(This is Sunday’s post)
It was an early crispy cold California desert morning when I stepped outside with Pheebe under a vast star studded black velvety sky. Like a golden chalice to the east low on the horizon hung motionless a quarter Moon beckoning my eyes to it’s wonder. A slight canyon breeze coming up our way from the north ruffled sleeping Creosote bushes as it gently passed. All was eerily quiet without even the plaintiff call of a distant Coyote. It was Christmas morning and all was well.
BORREGO SPRINGS DEAD AHEAD AT THE FOOT OF THOSE MOUNTAIN BUT WE TURNED LEFT BEFORE WE GOT THERE
HEADING THROUGH THE YACQUI PASS
Had planned on doing a hike up Ghost Mountain to the Marshal South homestead this morning but with temperatures in the mid 40’s and an icy Northwest wind a blowin I knew it would be way to cold up there. I’ve been up Ghost Mountain before on Christmas morning and I’ve been there when it’s cold and windy. Not a nice place to be when it’s cold and windy.
OUR DESTINATION THIS MORNING WAS ‘QUARTZ VEIN WASH’ SOMEWHERE BETWEEN TAMARISK GROVE AND OCOTILLO WELLS
With our ‘Hiking In Anza-Borrego Desert’ book in hand we three hopped into the Jeep and headed southwest past Borrego Springs on highway S3 through the Yacqui Pass to Tamarisk Grove at the intersection of highway 78 and turned right…. we should have turned left. After about 3 miles and not finding our destination where it was supposed to be we pulled a U-turn and headed back east on 78 past Tamarisk Groove until we reached our destination alongside 78 called ‘The Narrows.’ Our book told us there were hikes here and we chose the ‘Quartz Vein Wash’ as our first venture.
PARKED THE JEEP AT THE QUARTZ VEIN WASH TRAILHEAD AND STRUCK OUT ON FOOT
GOOD THING WE BROUGHT THE HIKING BOOK ALONG TO TELL US WHERE TO GO
OUR FIRST OBSTACLE WAS TO CLAMOR UP THIS SMOOTH 8 FOOT DRY WATERFALL….I DON’T KNOW HOW WE GOT UP THERE BUT WE DID
YOU’VE HEARD OF SPIDERMAN EH WELL HERE COMES SPIDER WOMAN RIGHT UP THAT DRY WATERFALL LICKITY SPLIT
WE COULD SEE IT WAS GOING TO BE A BIT OF AN ANKLE TWISTER
PHEEBS SCOUTS THE WAY AHEAD
ALWAYS GREAT SCENERY OUT HERE IN THE GREAT AMERICAN SOUTHWEST
A BIT OF RUGGED GOING IN A FEW SPOTS
SOMETIMES LARGE BOULDERS BLOCKED OUR PATH SO IT WAS EITHER GO OVER THEM OR AROUND THEM
Hiking along the dry sandy creek bed clambering over rocks and large boulders up several small dry waterfalls reminded me of our first 6 years when we loved to get out exploring new places. Moderate rock scrambling was one of our favorite things and this morning we were right back into it. How nice to see new things and stretch out bundles of leg muscles that have been dormant for a long time. A few slips here, a wee bit off balance there, a few clumsy teetering stumbles, a slight ankle sprain and a temporarily sore wrist reminded me of our Dinosaurish ways. Hopefully the more rock scrambling we get into again the more we’ll not look like a couple escapees from a Senior Citizen home.
REMINDED ME OF A LITTLE ORANGE HEADED WOODPECKER FLYING UP THE CANYON
ARE YOU SURE THIS IS THE RIGHT WAY MISTER AND MAYBE I HAD BETTER CHECK MY BOOK AGAIN
PHEEBS MAKES SURE WE STAY ON THE TRAIL
STOPPING FOR A LITTLE REST BEFORE HEADING BACK
We went as far on this hike as the book suggested and to have gone any further up a 15’ smooth rock cut dry waterfall we would have needed the local fire department with all their ropes and ladders to hoist us up any further. But that was just Kelly and I and not the Pheebs. That furry little Mountain Goat just bounced over all the rock obstacles like they weren’t even there today.
