(This is my Ghost Mountain/Marshal South/Indio post for Tuesday March 5th, 2013).
PHEEBS & I ATOP MY FAVORITE ROCK ON GHOST MOUNTAIN
So nice sitting quietly around a cozy campfire on a warm Monday night. Only the sounds of a distant Coyote. Only the wondrous site of endless stars overhead.
Tuesday morning we were up early & on the road to Ghost Mountain by 8:10.
GHOST MOUNTAIN IS MORE OF A HIGH RIDGE THAN A MOUNTAIN & THE MARSHAL SOUTH HOMESTEAD IS ATOP THAT RIDGE ABOVE CENTER
IT’S A SOFT SANDY ROAD WHICH LEADS THROUGH BLAIR VALLEY
Kelly had decided to come with Pheebs & I for a hike up Ghost Mountain to the old Marshal South homestead. Been about 4 years since she last hiked the steep rocky trail & figured she needed some exercise.
AFTER HIKING UP A STEEP ROCKY SWITCH BACK TRAIL WE REACH THIS PLATEAU & FOLLOW THE TRAIL AT LEFT BEFORE SCRAMBLING THROUGH THAT HILL OF BOULDERS TO THE HOMESTEAD ON TOP
A bit disappointed at the overcast. Had been looking forward to a nice sunrise lighting up the desert colors on our way over there but the day started out on the gray side which turned out best in the end anyway.
It’s a 45 minute drive through the Yaqui Pass to Blair Valley. Very quiet area with few people. Had thought many times about boondocking in the valley, but with no internet or cell phone coverage for Kelly’s Deerpark Lodge work, we just couldn’t do it. Kelly brought her Netbook & MiFi along today to check it again. And, whaddya know……there is finally Verizon internet & cell coverage all the way out to Ghost Mountain. We may very well head over there next time through this area. Only saw maybe half a dozen rigs scattered about & none were visible to each other. Bonus:))
IT IS SOMETIMES HARD FINDING THE PATH THROUGH THE BOULDERS
I have sooooooo many photos of Ghost Mountain & the Marshal South homestead that I could probably put on a two day digital slide show. And yet each year I go back I take another whole batch. This morning’s hike was no exception & I now have another 137 photos to add to my collection. I wonder if there is a Photographer’s Anonymous program out there somewhere. If so, I really need to go!!
We made it up to the top in about half an hour. Pheebs could have made it to the top in 3 minutes if we had let her. What a great hike she had running all about. As the morning temperatures rose, we commented to each other how lucky we were the hot sun was not out.
THIS IS PHEEBS SECOND TREK TO THE MARSHAL SOUTH HOMESTEAD
As always, sweeping views with every footstep along the way. And, I should add, almost every step forward is a step upward. Definitely need some good footwear on this trail. None of that silly flip flop stuff here.
MY ANNUAL PHOTO OF THE VALLECITO VALLEY TAKEN FROM ATOP MY FAVORITE ROCK
BLAIR VALLEY TO THE NORTH SHOWS THE SANDY ROAD WE DROVE IN ON
What’s left of the homestead looks pretty much the same as it did last time I was there just over a year ago. The old iron bed has been moved a bit & looked a little worse for wear from the last time I saw it. The rest of the site looked the same. I was able to point out a few things to Kelly that had been pointed out to me by an Anza-Borrego State guide led hike a couple years ago. I don’t like hiking with people but I made a special effort that time so I could learn more about the site when we arrived there. I have blogged a few times in the past why we prefer to hike alone so don’t think I’ll get into all that again.
PART OF A NORTH WALL IS ALL BUT GONE
We walked around the site for maybe 30 minutes before beginning our descent. This is the hardest part for Kelly. Well, for most folks I suspect. She was able to use an Agave stock as a walking stick & that was a big help for her. She has a walking stick but of course it is in Congress. I tried walking sticks several times but never liked them. I much prefer to have my arms & hands free. I’m generally carrying a couple cameras anyway so do not like the inconvenience of hanging onto a stick too.
NOT OFTEN WE ENCOUNTER OTHER HIKERS ON THIS TRAIL
Took us awhile to get down. Pheebs could have been down in two minutes but Kelly took it slow & we all made it down safely. No slips, falls, or twisted ankles. We were sure startled by two fast flying jets coming at a high rate of speed up Blair Canyon. Just a thunderous roar as they zipped by. But I did catch the last guy with my 300mm lens. At a distant I thought I recognized their colors as members of the Thunderbirds aerobatic team but when we got home & I cropped in on the photo I see they were Navy aircraft based planes. The arrester hooks were very visible on the bottom of the tail. I think it was those 2 hot rod pilots who re-startled us about an hour & half later when again flying very fast & low, flew right over us at the Clark Dry Lake Bed.
