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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Inner Pasture on a cool 5/26. 5 balloon trip! Messages in this topic - RSS

ziphius
ziphius
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5/27/2012
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 808
Saturday was clear, cool, and windy in the Inner Pasture. Daren’s advice from a previous post to park near mile 41 and hike up the sandy canyon was great. Much easier (though longer) route than Moonlight Canyon. Nice way to enter the pasture. No time spent in the northern end of the pasture, which I explored back in Feb. I headed south to the area ESE of Red Top this time. Finding unmapped springs and unheralded signs of past human habitation were my goals for the trip. Within a couple of miles of starting, I’d seen a dragonfly, always a good sign that there is water SOMEWHERE. Within the next mile, I saw my first LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE of the season, an adult bird, perched on some thorn scrub. I checked the bush to see if the bird had impaled any prey, but no sign. The different thing about this canyon is the amount of TRASH, compared with Moonlight Canyon. One of the first artifacts I found was this Mexican phone card:

Every quarter mile or so, I’d find whole plastic 2-liter bottles or gallon jugs. Sun-composted, chipped up versions of these were even more common. Textiles, whole or pieces, were scattered along the sides of the wash: a pair of black Levi’s, a knitted blanket, an inverted sweatshirt with unknown lettering stitched caught my attention:

Checking for scorpions and other crawlies, I carefully flipped it right-side out to reveal:


I was thankful it wasn’t a NY Giants design.

Working my way south towards the east face of Red Top, it was apparent that the jackrabbits were out in force. I encountered over 40 during my 13-mile walk.

I kept up my walk south, free of my pack, which I cached an hour earlier.

The first morteros I found were at an exposed site and these were fairly shallow scoops:

Also found a little pottery nearby:

Then I found a sheltered, promising site, with a few morteros, one quite deep:



But this site had a lot trash as well, no doubt because it is shaded most of the time. But I did find a nice habitation site, just a bit tarnished. I found evidence of OLD human habitation, but was annoyed by the RECENT habitation clues. Ironic.

It got me thinking, how far and deep into the backcountry do I need to get to leave the trash behind? The balloons are always going to follow us, no matter how remote we get, but how far do I need to go to avoid the trash that is carried by human hands?

Late in the afternoon, I came across a very tame WESTERN TANAGER, that allowed me to approach with my dinky camera. I was on my stomach at this point, trying not to scare the bird.


Some cholla skeletons:

I’m counting this as a 5-balloon trip (2 mylar and 3 latex), even though the latex balloons were one bundle. The nylon streamers from the latex balloons even had a thumb-tack with them, implying that they had been anchored, albeit, poorly so. You can imagine the thumb tack, holding precariously, against the force of 3 helium-filled balloons, losing a half a millimeter of anchor every half hour, until it finally pulled loose, and the whole package floated up and away, perhaps riding along with a red-tailed hawk for part of its journey.


I carried my full pack and 4 gallons of water [oops, no it was only 3 I remember], giving me the option of staying Sunday if the mood struck me, but decided against a camp, based on the amount of illegal traffic evidence and trash that I found. No doubt I would have been perfectly safe there at night, it’s just that I was looking for a true, lonely backcountry experience. Cached a gallon of water in the area, just to see if it will survive the summer. Will return this autumn to see (and hopefully drink) the result. I didn’t find any uncharted springs, but those are longshots, especially this time of year. Hey Daren, you mentioned hiking to a spring in Inner Pasture on your last trip, is it the one shown on the topo at 32.904 and 116.342? If so, was there water? I encountered water in Feb. in the canyon farther up toward Red Top. That’s all folks, appreciate the opportunity to share this with the forum. – Jim
edited by ziphius on 5/27/2012
edited by ziphius on 5/27/2012
edited by ziphius on 5/29/2012
edited by surfponto on 11/26/2012

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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5/27/2012
dsefcik
dsefcik
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THANK YOU for identifying the Western Tanager, I saw several of these gorgeous birds in Indian Valley last week but did not know what they were. They are beautiful birds!