RECENT RAINS LEFT A BIT OF WATER IN A HOLLOW ATOP THIS ROCK JUST FOR PHEEBS
THANKS FOR SPOTTING THAT WATER MOM
CAN YOU SPOT KELLY IN THAT JUMBLE OF BOULDERS
I SUSPECT THAT TO BE AN EARTHQUAKE FAULT LINE
SPOTTED A SMALL CAVE ALONG THE WAY
BACK AT THE JEEP IT WAS YUMMY EGG SALAD SANDWICHES FOR THE BAYFIED BUNCH
OKAY A LITTLE REST BEFORE OUR NEXT HIKE
From Quartz Vein Wash we drove about a hundred yards up the highway to our second hike of the day and parked the Jeep. Set off in a southerly direction along the flat easy to follow interpretive ‘Narrows Earth Trail. We were in true Earthquake territory now and the surrounding rocky hills and jagged mountains bore testament to that. In fact the pamphlet we carried said ‘dozens of tiny quakes shake this area daily. Also said the faults in this area are associated with the San Andreas Fault which is California’s largest and most active fault line.
THIS SHORTER FLAT NARROWS LOOP TRAIN WAS MUCH EASIER FOR WALKING
BROCHURE TOLD US THIS WAS AN EARTHQUAKE FAULT LINE WHERE TWO DIFFERENT LAND MASSES COLLIDED TOGETHER
WE STOPPED AT EACH NUMBERED POST AND READ ABOUT WHAT IT MEANT
ANOTHER NARROW EARTHQUAKE FAULT LINE CAN BE SEEN HERE
RUGGED COUNTRY AND THAT’S WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THE WEST
AT ONE POINT WE TEMPORARILY LOST OUR WAY AND GOT OURSELVES INTO ANOTHER ROUGH AND TUMBLE BOULDER STREWN WASH
IT WAS HERE WHERE WE TURNED AROUND AND HEADED BACK DOWN THE WASH
GOOD THING FOR THAT ORANGE HAT
BACK ON THE TRAIL WE AGAIN MADE IT A POINT TO STOP AND READ ABOUT THE TOPOGRAPHY
VERY OBVIOUS HERE AGAIN WHERE TWO GREAT DIFFERING LAND MASSES CAME TOGETHER
MANY POURUS HOLES IN THIS ANCIENT ROCK
LOOK CLOSELY AND YOU MAY SEE A HOBBIT LIKE HOUSE
The Narrows Earth loop trail actually makes it’s way through and around the ‘Powder Dump Wash’ so named because it was here in the 1930’s where gunpowder was stored. I’m guessing it may have been used in area mines. This is a short trail and we were soon making our way back on the opposite side of Powder Wash where we spotted a curious rock formation reminding me of a Hobbit House. Kelly suggested I stand in the entrance way for a picture but doorknob me decided to sit in the entrance way and ended up with a host of cactus barbs in my butt!!!! Not to worry, it wasn’t serious and I managed to pull them out of my pants myself.
THERE ARE MANY FACES IN THESE ROCK
I SEE A BEAKED TURTLE FACE GONZO FACE HERE
THE RETURNING LOOP TRAIL TAKES US RIGHT BY THE HOBBIT HOUSE
KELLY MADE ME POSE FOR A FEW PHOTOS
UM COULD YOU MOVE YOUR LEG OVER DAD
YOUR MY VERY MUCH MOST FAVORITUS HOBBIT DAD
DID YA HEAR WHAT I SAID DAD
PULLING A STICKER OUT OF MY FINGER
OH GEEEEZZZZ SHE EVEN GOT A PICTURE OF ME PULLING THE STICKERS OUT OF MY PANTS……OKAY LET’S GET OUT OF HERE
Figured that was enough hiking for us today and not wanting to overdo it right off the bat we decided to head further on down highway 78 to Ocotillo Wells which I’m sure is one of the largest off-road recreation areas in California. Been a few years since we had been down this way but everything still looked the same with the exception of the usual great gargantuan clouds of dust roiling up off the desert floor from literally thousand of off-road vehicles of all description. Only reason the area was quiet today had to do with the fact it was Christmas. By Monday morning there will be a swelling tide of traffic rolling into Ocotillo Wells from the coastal side of California and the place will be a frenzied zoo.
