Saturday, March 06, 2010

NICE MORNING BUT THE BIG WINDS CAME BACK THIS AFTERNOON!!!!

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IN SEARCH OF A SLOT CANYON

With the number of headlights I saw bumping & chinking around in the nearby desert last night I knew we would wake up to a slightly altered landscape this morning.  And so it was.   We had more rigs closer to us this morning but the consolation is that they are probably week-enders & will be gone by Sunday night.  Everyone was respectful of our space & there was no rude crowding in like a week or so ago.

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Cloudy skies sent us scampering to the computer's weather page for a looky see on what's happening.  Sunday is not looking good & it's doubtful that the Astronomy talk I'm attending tonight will have any telescopes set up.

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Noticed WANDERING WILLY made it home safe & sound & he has a picture of himself relaxing in his big easy recliner chair.  By the look of contentment on his face I have a feeling that's the only thing he's gonna be driving for awhile. 

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Our desert hiking book told us there was a small slot canyon hike not far from where we are here at the Clark Dry Lake Bed so about 9:15 off we went heading north on S22.

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BEGINNING THE HIKE UP A SANDY WASH

The book made it clear where to pull off the highway near mile marker 35 so that's just what we did.  The sky was clearer than earlier morning & it didn't take long for the sun to start heating things up.  The trail leading up 'West Truckhaven' was a dry wash bed & right from the time we left the car I'd say 98% of our hike was in soft sand.  Walking in sand is difficult at the best of times & this dry wash had a slow but steady incline.  Combined with the hot sun & breezeless morning we found this short little 2.2 hike a bit of a puffer.

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TOUGH SLOGGING IN THE SOFT SAND

At one point I heard the drone of a small airplane overhead & looked up to read the letters on the wings, 'Ranger Patrol.'  I right away knew who was flying that.  Confidentially sitting at the controls of that white & green wing tipped single engine plane was, Kelly 'Mighty Mouse' McCague.  She was undauntedly on the job early this morning keeping an eye out for everyone's safety below.  You can read the post I did about Kelly & her 180HP 2000 pound Aviat Husky A-1 here at, MIGHTY MOUSE McCAGUE

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YEP, THAT'S MIGHTY MOUSE McCAGUE UP THERE ALRIGHT

The open dry wash eventually led us into a small slot canyon & we were grateful for the shade as we walked through the few narrow openings.  Only one rock scramble & we we were once again into the sun on the other side.  It's a small slot canyon & nothing like the one Butch led us through just a few miles away on the other side of the Borrego Badlands.  For the pictures of that hike 3 years ago just click here... BORREGO SLOT CANYON

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SLOT CANYON-A ROCK SCRAMBLE-ON THE PATH

Our hiking book gave directions to a dry waterfall after leaving the canyon but we never did find it.  Followed other boot marks in the sand but they just eventually led to dead ends.

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HAPPY WANDERER-CHECKING GPS-FLOWERING OCOTILLO

The hike back to the car was much easier because we were heading downhill & a slight breeze had kicked up & cooled us off as it came up the canyon.  Took a short cut over a small rocky hill & we had the highway & car in sight.  Always so nice to get back to the car, peel off all the gear & flop into those nice comfy car seats.  We were back to the rig in less that 10 minutes & total time elapsed since leaving earlier in the morning was 2 hours.  Just enough to put me in a state of doze for the rest of the afternoon.  And in the meantime a big cloud cover moved in & that was the end of our sunny day.

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A ROCK SCRAMBLE-GROUP OF ANTS WORKING ON BRINGING HOME SOME FOOD-HARD TO FIND TRAIL SOMETIMES

In yesterday's blog I included a photo of a stunt pilot beside his airplane.  One of our blog readers & internet friends recognized the pilot as REINHOLD BEYER http://www.advancedaerobaticteam.com/Reinaldo_Beyer.html  & sent us a link this morning about the man, his plane, & his position as Captain of the Advanced Aerobatic Team.

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OCOTILLO -KELLY UNWRAPS A PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH-GLAD TO SEE THE CAR

Tonight I am off to the Anza Borrego Visitor's Center for one of the, 'Desert Skies Outdoor Lectures.'  Popular astronomer Dennis Mammana is giving a talk on the amazing sights & mysteries of the cosmos followed by some telescope stargazing with weather permitting. (not likely)  I may post this before I go or have a crack at it when I get back sometime after nine.  Or, I just may blog about it tomorrow.   If the weather is good Sunday (not likely) we may do an organized group driving tour of the area.  We'll see what shakes out in the morning............

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DESERT LAVENDER

'UPDATE'  8:45 PM Just back from the Astronomy talk & it was great.  An hour well spent & some things well learned.  This fellow takes groups of people all over the world on Astronomy trips following eclipses, etc.  It was too cloudy for any stargazing so I was back to the rig an hour early.

GROANER'S CORNER:((  I like European food so I decided to Russia over there because I was Hungary. After Czech'ing the menu I ordered Turkey. When I was Finnished I told the waiter 'Spain good but there is Norway I could eat another bite'.

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DENNIS MAMMANA....ASTRONOMER AT LARGE

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.

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8 comments:

  1. Peanut butter sandwiches....a favorite of ours and good on a walk or a hike! Enjoyed the pics of the desert landscape very much today. Thanks for sharing.

    Hope that wind will finally blow itself out and away from all of you down there

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  2. Forgot to add....I really love the change of pic on your blog header. Great shot.

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  3. Hey, all your great pics came in right away today. Of course, it's 6:30 on a Sunday morning and all the slugabeds are still slugging, so I got a clear fast signal. Yeah, Max looks great up there at the window.

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  4. Very nice pics Al and it's great to see some of those desert flowers again. The shots of Kelly in that slot canyon are great - that looks like a really neat place to hike. Thanks again for sharing those.

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  5. With all the rains you should be seeing lots of flowers for a long time. I think you're getting hammered today, from what I saw on the weather radar. We got about 5 inches of snow last night (we're in Forest Falls - about 2 hours from you) but it's starting to melt. Just hunker down and enjoy a lazy day.

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  6. Your new header picture is cute! Look how content he is just staring off into the distance. :)

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  7. The desert lavender sure is beautiful.

    It is so nice to not have high winds all the time.

    Kelly, you make climbing through slot canyons look like so much fun (and easier than it probably is)!

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  8. Great hike Al, and the flowers are amazing! I am keeping those as we are following your footprints 0 tomorrow we are moving to Leapin' Lizard RV Ranch in Borrego Springs.

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