Florian's 2010 desert/hiking/cycling/stargazing/camping/traveling blog


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Friday, 12/31, Goodbye 2010

In 2010 i rode my bike 1313.4 miles, enjoyed 91 hikes, and got a cool job at the art museum. Pretty good year i'd say.



Thursday, 12/30, Garstin trail

Garstin trail over Smoketree mtn.



Saturday, 12/25, Shannon trail

Christmas day hike up the Shannon with Wen.



Friday, 12/24, Ride 19.2 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 12 minutes.



Sunday, 12/12, Shannon trail

Shannon over Smoketree mtn. Temp almost 80°. Warm day for December.



Friday, 12/10, Ride 15.2 miles

Canyon loops taking 54 minutes.



Thursday, 12/9, Middle Lykken trail

Hiked the middle Lykken trail with Eddie.



Monday, 12/6, Back to work!

After being retired/unemployed for almost three years going back to work today as the IS Administrator for the Palm Springs Art Museum.



Sunday, 12/5, Ride 21 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 15 minutes.



Friday, 12/3, South Lykken trail

Hiked the south Lykken trail with Eddie.



Wednesday, 12/1, Ride 16.2 miles

Canyon loops taking 1 hour.



Monday, 11/29, Shannon/Garstin trail loop

Up the Shannon Trail, down the Garstin Trail, and back via the wash. Bright and clear but kinda cool and breezy.



Sunday, 11/28, Dupont Road day trip - Photos

Depart house at 6:30a and meetup with Bob (KO6TZ), Mike (KF6TMT) and Jeffery at the LOVES off of Dillon Road. Heading east from LOVES at 7:15a. Corn Spring exit at 8a. Dupont Road southbound at 8:30a. Explore around the Aztec Mines a bit then continue south. Dupont Road through wash is rougher than i remember. Realized afterwards that we missed the bypass route around the bad parts. Have lunch at the crest. Continue down to Bradshaw then east driving out via Augustine Pass. Join Graham Pass road at 1:50p. Back on freeway at Corn Springs overpass at 2:10p. Home at 3:30p driving a total 223 miles.



Saturday, 11/27, Araby trail

Araby trail to my Araby Hope geocache. Lots of people on the trails today but no one's been to the cache for a while. Beautiful day.



Friday, 11/26, Cahuilla Canyon hike

Cahuilla Canyon to the second stream crossing with Wen and Eddie. Very pretty day.



Thursday, 11/25, Ride 21 miles

Downtown, Vista Chino, Date Palm, 111, Farrell loop taking 1 hour 18 minutes. Cold!



Monday, 11/22, Chuckwalla Bench day trip - Photos

Depart house about 8:10a. Stop for coffee at TA travel center. Red Cloud exit at 9:15a. Hike to Lost Pony Mine starting at 10:15a. Nice little mine area. No horizontal tunnels. Only some vertical and angled shafts. Talking through tramway and Monument Peak repeaters using 250R handheld. Back to truck at 11:30a. Nice camping spots along Red Cloud road. Should come back in spring. Drive south on Gas Line road. Arrive at Mike's campsite with the little slab at 12:25p. Sardines for lunch. Explore the tunnel. Guess it to be about 100 feet deep. Not the nicest tunnel. Amazing cholla and ocotillo covered hillsides. Weather is absolutely perfect. Bright, clear, calm. Wishing i was camping although will be cold at night. Take cut over road to Summit then back to freeway along regular Salt Creek road. Heading home on I10 at 2:20p. Ramon Road exit at 3:05p. Stop at Liberty Smog on way home for Tacoma smog check. Home at 4:15p. Drive 148 miles today.



Friday, 11/19, Ride 11 miles

Quick afternoon canyon loop taking 40 minutes.



Thursday, 11/18, Guadalupe trail - Photos

Hike Guadalupe Trail down from Pinyon Flats to La Quinta. Meet John in LQ and leave my truck then we drive to Pinyon Flats trailhead and start hiking at 8a. Hike with John a bit beyond Horsethief Creek but he has afternoon commitments and has to turn back. I continue on my own. Missed the route a bit above Cowboy Camp but recovered trail with no problem. Great hike. Really love the desert section of this trail. Didn't see any bighorn today. Back to my truck in LQ at 3:15p. 15.2 miles per GPS taking 7 hours 15 minutes total time.



Monday, 11/15, South Lykken trail

Hiked the south Lykken trail with Eddie.



Sunday, 11/14, Ride 18.2 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 10 minutes.



Saturday, 11/13, Ride 21.5 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 20 minutes.



Friday, 11/12, Cahuilla Canyon hike

Cahuilla Canyon to the second stream crossing. Gorgeous day on the desert.



Thursday, 11/11, Joshua Tree day trip - Photos

Enjoyed Veteran's Day in Joshua Tree National Park with Wen. Free admission today in honor of the holiday. Cold and windy at Key's View but nice and clear otherwise. We had planned to hike Ryan Mtn trail but decided would be too cold and windy so hiked Lost Horse Mine trail instead. Drove home via Berdoo Canyon. Road in pretty good shape with only the one usual rocky bit. Nice day in the park and was not nearly as busy as i was thinking it would be on free day.



Monday, 11/8, Shannon trail loop

Hike up the Shannon Trail, across the dip to top of Araby Trail, over the middle mesa to Wildhorse junction, then back down the Shannon. Great loop on a very pretty day with clouds rolling over the Desert Divide.



Saturday, 11/6, Ride 25.8 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 35 minutes.



Thursday, 11/4, Murray Hill

Hiked to Murray Hill going up on the Garstin Trail and back down on the Theilman Trail. Bit warm but a very nice sunny day. Didn't see anyone else on the trails all morning. Total time for the hike including walking road back to my truck was just under 3 hours.



Sunday, 10/31, Mojave desert camping trip, day 3 - Photos

Westbound Amtrak at 2:10a. Seems either very late or very early for a train headed for LA. Perfectly calm, still night. Would have been perfectly quiet if not for all the trains. Next time should camp a bit farther from the BNSF mainline. But was fun and made the night pass quickly. Got up at 6:50a. Overnight low 44°. Sunrise directly over Old Woman Mtns at 7:32a. About 8:30a a long string of railroad track vehicles passed westbound. Counted 18 vehicles of all different types. This BNSF line is amazingly active. Total train count: 43 eastbound and 40 westbound, plus the 18 vehicle track crew. Depart camp at 9:40a heading south over Skeleton Pass. The Skeleton Pass road is a nice drive. No people and not washboarded. Drive up Black Metal Mine road. Arrive at Black Metal Mine at 11:30a. Explore an awesome mine tunnel! 70 pace main tunnel then Ts to two 30 pace tunnels. Right tunnel has a very deep shaft with ladder and left tunnel has brick wall and doorway (door missing) that was once the powder room. Sardines for lunch. Back to main Cadiz/Midland road at 12:50p. Bad washboarding at first then gets better. Junction hwy 62 at 2p. Drive up Palen Pass road. The sandy spots are sandier and the rocky spots are rockier than last time. Camp on desert pavement west of Palen Pass arriving at 3:20p. Drive 96 miles today. Nice spot with great view south toward Desert Center 22 miles away and Chuckwalla Mtns. Warm and sunny but a bit breezy. Kind of miss the trains. Almost camped here a couple years ago but only had tent so didn't stay because of the rocky ground. Can't get through on cellphone even though i have 4 bars. Talked to Chris (K6YNW) on radio and he called Wen to say i'll be home tomorrow. Check into CalZona net via Black Mtn (Glammis) repeater. Sunset at 5:42p, temp 68° and breezy. Canned beans and corn for dinner. After dark wind calm and quiet. Freeway lights are pretty. A very nice evening. Go to bed early at 9p. Up early at 6:30a Monday morning. Calm quiet night, overnight low 58°. Sunrise at 7:28a. This has been a really good desert trip. Kind of sorry to be going home. Depart camp headed for home at 8:20a. Home at 11a. Drive 93 miles today, 532 miles trip total.