THIS IS ABOUT THE HEART OF OCOTILLO WELLS
WITH A RARE PHONE CONNECTION FOR THESE PARTS KELLY TALKS TO HER MOTHER IN SPENCERPORT NEW YORK
I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE SAME OPPORTUNITY TO CALL MY AUNT JEAN IN FLORIDA FROM THIS LOCATION BECAUSE LATER BACK AT THE RIG OUR T-MOBILE PHONE COULD NOT FIND A CONNECTION DESPITE ME DRIVING ALL THE WAY BACK INTO BORREGO SPRINGS SUNDAY NIGHT
Back in late December of 08 a fella we met here at the Clark Dry Lake Bed lead us on a marvelous hike through a beautiful slot canyon just off highway 78 west of Ocotillo Wells. Today we turned off onto a Jeep road leading out into the desert and headed to the trailhead for that slot canyon just to see if we remembered where it was, and we did. Half a dozen cars there and that was about half a dozen cars and people too much for us so we just had ourselves a look around with plans to come back and do that slot canyon another day when there are hopefully no two legged creatures about.
WE COULD HEAR PEOPLE TALKING BELOW AS THEY MADE THEIR WAY THROUGH THIS VERY TIGHT IN PLACES SLOT CANYON
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SLOT CAN IS WHAT’S KNOWN AS THE BADLANDS AND WE MAY BE OUT JEEPING AROUND THERE MONDAY
It was back out to the highway with us and we headed off for Borrego Springs. Gassed up the Jeep in Borrego then stopped at Christmas Circle for some photos before heading back to our rig. With all the desert coldness we have been experiencing as of late what a cozy treat it was to find our rig’s interior sitting at a toasty 80F. Today’s sun had really warmed things up for us inside.
HEADING BACK TO BORREGO SPRINGS THIS IS WHATS KNOWN AS ‘THE TEXAS DIP’
All and all a great day and I hope we can have many more like them, A few sore muscles tonight, a twinge in my left ankle and slightly sore wrist but otherwise we’re good to go again just as soon as we can rustle us up our next rock scramble. So much to see and do in this area and that’s why it is one of our all time favorite places.
BORREGO’S MAIN STREET WAS QUIET TODAY
I’M THINKING THAT IS A NEW SIGN THERE ON CHRISTMAS CIRCLE
AND HERE’S MY FEET SHUFFLING ALONG ACROSS THE GRASS ON CHRISTMAS DAY ON CHRISTMAS CIRCLE 2016:))
LOOKING RIGHT STRAIGHT UP MAIN STREET
GROANER’S CORNER:(( A little boy got on the bus, sat next to a man reading a book, and noticed he had his collar on backwards. The little boy asked why he wore his collar that way. The man, who was a priest, said, " I am a Father."
The little boy replied, "My Daddy doesn't wear his collar like that." The priest looked up from his book and answered, "I am the Father of many." The boy said, "My Dad has 4 boys, 4 girls and two grandchildren and he doesn't wear his collar that way." The priest, getting impatient, said, "I am the Father of hundreds" and went back to reading his book. The little boy sat quietly thinking for a while, then leaned over and said,"Maybe you should wear your pants backwards instead of your collar."
A three-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens. "How did you know?" his mother asked. "Daddy picked them up and looked underneath," he replied. "I think it was printed on the bottom."
Why do banks charge you a "non-sufficient funds fee" on money they already know you don't have?
- Why is it you have a "pair" of pants and only one bra?
- How come when I call Information they can't tell me where my keys are?
- Why do people go to Burger King and Order a Double Whopper with a Large French Fry and insist on getting a Diet Coke?
- Does the reverse side also have a reverse side?
- Why is the alphabet in that order?
- If the universe is everything, and scientists say that the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?
- If you got into a taxi and he started driving backwards, would the taxi driver end up owing you money?