitive well-drilling equipment to the site now known as Clark Well in Clark Valley. Near the top of the pass, the old Cahuilla trail squeezed between two boulders so closely spaced that the burros’ loads had to be unpacked to fit through. Today, you can still follow the obvious trace of this historic pathway."  Unquote

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FILLING WATER JUGS IN BORREGO - OUTSIDE THE LIBRARY - AND THE TILE ROOF GROCERY STORE

The 'Hiking in Anza-Borrego Desert' book by Robin Halford said this was a strenuous hike.  Well, she was right!!  The section along the wash was alive with large Ocotillo plants in bloom.  Beaver tail cactus & varieties  of flowers competed for space among the many rocks.  The wash started off smooth enough but soon the wide sandy trail led us to a narrow path veering off to the right & up!!  From that point we climbed 600 feet up a long winding foot path with every footstep higher than the one before.  The trail reminded me of the steep Ghost Mountain trail over in the Blair Valley.

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THE DESERT IS BLOOMING

Took us the best part of 45 minutes to reach the top with stops for pictures & breathers.  It is on trails like this that I am reminded of the excess baggage I carry.  I make promises to myself while puffing along that I will never eat another peanut butter sandwich or hamburger with fries.  Not ever not never.  I'm not so good at keeping promises like that though & we just kept on trudging onwards & forever upwards.

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COYOTE CANYON

The views out over Coyote Canyon to the San Ysidro mountains was beautiful with cloud shadows moving across the mountain faces & into the canyons.  Far below on the valley floor lay countless acres of neatly spaced & trimmed orange orchards.  Beyond that another 5 miles or so lay the sweet little town of Borrego Springs.  The sky was alive with personality as the lumbering clouds increased in size & density.  Stopped to take some nice photos & I have already uploaded today's hike photos into album entitled, COYOTE CANYON & ALCOHOLIC PASS 

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THE OCOTILLO'S ARE IN BLOOM

The trail actually leads over the summit pass & down the east side of Coyote Mountain to the Clark Dry Lake Bed area where our motorhome is but we just went as far as the summit.  There was a post along the trail with a box affair on it with a plastic zip lock bag containing a trail log for people to sign.  Lots of names, dates, & comments, in the book.  We left a couple Bayfield Bunch cards in the bag too.  Because this is called Alcoholic Pass some people had left comments regarding their affiliation with alcohol so of course I had to add my sobriety date of October 19th 1979 beside my name:))  Am I proud of that........you bet!!

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SIGNING THE LOG AT THE SUMMIT

We marked the spot with our GPS & the co-ordinates for the summit are...N 33* 21.5544 x W 116* 22.5640  Elevation 1,546 & the time was 1:23 on March 8/10

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TIME TO PUT THE SWEATER BACK ON BEFORE WE BEGIN OUR WINDY DESCENT

The climb up had us sweating but the trek back down the west south side of the mountain was much cooler as the winds picked up & the cloud cover increased.  Took us 35 minutes to gingerly pick our way down the grade that had our toes trying their darndest to poke holes through the front of our hiking boots.  A lot of ankle twisting loose rocks so we couldn't hurry.  Always glad to reach the car for sure.

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ACRES & ACRES OF ORANGE TREE ORCHARDS WITH BORREGO SPRINGS IN THE BACKGROUND

We just had to drive back out coyote canyon & around the south end of Coyote mountain & we were back at the rig.  A big flop in the chair & it wasn't long & I had some zzzzzzzzzzz's floating around my head.

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A few more rigs had left while we were away & a few more had arrived.  With probably 50 to a hundred square miles of space here we were lucky nobody pulled up right beside us!!  Our friends Jim & Rene weren't so lucky as they had a Class A practically park on top of them late Saturday.  Remember yesterday's picture of that white fifth wheel......well, that's Jim & Rene.

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DESERT BARREL CACTUS BLOOMS

GROANER'S CORNER:((  Did you hear about the man who avoided funerals because he was not a mourning person.

BLOGGER WEBSITE http://thebayfieldbunch.com/

OUR PHOTO ALBUMS http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

7 comments:

  1. Let me get this straight....you are actually missing those other rigs that had been in your line of sight????? Who'da thunk it???

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  2. Spring flowers!! Beautiful! I just went through those "stuck" pictures and I'm wondering if the reason people park next to other people is because they're afraid of getting stuck and if someone is all ready there, obviously, it's a "safe" place? I've never been there, so are there designated spots for camping? Or do you just drive around and find a flat spot and hope it holds your vehicle weight?
    Have a great day!
    donna

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  3. Nice pictures,,I really like your new header picture..It is GREAT and nice to see something different. Yep, the desert is gona be beautiful the next couple months.

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  4. Yes, great pictures, great hike, great people! Sorry we missed you yesterday, but time ran out on us and we didn't see any blogs - what a lousy way to spend an otherwise great day!

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  5. Al,

    As always, wonderful pictures. The desert flowers are beautiful! As for the ruts, makes me wonder how long they will remain. I have always been fascinated by the ruts left by the early pioneers as they made their way west. Some of those ruts are easily over 100 years old now.

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  6. Nice pics of the flowers in the desert. I haven't seen any around here yet even though I've been looking!

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  7. Beautiful pictures of the flowers of the desert. Just another place we want to experience!! :)

    Have fun!!

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