Saturday, 10/30, Mojave desert camping trip, day 2 - Photos

Up at 6:45a. Some gusty wind during the night. The first gusts woke me up and i thought was an earthquake. Sunrise at 7:30a with winds picking up. No cellphone reception from campsite. Accidentally left phone on and the poor little guy ran his battery down trying to contact to a cell all night. Glad i brought the charger this time. Depart camp at 9:10a. Total train count: 4 eastbound and 2 westbound. Drive over to Kelso station and bought a cup of coffee. Head back east from Kelso. Cold in Cima with some light rain sprinkles. Nice to see the Sunrise Rock without a cross on it! Hiked the Teutonia Peak trail. Didn't go all the way to summit. Cold and windy but nice and clear. Hike took 1 hour 15 minutes. Drive north to I40 then east over Mtn Pass to Primm. Wanted to see the Ivanpah solar site. Frankly, it seems like a good place for a solar site. Gas and ice in Primm. What a culture shock from the open desert this place is. Gas $3.19. Have sardine lunch along railroad road between Primm and Nipton. Bought some snacks at Nipton store and asked if i could use the wifi. Clerk said it was $3 so didn't bother. Depart Nipton at 2:10p and drive to Hole-In-The-Wall via Cima. Arrive Hole-In-The-Wall at 3:10p. Had planned to meet Chris Clarke and a group from the Mojave Preserve but no sign of them. Decide not to stay. Is going to be cold night at 4200' elevation and i'm not really in a social mood. Head south planning to camp at Cadiz. South of Hole-In-The-Wall a northbound car threw up a rock and made a big divot in windshield. Camping along gasline road SW of Danby 1/4 mile from BNSF mainline arriving at 4:20p. Drive 164 miles today. Warm, calm, clear, sunny, and all by myself. Perfect! Can see San Jacinto and get into tramway repeater too. Also have cellphone/internet signal. Sunset at 5:46p, 70°. Very light breeze and not a cloud in the sky. Chile con Carne for dinner. Also replaced stove cartridge. Went to bed at 9:40p.



Friday, 10/29, Mojave desert camping trip, day 1 - Photos

Mojave desert multi-night camping trip departing home at 10:30a, 93364 odo. Gas $2.97 in 29 Palms. Depart 29 Palm eastbound at 11:45a. Arrive Amboy 12:30a. Sardines for lunch next to tracks and watch a westbound train. Railroad workers in big truck drove over to warm me their foreman was going to call the police if i didn't get off the tracks. So i did. Seriously nice guys. Cross under I40 northbound at 1:15p. Kelso at 1:40p. Continue east toward Cima. Drive Mojave Road to Beale Mtns campsite were i camped with Frank a couple years ago. On way back checked out a neat mine tunnel on east side of Beale Mtns. Even has tracks and a cute little packrat at the end. 69 paces deep. Get excellent shot into tramway repeater from Mojave Road. Can see San Jacinto. Camp along Globe Mine road near Hayden siding. A hundred yards or so north of where i camped last year. Arriving at 3:30p. Drive 179 miles today. Brought wrong binoculars. All i have are the 10x25 Zeiss. Missing my 10x32 Leicas. Nice afternoon with light breezes. Temp around 78°. Sunset at 5:50p, wind basically calm, temp 68°. Getting into tramway repeater pretty well from here. San Jacinto is just out of sight behind Granite Mtns. Amazing how long it takes trains to make the grade eastbound from Kelso. Well over an hour. My new Black Diamond SPOT headlamp is awesome. Bright adjustable single beam, dual adjustable white proximity beams, plus red beams. Evening turned out to be much better than i was expecting given the forecast for wind and rain. Just nice clouds for beautiful sunset, calm, not cold. About perfect. Just wish there were more trains. Only 2 eastbound so far. Canned veggies and spicy noodles for dinner. Really turned out to be a perfect evening. Almost a bit disappointed as i was expecting to have wind and rain thought i'd be all battened down inside the camper for the night. 9:30p and only three trains. All eastbound.



Thursday, 10/28, Ride 15 miles

City/canyon loop taking 55 minutes.



Monday, 10/25, Ride 10.5 miles

Canyon loop taking 36 minutes.



Saturday, 10/23, Ride 22 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 22 minutes.



Thursday-Friday, 10/21-22, Salt Creek camping - Photos

Overnight trip to Salt Creek and Bradshaw Trail area departing house at 9:35a Thursday morning. 45 minutes later after stopping for gas and a few supplies i'm finally on the I10 eastbound. Takes forever to get out of town. Stopped at the electric substation near the Red Cloud exit and took some pictures. I love how the electricity sounds. Head south on Summit road at 11:40a. Some puddles and a few muddy spots from this week's rains. Drove up east Amy Wash road and had lunch in canyon west of wood cabin. Back down west Amy Wash passing a trashed campsite. Some people are total assholes. Walked up to Canyon Spring from the wilderness boundary. Continued south and camped up road into Orocopias at the same site i camped in April 2008 arriving at 2:50p. Drove 89 miles today. Shot my .22 rifle and .38 revolver a bit. Sunset at 5:55p. Hazy conditions with some high clouds. But no wind. Canned beans and corn for dinner. Full moon tonight but clouds mostly blocking. Comfy night in truck shell. High overcast most of night. No wind. Overnight low 60°. Departed camp at 8:35a Friday morning and drove back north up Salt Creek. Gucci Canyon to the wilderness boundary. Nice area. I love wilderness boundaries! Took the Amy Wash loop again so i could make a GPS track. Stopped at Summit crossing for a break and watched a little desert tortoise crossed the tracks. Lunch north of freeway along aqueduct. Bought ice at Chiriaco Summit. Still haven't decided if i'll spend second night or not. Stopped at slab along Maniobra Valley road. The slab says "SAREEA AL JAMEL 3-6-88" in SW corner. Left slab after about 30 mins and then stopped at aqueduct site near Cottonwood road. Finally decided in the end to drive home as i didn't think wind was going to stop. Home at 5:25p. Drove 107 miles today, 196 miles trip total.



Monday, 10/18, Shannon trail

Hike Shannon trail, middle mesa, Smoketree Mtn.



Sunday, 10/17, Skyline to 4000' - Photos

Hiked Skyline trail from Ramon starting at 4:45a. I love starting in the dark and watching the day begin. Took a little break around 4000', watched the sunrise, poked around a bit, and decided i just didn't want to hike all the way to the tram today. My favorite part of the Skyline is the lower desert third and i just wanted to enjoy it some more. So i turned around and had a nice slow contemplative walk back to town. As contemplative as one can be with the sound of the motorcycle fest in PS as a backdrop. The sunrise was awesome. See photos link above. Saw Ellen, Steve and Patti heading up. Total of 20 Skyline hikers seen. Cached a water bottle near WWR and one at Trailer Vagabond. Back to my truck at 9:30a taking 4 hours 45 minutes total time.



Sunday early morning, 10/17, Comet Hartley 2

Comet 103P/Hartley near Capella high overhead from my backyard at 4:20a. Fairly easy in 10x32 binoculars.



Friday, 10/15, Ride 12 miles

City loop from Davies taking 45 minutes. Motorcycle weekend setting up downtown.



Thursday, 10/14, Middle Lykken trail

Hiked middle Lykken from Mesquite with Eddie.



Wednesday, 10/13, Ride 12 miles

Afternoon canyon loop taking 44 minutes.



Monday evening, 10/11, Comet Hartley 2

Found comet 103P/Hartley in Perseus from my backyard. Fairly easy in the TV76 @ 30x. Also visible with difficulty in 10x32 binoculars.



Sunday, 10/10, Martinez Mtn hike

Hiked to the summit of Martinez Mtn from Pinyon Flats with Mark, Jeremy, Lee, Paul and Chino the dog. This was a Meetup group hike organized by Mark. My first time on Martinez. Perfect weather. Over 18 miles taking 9 hours 15 minutes total time. Long hike. Feet hurt. Good day!



Saturday, 10/9, Ride 16.4 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 2 minutes.