Waved a good-bye to Ghost Mountain once again as we jostled our way along the bump filled sandy road heading for highway S2. Less than an hour later we were seated at Jilbertos on main street Borrego Springs. A Chimney Changa or something for Kelly & my traditional Jilberto’s burg & fries for me. Always good. A quick stop on Christmas Circle to drop off some garbage & give my shoes a shuffle on the green green grass. With the Stone Snake quest, Ghost Mountain re-visited, my burg at Jilbertos, & that groovy green grass shuffle, I had accomplished what I had set out to do this year in Borrego. For my thoughts, feelings, & photos on the Marshal South story just type ‘Ghost Mountain’ or ‘Marshal South’ in my blog’s search bar at the top right column. Even tracked this fellow’s final resting place down………….
FINAL APPROACH TO BORREGO SPRINGS
JUST GOTTA LOVE THAT LUSH GREEN GRASS ON CHRISTMAS CIRCLE
Sounds like we could have a nasty weather front moving into the whole area Wednesday so I’m thinking we just might boogey out of town in the morning. We may or may not stop in to see Solar Mike in Slab City regarding a solar set-up. We may rocket sled if for Congress or we may drive over to downtown Los Angeles & hang out for awhile……Ya right!!
CLARK DRY LAKEBED BOONDOCKING NEAR BORREGO SPRINGS CALIFORNIA…WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE:))
Shortly after arriving at our boondocking spot we received an email from Nan & John at TRIPPIN WITH THE TALLEYS. They are boondocked about a mile east of us in the desert somewhere. I could see about a dozen rigs widely scattered across the desert floor & emailed back asking them to send up some smoke signals so we would know which one they were. John couldn’t get a fire going in today’s wind so they emailed some directions.
THIS IS JOHN & NAN’S RIG, THE ONE WE WERE LOOKING FOR
Now here is where our day took a sudden turn. I had this post written & was in the process of editing all my pics for the day. It was about 4:30 when Kelly decided to check the computer weather. They had just issued a ‘wind advisory’ for Borrego Springs beginning in the evening. Kelly said, “do we really need another sleepless night rocking back & forth in the wind”. I agreed with her. We are no strangers to the Borrego Winds. We made a snap decision to hit the road & put a few miles between us & the incoming wind & weather. Twenty minutes later we were rolling.
SAY, THAT’S QUITE A TATTOO JOB JOHN HAS THERE
With no slides to bring in, levelers to pull up, no satellite dish to take down, no hoses or electrical to detach, & no solar panels to secure, it doesn’t take us long to get our butt’s in gear. Our new neighbors Esther & Steve were not home so I left them a couple Bayfield Bunch cards. We didn’t have far to drive on the first part of our journey. About one mile.
With directions in hand we had no problem finding John & Nan’s (TRIPPIN WITH THE TALLEYS") big 40’ diesel pusher in the desert. We were greeted at the door by Olivia & Oliver Talley. Just the cutest two little muffins you ever saw & boy, were they ever friendly. Hit if off with the Pheebs right away. Tails were a-waggin. Then, Nan came to the door. I think John was getting up from an afternoon snooze. Now, here’s two really nice people. John’s just kinda one of those laid back easy talking fellas I can feel comfortable with & take an easy hankering too. Nice folks indeed. We visited for maybe 40 minutes while Oliver, Olivia & Pheebs blasted around all over the place playing together. With the sun beginning to set it was time for us to be getting on. A final wave to Olivia, Oliver, Nan, & John Talley & we were gone on down the road.
OLIVER & OLIVIA AT THE DOOR SAYING GOODBYE TO PHEEBS
And a final wave to Borrego Springs for another year. It was a totally beautiful day & the mountains, in their fine splendid coats of myriad colors just seemed to take on an extra sprinkling of magic as we left. What a truly great place this has always been for us.
And before I forget….a quick explanation about the changes between Rock House Road & Coyote mountain just off highway S22. For folks familiar with the area, my Sunday post may have confused some. Rock House Road is not closed. Still open & still lots of boondocking spots. The old gravel pit is now filled in & the area immediately north & east has been reworked. Yet, our favorite spot is still there but not accessible anymore.