Wednesday-Friday, 10/6-8, Anza-Borrego camping trip - Photos

Anza-Borrego camping trip departed house at 10:30a on Wednesday. Sardine lunch along S-22 on the bluffs east of the microwave tower. Borrego Springs market and library. Talk to librarian regarding their computer reservation system. Agua Caliente store sign says closed Tues/Wed. Open other days 9a to 5p. Arrive Carrizo Valley site at 2:05p. However there is a truck parked just up the road a bit so didn't stay. Drove through Bow Willow. Only one site occupied. Fee is now $15/night. Almost camped at Mtn Palm Spring but went back to regular site instead arriving at 3p. Five minutes after returning to site the truck departed. Yay. Breezy afternoon. If doesn't get any worse will be okay. Set up tent early during lull in wind. 69° temp at 5p. Intermittent wind. Sunset on ridge at 5:20p. Can beans and mexicorn for dinner. Campfire in smokey-joe. Comet Hartley 2 visible in TV76 and 10x32 binoculars. Diffuse, no core nor tail seen. In tent at 8:45p. Some gusts during the night but mostly calm. Overnight low 54°. Sunrise 6:42a Thursday. Left tent set up as thinking to spend second night at same site. Drove up canyon to fork and then back to Torote Canyon trailhead. Hiked up Torote Canyon first going up the left fork and then back and up the right fork. Neither go directly through to Canebrake as i was thinking. But a nice hike anyway. Glad wasn't too hot. 1 hour 52 minutes total hiking time. Little break back at campsite and decided to spend second night in north park. Drove down to south entrance and turned around. Border Patrol station active. East Carrizo Wash to the brushy area and back to S-2 then head north. Borrego Springs library to check email and buy ice at market. Camped Thursday along Truckhaven Trail at site east of my regular spot. Arrived 3:15p. Very nice afternoon. No wind and quite a bit warmer than yesterday. A rather scruffy looking guy drove by after i arrived and is camping half mile west of me. Was sorta worried at first but he's very quiet and seems to enjoy the desert as i do. He has two little weiner dogs too. Sunset at 6:10p. Very pretty crescent Venus in the TV76. Sardines and sauerkraut for dinner. So much warmer tonight. Last night long pants and sweater. Tonight shorts and a shirt. Had another campfire in smokey-joe. Small firewood needs a critical mass of 6 to 7 sticks. Comet Hartley 2 in same 30x field with Perseus double cluster. Looks like M110 Andromeda companion. In tent at 9:10p. Calm still night. Overnight low 60°. Amazing how much warmer 60° feels compared to last night's 54°. Sunrise Friday at 6:43a. Border Patrol drove by checking out me and my neighbor. Spicy noodle bowl for breakfast. 2000mg sodium! Yummy. Home at 10:15a.



Sunday, 10/3, North Lykken trail

Hiked the north Lykken from Ramon with Dave Beedon and Eddie. Weather was humid and muggy. I think i wore out my companions. Removed the tramway closure signs i'd placed a couple weeks ago.



Saturday, 10/2, Ride 20 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 15 minutes.



Thursday, 9/30, Rimrocks loop

From Rimrocks hiked road and trail loop taking about an hour and a half. Breezy with some light rain sprinkles.



Tuesday, 9/28, Araby trail

Quick early hike with Eddie up and down the Araby trail.



Sunday, 9/26, Ride 20.8 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 16 minutes.



Saturday, 9/25, South Lykken and Cahuilla Canyon

Hiked south Lykken trail to the vista point and then went up Cahuilla Canyon to the first stream crossing.



Thursday, 9/23, Lower Skyline trail

Hiked lower Skyline to 2500' and updated the tramway closure notices i placed last week to reflect the extended 10/4 closure date. Checked the first rescue box and it appears to be in good shape with seal still in place.



Monday, 9/20, Garstin trail

Hiked the Garstin trail to Smoketree mtn, across to Araby trail, then over to Wildhorse junction, and back down the Garstin. Also left a travel-bug at my Flag Over Palm Springs geocache.



Sunday, 9/19, Ride 18.2 miles

City/canyon/Autry loop taking 1 hour 4 minutes.



Friday, 9/17, Ride 18.5 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 6 minutes.



Thursday, 9/16, Desert Divide to Apache Spring - Photos

Hiked the Fobes ranch trail to Apache Spring and back. There were no footprints on PCT once i left the junction. Nice. GPS says exactly 5 miles to Apache Spring. Water in spring box. Took a break looking down into Murray Canyon. On way back did short side trip up to the saddle between the two Apache peaks. Back to my truck i was gone exactly 5 hours.



Monday, 9/13, Lower Skyline trail - Photos

Hiked lower Skyline to the first rescue box to check it out. The contents were all still in place although someone has added a Pure Addiction sticker to the front of the box and left the backing paper on the ground. I picked it up along with some boots and a bunch of water bottles left along the trail nearby. The boots are size 8 1/2 and i left them at the Ramon trailhead if anyone wants them. Also taped a notice to the regular warning sign reminding people that the tram is closed for two weeks and not to expect a ride down.



Saturday, 9/11, Skyline trail - Photos

Hiked the Skyline trail from Ramon trailhead starting at 5:50a. I started off moving pretty fast but by the time i got to the trees i was really dragging. Total time to the notch 6 hours 40 minutes. The Palm Springs Mounted Police were placing two rescue boxes along the trail today via helicopter. One at 2500' and another at 5500' level. Interesting to watch the helicopter and meet the PSMP guys.



Thursday, 9/9, Ride 18 miles

Joshua Tree ride from Cottonwood campground taking 1 hour 10 minutes.



Wednesday-Friday, 9/8-10, Joshua Tree camping trip - Photos

Drove to Cottonwood campground on Wednesday afternoon. Arrived about 4:20p at my usual site 15B on upper loop. Lower loop closed. Breezy afternoon with temp 80° at 5p. Rode 7.5 miles taking about 30 minutes. Sunset at 6:42p, 74°. About 8 other sites occupied. Everyone very quiet. Canned beans for dinner. Wind calm after dark. Very nice evening. Found some firewood so having a campfire. Checked for scorpions with UV light but none found. Jupiter rising as Venus sets. Coyotes calling far to the north. Thursday morning rode 18 miles taking 1 hour 10 minutes. Drove down Box Canyon road thinking to spend a night at the Salton Sea. Salt Creek and Corvina Beach campgrounds both closed but the ranger at the main campground says they'll be opening next month. Have lunch at Mecca Beach. Lots of flies. Changed my mind about camping so headed back to JT. Called the Joshua Tree headquarters and recorded message say all campgrounds were open. So i drove up to Belle campground to find Belle and White Tank both closed! 60 miles out of my way for nothing. Back to Cottonwood arriving at 4:15p. Same site 15B. If i'd known i was coming back i'd have left the tent set up. Sunset at 6:41p. Canned beans again. (I like canned beans.) Another perfect evening and night. Drove home early Friday morning.



Monday, 9/6, Ride 16 miles

City loop taking 58 minutes.



Saturday, 9/4, Shannon trail

Quick hike up the Shannon trail to Smoketree Point.



Friday, 9/3, Ride 20 miles

S-22 in Anza-Borrego from Pegleg Monument to Arroyo Salado and back taking 1 hour 14 minutes. Temp around 105°. Felt a bit sick from the heat toward the end of ride.



Thursay, 9/2, Hot time in Anza-Borrego

Drove down to the AB desert this afternoon to spend the night camping. Temps were pretty warm but i was expecting the evening to be nice. Arrived at my regular Ella Wash site to find the temp at 4pm was 110°. Warm but managable in the shade. Twilight brought on a pretty alignment of Venus/Spica/Mars with Saturn low and setting and Jupiter rising in the east. Found half a dozen scorpions using UV light. One was pretty big too! Temp only got down to around 85° overnight which made for a rather warm night tossing and turning trying to cool off.



Tuesday, 8/31, Lower Skyline trail

Quick morning hike from the Ramon trailhead to about the 2000' level. Picked up a bit of trash along the way.



Sunday, 8/29, Tramway to Skyline water cache - Photos

Hiked from tramway down to my Skyline 5700' water cache and back. Much cooler temps today. Could have done Skyline from bottom to top if i'd thought to start a bit earlier. Ran into Steve, Fernando, Tina, Ellen and Patti at Flat Rock. A regular Skyline renunion party! Also met Ron on his way down. Added 3 quarts of water to cache. Hiked back up to tramway with the group then give everyone a ride back to the museum. Full load with 3 inside cab and 3 in truck bed.



Saturday, 8/28, Ride 18 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 4 minutes. Nice cooler temps today.



Friday, 8/27, Forsee Creek trail

Camped Thursday night at Barton Flats. Had a spectacular rain-lightning-hail storm from about 3:30p until 5p or so. Lightning strikes in the campground and pea-size hail! Friday hiked the Forsee Creek trail to Jackstraw Spring and back. I'd planned to hike all the way to the crest but took over 2 hours to get to Jackstraw so decided to stop. Everything nice and fresh after yesterday's rain.



Monday, 8/23, Ride 15 miles

Canyon loops taking 52 minutes. Late morning ride with temp around 104°.



Saturday, 8/15, Tramway Saddle Junction loop

Loop hike the from tramway to Wellman's Divide, down to Saddle Junction, and back via Willow Creek and the old Long Valley trail taking 5 hours.



Friday, 8/20, Ride 38.4 miles

Hwy 74 from Sugarloaf Cafe to Lake Hemet and back taking 2 hours 32 minutes. No shoulder in places with too many cars a couple of times. But still a very good ride.



Sunday, 8/15, Tramway to peak

Tramway to the peak taking 2 hours 10 minutes to the summit hut. Wow, that's slow! But enjoyed the hike so didn't matter. Stopped by Mini Cache One geocache on way down and replaced the missing container and logbook.



Friday, 8/13, Ride 18.5 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 10 minutes. First time i've ridden all month. Hot and slow.



Monday-Thursday, 8/9-12, Central coast vacation - Photos

Three night mini-vacation along the central Calif coast spending one night each in Pismo Beach, Cayucos, Santa Barbara. Visited my Pacific Valley geocache doing some needed maintenance. It had been nine years since our last visit to the central coast. Nice little vacation with perfect weather. Just right distance and time away.



Sunday, 8/8, Tahquitz Peak and PCT hike - Photos

Meetup hike to Tahquitz Peak via South Ridge trail and out the Desert Divide to Apple Canyon organized by Mark with Keith, 2 Craigs, Ron and his daughter Preston. Summit Red Tahquitz and South Peak. I bail out early before climbing Antsell Rock and Apache Peak. Over 15 mile total distance. Was good to visit Tahquitz Peak lookout again after so long. Nice little brass plaque for Larkette near the door. Lots of memories. 8 hours 15 minutes total hiking time.



Friday, 8/6, Marion Mtn trail to San Jacinto

After spending a nice night camping at the Fern Basin campground today hiked the Marion Mtn trail to San Jacinto. With the exception of the Skyline, the Marion Mtn trail is the steepest trail on the mountain gaining 4000' in around 6 miles. Started hiking at 6:50a and reached the summit junction at 10:05a. Still lots of water crossing trail around Deer Spring and also a good flow through Little Round Valley. Check out this 12 image composite photo of Little Round. Smaller version here if the original size is too big to handle.



Tuesday, 8/3, South Lykken trail

Quick early morning hike before got too hot. Made a nice 9 image composite looking south toward Palm Canyon.



Sunday, 8/1, Tramway loop

Rode the 9am tramcar full of French tourists. Bonjour! Climbed peak south of Hidden Lake then High Trail to Tamarack and check out old wall at Andesite campsite. Just taking it easy and walking slow most of the day.



Saturday, 7/31, Ride 20.8 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 12 minutes.



Wednesday, 7/28, Shannon trail - Photos

Fast morning hike up and down the Shannon trail before it got too hot. Started at 6:30a and was down at 8a. Fun hike. Check the photos link for a couple of panorama shots.



Monday, 7/26, Ride 18.6 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 6 minutes.



Sunday, 7/25, Tramway cache hike - Photos

My yearly hike to Mini Cache One and Mini Cache Two. Mini Cache One seems to be missing. I'll replaced the container next time i'm in the area. My 50th hike of the year!



Thursday-Friday, 7/22-23, Camping at Boulder Basin - Photos

Overnight camping trip to Boulder Basin with Wen. Site #30. Sandwiches for lunch. Afternoon temp 68° making it actually a bit cool in the shade. Quite a change from the 110° at home. Relaxing afternoon reading and listening to netcasts. BBQ delicious steak for dinner then enjoy a nice campfire. After we went to bed realized the tent was somewhat at an angle made sleeping uncomfortable. Overnight low around 58°. Eggs and SPAM for breakfast then hike up to the fire lookout before driving home.



Sunday, 7/18, Tramway to peak

Tramway to the peak taking 1 hour 48 minutes to the summit hut. I'm getting slow.



Saturday, 7/17, Ride 16 miles

City loop taking 1 hour. Hot and humid.



Thursday, 7/15, Tramway to Wellman's

Tram to Wellman's Divide and back with Evelyn. Was originally planning to hike to peak but clouds building up over the summit changed my mind. Lightning and rain visible over the Desert Divide later in the day.



Monday, 7/12, Ride 12.2 miles

Canyon loop taking 44 minutes.



Sunday, 7/11, Tramway to Cornell Peak - Photos

Rode up the 8:30am tramcar this morning with Cameron and Roy and we went all the way to the top of Cornell Peak! My first time to actually make the Cornell summit (after two previous solo tries) and my first time ever climbing with ropes! What a great time! Even had some light rain sprinkles. I like this climbing stuff!



Saturday, 7/10, Ride 18.2 miles

Back streets taking 1 hour 12 minutes.



Friday, 7/9, Tramway to Round Valley

Short hike with Wen from the tram to Round Valley then back on the high trail. Saw a very tame deer in RV. Almost thought we might get some rain sprinkles but no such luck.



Thursday, 7/8, Ride 22 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 15 minutes.



Sunday, 7/4, Tramway to Cornell Peak

Interesting day up the tram today. I usually take the 8:40am tramcar up the mtn. I leave my house just after 8am and arrive at the valley station 5 minutes before departure. It's just right. But today for some reason the cars were departing on 30 minute schedule instead of the usual 20 minutes. I walked into the valley station just as the 8:30 car was departing so now had to wait for the 9am car. Oh well, no problem. Went outside on the deck were the telescopes are, sat on a bench, took off my pack and hat, and enjoyed the view. // 9am came soon enough and i was on my way up the mtn. But i'd somehow lost my sunglasses. I was planning to hike to San Jacinto summit but didn't really want to be that high and exposed to such harsh light without eye protection. No problem, let's do something else and maybe stay in the trees a bit more. Decided to hike the Davis trail to Tamarack. Was good. First time in Tamarack this year and gee whiz, Cornell Peak sure looks inviting. Let's do that! // I have only climbed Cornell once and that was decades ago and didn't actually get to the summit. I headed up the west side and realized i could not get to the top this way. Dropped down and traversed the south side a bit and came up the east side. This seemed like the right route as there were numerous cairns and was obviously a use trail. Got to the summit register in its red tin can without too much trouble. But now it gets questionable. I'm not really a climber. No training or experience with anything technical at all. There is a big crack with a couple of chockstones from the register location up to a level area. Took my pack off, took a little break, had a snack, and gave it a try. I felt okay doing this. Took my time, watched my foot and hand placements, and got up the crack okay. (I should add now that no one knows i'm up Cornell. My permit says i'm just hiking the trail to San Jac and back. If i were to slip and get into trouble no one would be looking for me on Cornell. Not good.) So i get up the crack okay, and the summit is right there. Spitting distance. I sort of straddle the edge and inch up just a bit. This doesn't feel good. I'm out of my comfort zone and it only takes a second to decide i've gone as far as i should today. I'd much rather come home and write this little report instead of you all having to read about a rescue of another stupid hiker on the RMRU site. Came back down via Round Valley and the main trail back to the tram. // Riding the tram down i'm still thinking about my lost sunglasses. Maybe when i was waiting for the 9am tramcar i lost them there. Sure enough, checked behind the fence behind the bench by the telescopes at the valley station and there they were! Hurray! Also found out the tram was running on generator power today as their Edison supply was down for some reason. Generators were running at both the valley and mtn station as well as at the Long Valley ranger station. // I really want to get on top of Cornell someday. If any of you are climbers and have been up on top and wouldn't mind my coming with you sometime please let me know. I'm sure with a spotter and a little guidance i could get to the summit. Today being solo just wasn't the day to do it. Couple of photos here... Cornell from the east and almost to the top. (Mouse-over the photos to see notes.)