EASTBOUND ON S22 HEADING TOWARDS THE SALTON SEA
Leaving Borrego late Tuesday afternoon we had no destination in mind. Couldn’t seem to make up our minds. Did decide to wait until next winter before doing anything about a solar system. Reached the Salton Sea & hung a left. Headed north on highway 86 as the sun sank over the Santa Rosa Mountains to the west.
A GLIMPSE OF THE SALTON SEA TO THE EAST
Figured we’d pick up I-10 & head east for a bit. Usually we hang a right through the little town of Mecca & head through Box Canyon to I-10 but at the last minute we figured we’d go on up a little further, have us a look at Indio, & grab I-10.
HEADING NORTH ON HIGHWAY 86
Well, we failed to grab anything that looked like I-10 so went on up to Jackson Avenue, hung a right turn & planned to head back looking for I-10 again. In the process of that turn around we spotted some rigs boondocked for the night in a large parking area near a Home Depot store. Another quick decision & we were contentedly there for the night. And, that’s where Tuesday night’s photoless short post came from. Because this post is very long……I will catch up today, tomorrow. Not much going for the last half of today so hopefully that will get me all caught up again….Boy, miss one day, & see what happens……….!!!!
SOMEWHERE IN INDIO CALIFORNIA FOR THE NIGHT
GROANER’S CORNER:((Q. What is the difference between a hunter and a fisherman?
A. A hunter lies in wait and a fisherman waits and lies.
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.
Love the pics of Ghost Mountain. We've never been and now we have a new place to visit. ThanksReplyDelete
Aren't Nan and John just the best folks ever. She and I hung together through the last year with our men folks and finally got to meet in Q.ReplyDelete
Wow,great that you managed to snap a shot of that fighter jet! Nearly knocked me out of my lounge chair when those hot shots roared by about 100 ft overhead.ReplyDelete
Thanks for solving that mystery for us!
Calm all day today and just a small breeze tonight....not!
When we lived in San Diego in the 1980's Blair Valley was a favorite camping spot for us. Those dang pilots would catch us off guard everytime. Lovely area that we really must revisit. Thanks for bringing those old memories back for us. BeckiReplyDelete
Tis a special place alright, we also have spent at least a month there the last three years.
I started to argue last night about how you could be lost and not find I 10 when Home Depot is right on the main intersection with I 10..... But then I decided that is was just a rhetorical thought of being lost and that with Kelly along it certainly wasn't factual.. But anyway I'm glad you have found yourself again...... Maybe you are already home again like we are....ReplyDelete
You better stop and see Solar Mike while your over there,,,if not when you gett home you will always wish you had of.. Thats the way I am anyhow..ReplyDelete
I've never heard of Ghost Mountain, Al. Now I want to go find it. Would a high clearance Nissan X-Terra make it out there? We don't have 4 wheel drive.ReplyDelete
That is such a beautiful area, but nice to "get outta Dodge " before the winds pick up.ReplyDelete
Say HI to The Slabs for us if you head on over to see Solar Mike. We liked that place!ReplyDelete
How nice to run into Nan and John. Those furrballs sure are cute too. And good to get out of that windstorm heading across, and be down a bit where you can hide out from the worst blasts.
We are still in western TX but know soon we will be heading NorthEast towards the Great Lakes too. Sigh.
Karen and Steve
RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
I have enjoyed reading the book about Ghost Mountain so it was good to see some more pictures. Thanks.ReplyDelete
It was so nice of you all to stop by. Oliver and Olivia really enjoyed Ms. Pheebs. Your new digs are really nice! Once that booth disappears, you are going to have it just the way is comfortable for you. Your rig had an I'm home feeling.ReplyDelete
I can't believe that I did not even think about getting my camera out! I have no photos of the three of you. Talk about being a goof ball!
The winds the last two nights have been horrible.We pulled the slides in.
The jet was a T-45A/C trainer.
Right across from that Home Depot is the WinCo market. Nancy loves that store. You can buy in bulk and they have rows and rows of bins that you serve yourself from. It's a good place to stock up on staples. BUT, they only take cash or checks (and, maybe debit cards). Everything is deeply discounted.
Looks like you really need a jeep to go the places you do go to. I would be hesitant to drive our little Accent on some of those roads. Maybe after we sell this darn house!ReplyDelete
Just LOVE that area...and love the Ghost Mountain hike (which I discovered thro' your blog some years back). Just a word of caution...dogs are not officially allowed on the trail at Ghost Mountain. Usually no-one is watching, but sadly Anza Borrego SP has restrictions on dogs on ALL trails in the park. Sad, but true.ReplyDelete
Nina & Paul
That was a fun outing,thanks for taking us along. Great Pic's as always.ReplyDelete