Saturday, 7/3, Ride 19.2 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 12 minutes.



Thursday, 7/1, Ride 24.5 miles

Loop around the south San Diego bay with Larry Hogue. Ride the ferry over to Coronado then south on the Silver Strand. Back to downtown via the east side industrial areas where the bike route is a bit iffy at times. Was good that Larry had done this before to guide us through the tricky spots. Time for the loop 1 hour 24 minutes.



Monday, 6/28, Ride 12 miles

Quick afternoon canyon loop taking 42 minutes.



Sunday, 6/27, Tramway to peak

Took the 8:40a tram car up and hiked to the peak and back. Went fast enough to beat most of the crowd to the summit taking 1 hour 44 minutes to the summit hut. 2 minutes slower than my previous fastest time. Chilly wind on top but a beautiful day to be in the mtns. Using my Yaesu VX-3 handheld on the peak was able to talk through the Catalina repeater over 100 miles away using only 3 watts of power.



Saturday, 6/26, Ride 22 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 18 minutes.



Wednesday, 6/23, Ride 20.8 miles

From Laguna campground ride south on S1 to Morris Ranch Road then back north to Kwaaymii Point and back. 20.8 miles taking 1 hour 28 minutes. Conditions perfect for riding.



Tuesday-Thursday, 6/22-24, Camping at Mt. Laguna - Photos

Drove to Mt. Laguna via the mtns on Tuesday arriving a bit after noon. Campground busier than we were expecting with no sites right on the meadow available. Set up in site #19. Other than being next to the outhouse was a very nice site. Later in the afternoon nieces Cava and Yava along with nephew Jeffery arrived to join is for one night. BBQ hamburgers for dinner and s'mores around the campfire later. Chilly night with low temp about 40°. Wednesday morning after breakfast of eggs and bacon site #13 on the meadow opened up so we moved our camp. While the others went for hike around the meadow i biked along S1. (See above.) Nice lazy afternoon in camp gazing at the meadow and dozing in the shade. Noodles for dinner and then a cozy campfire. Drove home via the desert route on Thursday morning.



Sunday, 6/20, Tramway to Saddle Junction loop hike

Enjoyed a very nice hike today from the tramway, to Wellman's Divide, down to Saddle Junction, then back via Skunk Cabbage Meadow and Willow Creek to the tram. Perfect weather and temps. The loop is about 12 miles and took me 4 hours 50 minutes to complete. Didn't take a lot of pictures but i did make a couple of panorama images: Looking west over Idyllwild and Skunk Cabbage Meadow.



Friday, 6/18, San Bernardino peak trail - Photos

San Bernardino peak trail from Angelus Oaks trailhead starting hike at 8:35a. After hiking for 3 hours 40 minutes i stopped about a half mile from the peak at the Initial Point monument. The marker at the trailhead says it's 7 miles to the monument but i'm convinced it's closer to 9 miles. Great conditions on the mountain with deep blue sky and a chilly breeze at the summit. Still a few snowy patches on the trail up near the top. Ugly smog layer to the west somewhat ruining the view. On my way back down can smell the smog too. Yucky. Got back to my truck at 3:30p with the hike taking a total of 6 hours 55 minutes. Officially a 14 mile round trip but if you ask me it's actually more like 18 miles.



Thursday, 6/17, Ride 18.2 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 5 minutes.



Tuesday, 6/15, Ride 12.2 miles

City loop taking 42 minutes.



Tuesday, 6/15, Comet C/2009 R1 McNaught

Got up at 4a to check comet McNaught low in the NE. Small but easy with a tiny tail through 10x42 binoculars. Would probably be visible to the naked eye from a darksky site.



Monday, 6/14, Moon and Venus

Pretty grouping of the moon and Venus in the evening sky. Photo from my backyard with palm trees here and a wider shot including the tramway here.



Sunday, 6/13, Skyline trail

One more Skyline trail hike before gets too hot. Temps not bad today with a forecast high of about 95° for Palm Springs. Started from Ramon trailhead at 5:05a with Dan, Jason, Chris. Nice clear morning. Got a bit warm on the middle section but by the time we got into the trees temps were cool with some cloud cover. Chilly in Long Valley. Restocked the 5700' water cache with 3 quarts. Reached the crest at 12:20p with the hike taking 7 hours 15 minutes. Pace a bit slow but we took a couple of longer breaks.



Wednesday, 6/9, Ride 16.2 miles

Afternoon city loop taking 1 hour 2 minutes.



Tuesday, 6/8, Fireball

Happened to step outsite at just the right time this evening to see a very bright fireball pass near Venus!



Monday, 6/7, Mars and Regulus

Mars and Regulus nice in same 30x field through the TV76 this evening.



Monday, 6/7, Shannon trail

Shannon trail to my Flag over Palm Springs (GC2165) geocache. Getting warm.



Saturday, 6/5, Tramway to 10,000'

Tramway through Round Valley to Wellman's Divide then toward the peak. Still too much snow to be enjoyable so turned around a bit above the 10,000' level. The mountain will be here all summer so no need to hurry the peak. Back at the tram met Ellen and Karin after their very hot Skyline climb and gave them a ride back to their cars at the museum.



Friday, 6/4, Lykken trail

South Lykken trail northbound all the way to Tahquitz overlook. Back via the Descanso shortcut. Bit warm but most of the trail isn't too steep so was okay. Took 2 hours 15 minutes for the loop.



Thursday, 6/3, Ride 12.4 miles

Quick afternoon canyon loop taking 45 minutes.



Tuesday, 6/1, Ride 15 miles

Afternoon city loop taking 58 minutes.



Saturday, 5/29, Skyline moonlight hike

Hiked the Skyline trail in the moonlight with friends from the San Jacinto forum. I thought we'd start closer to midnight but by the time everyone arrived we weren't actually on the trail until 1:20a. Breezy and cool on the lower stretches but by the time we were in the trees winds were calm and the sun was shining. Was fun to hike in the dark with headlamps and lightsticks. Crested into Long Valley at 8:40a taking 7 hours 20 minutes. Quite a bit longer than my usual time but was fun to do something different with a great group of hikers. Group photo by Blooty.



Friday, 5/28, Shannon trail

Quick up and down on the Shannon trail.



Monday, 5/24, Palm Canyon hike

Hiking one of my favorite loops in Palm Canyon today -- Hermit's Bench to Victor trail to East Fork trail to Vandeventer trail to Dry Wash and then back via Palm Canyon trail. 3 hours, great weather, and had the trails all to myself. Perfectamente!



Sunday, 5/23, Ride 21 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool and windy with some rain sprinkles. Today's high temp is the lowest high on record for Palm Springs for this date. Only got up to 70°.



Friday, 5/21, Middle Lykken trail

Nice warmish hike up the middle Lykken trail from west end of Mesquite.



Thursday, 5/20, Tramway Round Valley hike

Tramway to Round Valley then back via the High trail. Trails still mostly snow covered in all shady areas. My boots got pretty soaked but otherwise a beautiful day to hike in the mountains.



Wednesday, 5/19, Ride 16.6 miles

Afternoon canyon loops taking exactly 1 hour.



Sunday, 5/16, Skyline trail - Photos

Skyline from Ramon to tramway. Wen dropped me off at 5:05a and i got to Long Valley at 10:55a. My fastest time ever on Skyline taking 5 hours 50 minutes. Nice conditions with tons of blooming mallow on the lower stretches and just a couple of little snow patches at the top. Met up with Steve and Fernando at the tram station and gave them a lift back to town.



Friday, 5/14, Ride 21.2 miles

S-22 from Ella Wash overlook taking 1 hour 15 minutes.



Thursday, 5/13, Ride 24.4 miles

Borrego Springs loop from the library going clockwise taking 1 hour 24 minutes.



Thursday-Friday, 5/13-14, Anza-Borrego overnight

Depart house at 8:45a heading for Anza-Borrego. Truck turns 90000 miles on my way down. Stop at Ella Wash overlook for a short break and to change into cycling clothes. Park at Borrego Springs library and go for a bike ride. After ride change clothes at library and use computer for about 20 minutes. Stop at market then have lunch on the flats just NE of S-22/Rockhouse junction. Hang out in Font's Wash north of S-22 for an hour or so in shade of desert willow. The willows are all in full bloom. Drive Font's Wash to Short Wash to Palo Verde Wash to Ella Wash. Removed some names people had carved into sandstone along Short Wash. Arrive Ella site at 4:55p. Wind mostly calm. Temp at 5pm about 90°. Nice afternoon with a few high clouds. Walked up hill by camp to watch sun set at 7:25p. Cellphone works from the hill so called home. Salad for dinner. Light breeze came up after dark but stopped after a couple hours. Through binoculars watch a couple of what appear to be helicopters making low passes around Ocotillo Wells in the dark. Seems odd. Went to bed at 10:15p. Calm night with overnight low 65°. Friday morning leave camp at 8:30a and park at Ella overlook. Ride along S-22. Take break at Calcite overlook before driving home.



Wednesday, 5/12, Shannon trail

Afternoon hike up and down the Shannon trail. Thought might be too warm but felt really good. Going to the AB desert tomorrow to spend the night and do some bike riding.



Monday, 5/10, Tramway Long Valley hike

Hardly counts as a hike. Bought my summer tram pass and walked the short Long Valley loop. Also checked out the top of Skyline for possible climb next week. Still some snow but doesn't look too terrible.



Sunday, 5/9, Ride 26 miles

City/canyon loop then out Vista Chino and south on Gene Autry taking 1 hour 35 minutes.



Friday, 5/7, Ride 15 miles

Cottonwood road in Joshua Tree National Park north from the boundary to Cottonwood campground and back taking 1 hour 14 minutes. That's about the steepest climb i want to do on my single-speed!



Thursday, 5/6, Orocopia mtns camping - Photos

Depart house at 3:10p. Gas gauge just barely under 1/2 full so not stopping to fill up. Will fill at Chiriaco Summit if necessary. Was planning to camp at Cottonwood but going to head out Red Canyon Trail via Maniobra Valley instead. Continue east over summit. Stop at an area on the east side of the Orocopias that i've always thought would be a nice campsite at 5:10p. Great view east toward the Bradshaw. Rocky ground but found an okay spot for tent. Parked about 100' north of road which is probably technically in the wilderness but i don't think i'm doing much damage. Nice afternoon with light breeze. Testing my new Arrow j-pole antenna mounted on wooden pole about 10' up. Working good. Using the mag-mount i can't key Monument Peak but can with the j-pole. Can talk through tramway with both antennas but stronger receive with the j-pole. Scab on tummy is bleeding so i yanked it off. Better now. Sunset 7:22p, temp 78°, wind calm. Noodles and sardines for dinner. Some bright flashes after dark from the bombing range but hear no sound. Brought TV76 but did not set up due to wind. Went to bed around 10p. Breezy night. Got up at 6a Saturday. Overnight low about 64°. Departed camp 7:45a. Hiked up little side road to prospects. Stop at my usual site on way out. Still windy but went for bike ride up Cottonwood road to campground and back. 15 miles taking 1 hour 14 minutes. Both campground loops open with about 8 sites occupied. Relax in shade of ironwood just outside park before driving home. Home at 1:50p, 130 miles trip total.



Wednesday, 5/5, Ride 22.4 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 22 minutes.



Monday, 5/3, North Lykken trail

Hiked the north Lykken trail from Ramon.



Sunday, 5/2, Ride 25 miles

Out Dinah Shore to Cook, back via Frank Sinatra, Gerald Ford and Hwy 111 taking 1 hour 26 minutes.



Friday, 4/30, Murray Hill

Hiked up Murray Hill from Rimrocks going up the north trail. Came down the south trail and back via Wildhorse trail. Beautiful day with temps about 75°, warm sun, cool breeze, and pretty clouds coming over the desert divide. Total time for the loop was about 3 hours 20 minutes.



Thursday, 4/29, Ride 20.2 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 16 minutes.



Monday, 4/26, Shannon trail

Quick hike up and down the Shannon trail. Getting warm. Was 90° by the time i got down about 11am. Next week i'll buy my summer tram pass so i'll have the option of hiking in the mountains.



Sunday, 4/25, Ride 22.4 miles

Highway 111 to Windy Point and back taking 1 hour 22 minutes.



Saturday, 4/24, Lykken/Descanso loop

Loop hike going up the South Lykken trail and down the Descanso trail.



Thursday, 4/22, Ride 15.6 miles

Afternoon city/canyon loop taking 58 minutes.



Monday, 4/19, Garstin/Theleman loop

Hike up the Garstin trail, over Smoketree mtn, and down the Theleman trail. One of my favorite loops.



Sunday, 4/18, Ride 18.8 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 6 minutes.



Saturday, 4/17, Anza-Borrego camping trip, day 3 - Photos

Wind stopped during the night. Perfectly calm morning. Overnight low 50°. Found NOLL benchmark and signed register. No visitors since 1997. Climb up to the old seismic station above camp. When i first came up Rockhouse canyon many years ago the antenna was still in place. Bit of a hazy morning with some thin high clouds starting to move over. Otherwise calm and clear. Drive back to Borrego Springs to try out my new library card on the computers. Worked great! Stop at Ella Wash and Calcite overlooks on way home. Gas $2.99 at Salton City ARCO. Home at 12:20p. 95 miles today, 348 miles trip total.



Friday, 4/16, Anza-Borrego camping trip, day 2 - Photos

Light breezes off and on during night. Overnight low 56°. Spot 3 bighorn rams on the south side at the old fence line. Drive to end of north fork then park coming back down. Hike north planning to cross saddle into Canebrake Valley. However it's a warm morning and i'm worried about snakes. Too remote with no one knowing where i am plus unreliable cellphone coverage. Just not safe so turned back about halfway up. But did hike a very nice 2.7 mile loop. The ocotillo, encilia, chuperosa are lush and in full bloom. Gorgeous! After hike drive up south fork. Area SE of the junction is now marked as "sensitive area, no camping" i assume to protect indian artifacts. Ran over and killed a poor little ground squirrel. I'd driven on but turned around and went back to bury her. Stop at my campsite on way out just to enjoy the place a bit more before heading back north. Drive through Agua Caliente. Still quite a few trailers and motorhomes. Store is open. Lunch along road at Tamarisk Grove campground. Check email at Borrego Springs library and got a library card! Quick stop at visitor center. Chatted with a young couple driving a 1990 Vanagon identical to one we used to own. Ice, beer, carrots, beans at market. Drive up Rockhouse Canyon. The tricky rocky spot is pretty easy to get through now. My regular camp area hasn't been used for a while and is overgrown with wildflowers. Camp at the point just below the rocky spot arriving at 3:45p. After about an hour or so decide i don't want to camp here. Windy and unsettled. Drive back down road and camp at site near NOLL point arriving at 5:30p. I think it's good i moved. Quite breezy but the mtn at the point blocks most of it. Something is biting my ankles! Found a freshly dead zebra-tail lizard on the road. This isn't really a bad site, but last night's site is the best. Cold canned beans for dinner. (My fave desert dinner.) See some bright light beams to the north probably from Coachella music festival. Went to bed about 10p. 95 miles today.



Thursday, 4/15, Anza-Borrego camping trip, day 1 - Photos

Anza-Borrego camping trip. Depart Palm Springs 9:15a. The ORV groups that were camped along S-22 last week are gone. Only a couple of isolated trailers remain. Drive down via the park and turn around at south boundary. Talk to border patrol agents and take picture of the Nina Karavasiles plaque. Sardines for lunch at Carrizo overlook. Light breeze from east. Down Canyon Sin Nombre and back. Youth group hiking along the road. Drive through Bow Willow. One site occupied in north loop and a vehicle parked at a south loop site. Tent trailer at Egg Mtn turnoff and a tent camper on top of Egg Mtn. Stop on Egg Mtn. Chat a bit via Monument Peak repeater, check email, send texts. Arrive Carrizo Valley site at 2:15p. High overcast with light breeze. Cellphone, text, internet all working from campsite this time. Swarm of migrating bees flew over just after sunset NW bound. Temp 70° at 7p. High clouds but wind calm. Nice. Heard some rockfalls on the slope south of the gorge which i assume were bighorn sheep. Tried to spot them through binoculars but failed in the darkening twilight. Poorwills flying around in evening and can hear their purring at night. Microwave easy-mac using boiling water a failure for dinner. Had canned kipper herring instead. In bed at 9:15p. Coyotes singing in the east throughout the night. 158 miles today.



Tuesday, 4/13, Ride 15.6 miles

Afternoon city/canyon loop taking 58 minutes.



Saturday, 4/11, Ride 21.8 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 16 minutes.



Thursday, 4/8, Anza-Borrego camping trip - Photos

Anza-Borrego camping trip with Wen. Departed house at 11:30a. Lots of ORV groups camping outside park along S-22 but the park itself seemed fairly quiet. Had lunch at Pablito's in Borrego Springs. Stopped by visitor center to find it quite busy. Drove up Galleta/Henderson canyon road to the end. Bees are buzzing but wildflowers are mostly past peak. Lots of sahara mustard in some areas too. However the ocotillos are all beautiful, lush and in full bloom. Up Coyote Canyon to the second crossing. Good flow of water. Back to a nice site west of Alcoholic Pass to camp. Perfect 82° afternoon in shade of the ocotillos. Sunset at 6:42p. Venus and Mercury pretty after sunset. Salad and BBQ steak for dinner. Campfire in the Smokey Joe afterward. Light wind came up after dark but otherwise a perfect clear evening. Went to bed about 10p. Drove 101 miles today. Breezy all night but not bad. 64° overnight low temp. Wind died down Friday morning after sunrise. Relaxed in camp until 10a before driving home. Drove 84 miles today, 185 miles trip total. Very nice little trip.



Wednesday, 4/7, Ride 12.2 miles

Afternoon city/canyon loop taking 44 minutes.



Monday, 4/5, Araby trail

Hike Araby trail with Wen and Eddie. Bit cool and breezy.



Sunday, 4/4, Venus and Mercury

Venus and Mercury visible with naked eye as they were setting near the tramway.



Saturday, 4/3, Ride 18.4 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 8 minutes.



Thursday, 4/1, Shannon trail

Fast afternoon hike up the Shannon to peak and back.



Monday, 3/29, Ride 15.2 miles

Afternoon city/canyon loop taking 58 minutes.



Thursday, 3/25, South Lykken trail

Up and down the South Lykken trail and then Cahuilla Canyon to the first stream crossing. Encelia and lupine in full bloom. But lots of non-native grasses too.



Monday, 3/22, Ride 14.2 miles

Afternoon city/canyon loop taking 56 minutes.



Sunday, 3/21, Araby/Shannon loop

Hiked up the Araby trail, across the middle mesa, down the Shannon, then followed the wash back to where i parked. Lots of cars at the Araby trailhead had me worried i'd run into a mob but only saw some small scattered groups of hikers. Lots of lupine in bloom around Smoketree mtn. Also lots of non-native grasses.



Saturday, 3/20, Ride 30.2 miles

From Varner and Washington rode east on Ave 42, south on Jackson, west on Indio Blvd continuing west on Varner to 1000 Palms, north on Monterey, east on Ramon, and south on Washington back to my starting point. Stopped by to visit Wen at her Indio fundraiser too. 30.2 mile loop taking 1 hour 45 minutes.



Thursday, 3/18, Sheephole mountains camping trip, day 2 - Photos

Up at 6:30a. Overnight low temp 48°. Sunrise at 6:50a. There appears to be no sahara mustard here at NW end of Sheephole mtns yet there is tons of it at SE end. Some big mosquitoes this morning. Wonder where they are coming from. Enjoying being out by myself doing whatever i want. No group to follow and no Eddie watching my every step. Departed camp at 8:45a. Drove up Cleghorn Lakes road to boundary. Someone removed the wilderness signs and there is an established route around the fence. Drove north to Amboy and stopped at my regular spot south of the tracks to watch an eastbound BNSF hauling ass and then a westbound. Departed Amboy southbound at 10:30a. Used an open wifi network at the 29 Palms RV park to check my email. Gas $2.97, beer and ice at Arco in 29 Palms. Heading back east stopped by Poste Homestead site along Chadwick road. Not much to see. Listened to KFI-AM radio a bit during the day as it's one of the few stations to reach the desert. Rush Limbaugh in the morning and then John and Ken in the afternoon. I think they try to be stupid on purpose. They sure know who their audience is. Drove through Dale mining district into JTNP. Road is rough/rocky in parts but i made it through with no problems. However the road in the park south of Dale is graded and in very good shape. Drive fast! Hwy 62 to paved park road is a bit over 24 miles. Not much blooming on Cottonwood bajada. Just some chia and dandelions along road shoulder. Stopped at campsite east of park road outside park. Hung out for about an hour then decided to drive west on aqueduct road. Went farther than i'd planned stopping at Front Hill Canyon just west of Thermal Canyon. Good view of the Coachella Valley. Sunset 6:46p with temp 72°. Decided in the end to not spend the night. Breezy and just didn't feel like setting up tent and sleeping on the ground again so drove home after dark. Drove 192 miles today, 355 miles trip total.



Wednesday, 3/17, Sheephole mountains camping trip, day 1 - Photos

Departed house at 9:30a headed east on the I-10 to Desert Center, then north on hwy 177, then west on hwy 62. Took a short break at the big Verizon tower on hwy 62 east of Clark Pass. Drove north to edge of salt lake and back. I was planning to explore and camp up the road on the east side of the Sheephole mountains but found that the road is wilderness and closed. I knew this was a wilderness area but somehow thought the road was a cherry-stem route and open to vehicles. Damn. Briefly considered driving the road anyway but in the end honored the closure. Continued west on hwy 62 to Ironage road then over Sheephole Pass. Just north of the pass drove east on gas line road about a mile then south up a nice little canyon at the NW end of Sheephole mtns finding a nice camping spot. Beautiful area with great view north across Bristol Lake to Amboy and Cadiz. Temp at 3p was 85°. This area is popular with shooters and i picked up a bunch of shotgun shells that were littering my campsite. Sunset at 6:32p. Temp at 7p was 64°. Pretty crescent moon and Venus after sunset. Macaroni and cheese for dinner. Sat outside in the dark watching lights on highway, trains on the BNSF mainline 20 miles away, and the bright glow from Las Vegas. Drove 163 miles today.



Friday-Sunday, 3/12-14, Camping along the Bradshaw Trail - Photos

Two night camping trip along the Bradshaw Trail with Eddie and a few friends. Drove east via I-10 on Friday morning and then south on Wiley Well road meeting up with Scott and Mary, Rick and Tracy, and their two sons Griffin and Leland at the Hauser Geode Beds. After lunch crossed through Coon Hollow and hiked to Clapp Spring. Desert very green but not much blooming yet. Camped a bit north of the spring while some wild burros watched us. Absolutely perfect, clear, calm, still night. Saturday morning drove back through Coon Hollow then west on the Bradshaw to find a car rally was taking place. Had to wait over two hours for the race to complete before we could continue but was fun watching the cars whiz by. Spent the afternoon up the Gulliday Well road and hiked to the mine. Camped about a mile north of the Bradshaw. Strong winds all night but otherwise a nice spot. Sunday morning continued west on the Bradshaw to Salt Creek and then out via the Red Canyon Trail.



Thursday, 3/11, Shannon trail

Shannon trail to peak and back. Pretty day.



Monday, 3/8, Cahuilla Canyon

Cahuilla Canyon with Eddie to the second stream crossing. Seems some of my sahara mustard cleanup did some good!



Saturday, 3/6, Ride 23 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 52 minutes. Even saw Huell Howser downtown.



Thursday, 3/4, Garstin trail

Hike Garstin trail, over Smoketree mtn, loop through middle mesa, back down Garstin.



Wednesday, 3/3, Space station pass

Watched an absolutely perfect overhead pass of ISS this evening. The spacecraft rising in the SW about 6:30p, passing just north of overhead, and finally going into shadow low in the NE. Couldn't have been better.



Monday, 3/1, Shannon trail

Hike Shannon trail, over Smoketree mtn, loop through middle mesa, back down Shannon.



Sunday, 2/28, Middle Lykken trail

From the west end of Mesquite hiked with Eddie to my Tahquitz Overlook (GC2569) geocache. Cache is in good shape and the day was beautiful! Lots of water going over Tahquitz Falls too.



Friday, 2/26, Ride 14 miles

Hwy 111 and local loops taking 52 minutes.



Thursday, 2/25, Shannon trail

Shannon trail to Smoketree Point. Looks like there's going to be a lot of lupine this spring. Forget-me-nots and phacelia starting to bloom a bit.



Sunday, 2/21, Ride 12.2 miles

Canyon loop taking 42 minutes.



Friday, 2/19, Date Festival

Went to the Date Festival today. I go maybe every two years which is plenty often enough. Rode the Sunbus from home to Indio arriving about 11:30a. The fair hasn't changed much. I always enjoy the model railroad and the food. Wandered around for a couple hours then walked over to Wen's classroom at Jefferson Middle School and she gave me a ride home. Expenses: $1 Sunbus, $5 entrance, $7 beer (ack!), $5.50 taquitos with guacamole, $2 Pel's lemonade, $3 Thai egg roll. Total for the day: $23.50.



Thursday, 2/18, Ride 25 miles

S-22 in the Anza-Borrego desert from Truckhaven Trail to Pegleg Monument and back taking 1 hour 36 minutes.



Wednesday, 2/17, Anza-Borrego overnight - Photos

Anza-Borrego overnight trip departing the house at 12p. Arrived Truckhaven site at 1:40p. Spent much of the afternoon playing with Arrow 4 element 2-meter beam antenna. Got very strong signal into Monument Peak and Chuckwalla but can't reach tramway at all. Would have been surprised if i could actually. Beautiful warm sunny afternoon. Sunset at 5:22p, temp 70°. Calm evening with pretty crescent moon in the west. Just caught Venus and Jupiter setting near the sun. Drove 65 miles today. After a perfectly still night the sun rose Thursday morning at 6:24a with an overnight low temp of 56°. Considered spending a second night but forecast is for clouds. Also wanted to go to Date Festival on Friday. Stopped for lunch at Tipico on drive home. Home at 1p. 64 miles today, 129 miles trip total.



Monday, 2/15, Ride 16.4 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour.



Thursday, 2/11, Joshua Tree day trip - Photos

Departed house at 8:55a. Stopped for coffee at TA travel center on Dillon. (Good coffee!) Continued east on I10 then north into JTNP then east on the Black Eagle mine road. On my way in passed a woman towing a popup trailer. She said she was with the First Class Miners (FCM) group camping for the weekend and that they owned a mining claim on the north spur road. Stopped just short of the boulder and turned around. On my way out stopped and hiked about a mile to Storm Jade mine. Measured the main tunnel at 20 paces deep. Drove through Cottonwood camp on the way out. Both loops open with about half the sites occupied by mid-afternoon. On my way home parked just south of freeway near BLM sign for a late lunch before driving home. Home at 4p, 144 miles trip total.



Wednesday, 2/10, Shannon trail

Quick afternoon hike up the lower Shannon trail cleaning up some more sahara mustard.



Monday, 2/8, Shannon trail

Shannon trail to Smoketree Point. Cleaned up some sahara mustard between the point and Shannon plaque.



Sunday, 2/7, Cahuilla Canyon

Hiked Cahuilla Canyon with Wen and Eddie to the second stream crossing. Water in the middle pools but none at the stream crossing today.



Friday, 2/5, North Lykken

Hiked the North Lykken trail from Ramon. Cool overcast day with a bit of water still crossing trail in a couple of places from recent rains.



Thursday, 2/4, Ride 13.4 miles

Afternoon canyon loop taking 48 minutes.



Wednesday, 2/3, Edom Hill

Drove to the top of Edom Hill this afternoon. Seems a lot more antennas than i remember. Some photos here.



Monday, 2/1, South Lykken

Hiked up and down the South Lykken trail with Eddie.



Sunday, 1/31, Ride 20.2 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 12 minutes. Only the second time i've been on my bike this year.



Monday, 1/29, Travertine Palms - Photos

Made my first visit to Travertine Palms today. Parked at MWD gate west of hwy 86 along the Imperial/Riverside county line then hiked south to the TOUR benchmark. From the benchmark headed SW to the palm oasis following an old trail for a while. Beautiful grove and unusual in that they seem very exposed and out in the open. Not tucked up in a canyon like most local groves. The palms also have their full skirts. Rare to find a grove that hasn't been burned. Want to return to this area again and explore farther to the west. Per GPS today's hike was 6.4 miles taking 3 hours 10 minutes.



Thursday, 1/28, Cahuilla Canyon

Beautiful hike up Cahuilla Canyon this morning. Cleaned up some sahara mustard at the first stream crossing. Hope it does some good. Water flowing through the middle pools and also a nice flow just above the second stream crossing. Love water on the desert.



Monday, 1/25, Anza-Borrego day trip

Day trip to northern Anza-Borrego desert exploring along Truckhaven Trail, Arroyo Salada, Ella Wash, Palo Verde Wash, Short Wash, and Font's Point. There's water in Clark Lake! Everything clean and fresh after last week's rain. Good to be out on the desert and looking forward to camping in the spring.



Sunday, 1/24, Henderson trail

Went for an easy hike with Eddie along the Henderson trail and Palm Canyon wash.



Saturday, 1/23, Sunshine!

First day of sunshine after a week of steady rain and slowly recovering from poison oak and chest cold. Will be good to get outside again.



Wednesday, 1/20, Cahuilla Canyon

Very short hike up Cahuilla Canyon to the first stream crossing with Eddie. Wanted to see if there was any water in the creek from the rains but was dry. Disappointed to see the Sahara Mustard is already leafing out. Need to start up my eradication efforts again.



Monday, 1/11, Mad Women Spring - Photos - Video

Hiked up Palm Canyon to Mad Women Spring with Hal Summers. Started hiking about 9:30a from Hermit's Bench. The final climb up to the cabin was very steep. Water at the spring although not flowing very strong appears fresh. We were back at the trailhead by about 4p. 12.5 miles total round trip distance per GPS.

Footnote: Developed a bad poison oak rash on my legs two days after completing this hike. Nasty stuff. Required cortisone injection to facilitate healing.



Sunday, 1/10, Ride 24.8 miles

City/canyon loop taking 1 hour 28 minutes. First ride of 2010. I've been slacking.



Saturday, 1/9, Garstin/Theleman loop

Up the Garstin trail, over Smoketree mtn, across the middle mesa, and down Theleman trail. Nice loop.



Thursday, 1/7, Local desert camping trip - Photos

Went for a quick camping trip to nearby desert just east of the Coachella Valley today. Drove up the Fargo Canyon road then SE along the aqueduct road. Explored a bit up Double Canyon and Yellow Spots Canyons then returned to camp at a nice site west of the canyons. Dan Vail (N1OB) joined me to camp and talk around campfire into the night. Perfectly calm still evening with pretty view of Coachella Valley lights after dark. Pork and beans for dinner. A blustery wind came up after midnight and continued through morning.



Saturday, 1/2, Shannon/Garstin/Henderson loop

Up the Shannon trail, over Smoketree mtn, across the middle mesa, down Garstin trail, back on Henderson trail loop. Perfect day with very few people out on the trails.



Friday, 1/1, Cahilla Canyon

New Year's Day hike up Cahuilla Canyon with Wen and Eddie. Stopped by my GC3D4 geocache and replaced the cache container. A hike is the best way to start a new year!




Past year's blogs from 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001



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