The small shelter you found with the morteros had some black painted graffitti low down on the underside of the shelter last time I was there. The smaller shelter just to the west was FULL of clothing and food. That route is obviously GPS'd by the undocumented folks and I have found shelter after shelter from there up to Pepperwood filled with their crap. I have asked several times within the park circle if there was a way to get in there with my truck and clean it all up but nobody seems interested. The border patrol doesn't care, in fact I was told that the Murrietta branch patrols that area, not our SD branch! You have to remember the route from Pepperwood down thru the wash at marker 41 is a known route for the undocumented and I have twice now seen people there.

Nice collection of balloons, 5 less to worry about.

As far as any spring goes, I have found water and bees on the far south end of that jeep road you followed (probably off/on). There is a lot to see out there and I love the Inner Pasture/Canebrake area, one of a few really remote areas we are still lucky to have. We should hook up next time you wanna go out there.

Nice TR!

Daren

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surfponto
surfponto
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5/28/2012
surfponto
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Looks like a great trip.
Like Daren says that is a fantastic remote area to explore. Our Inner Pasture Trip was with Daren , and I would like to do it again at some point.

Thanks for posting,

Bob

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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5/28/2012
dsefcik
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surfponto wrote:

Like Daren says that is a fantastic remote area to explore. Our Inner Pasture Trip was with Daren , and I would like to do it again at some point.


That was a good trip we did, I remember it now looking at your pictures.

I still want to do a one way from Indian Valley up into Canebrake and then back out to marker 41. Needs two vehicles though. If anybody is interested doing that trip let me know.

Daren

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anutami
anutami
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5/29/2012
anutami
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THANK YOU for the report! I already misss it so much out there! I always wondered why they leave so many clothes behind? Is that when you reach the point of so much exhaustion you start to rip your clothes off?

Did you see if the calling card has minutes left on it? Love the Raider sweatshirt, that is a classic! Next time remember to pack some lighter fluid and I'm sure you could get away with a control burn smile
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ziphius
ziphius
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5/29/2012
ziphius
ziphius
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anutami wrote:
THANK YOU for the report! I already misss it so much out there! I always wondered why they leave so many clothes behind? Is that when you reach the point of so much exhaustion you start to rip your clothes off?

Did you see if the calling card has minutes left on it? Love the Raider sweatshirt, that is a classic! Next time remember to pack some lighter fluid and I'm sure you could get away with a control burn smile


Folks shed clothing, even ALL of their clothing upon overheating. This is well-described in the book 'Dead In Their Tracks', which chronicles illegal crossers:
http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/Books/bid2060.htm
Yeah, I wonder if the calling card had any minutes left on it. smile Daren, your reference to finding bees and water reminded me of "The Secret Knowledge of Water" by Craig Childs, who is no stranger to desert walking. The subtitle is "There are 2 easy ways to die in the desert: thirst and drowning". I've read 4 of his books this year, really gripping stuff: http://www.amazon.com/The-Secret-Knowledge-Water-Discovering/dp/0316610690
http://www.houseofrain.com/

From what Daren mentioned about this being a well-used route, with perhaps caches of water and food along the way, perhaps it is less harsh than other desert crossings, some of which are described in that book. Anybody here ever come across a body out in ABDSP?

Daren, I'd be up for a two-car one-way trip. Not sure if I want to do triple-digit temps, but if I did, I'd certainly bring my sun umbrella with me. I use it on my walks up and down El Cajon Mountain during the warmer months. It's lightweight portable shade and cooler than wearing a sun hat.
http://www.golite.com/Chrome-Dome-Trekking-Umbrella-P928.aspx

I wish it were still winter! - Jim

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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5/29/2012
dsefcik
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ziphius wrote:
Hey Daren, you mentioned hiking to a spring in Inner Pasture on your last trip, is it the one shown on the topo at 32.904 and 116.342? If so, was there water?


That is the spring I was heading for when I went out from Moonlight canyon but turned around more near the "island" out there so I did not get a chance to see if there was any water flowing.
Where I have seen water on two separate visits (with lots of bees) is on the other side in Canebrake 32.865, 116.304. There is no marked spring on the topo but there is water and an old cement trough.


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tommy750
tommy750
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5/30/2012
tommy750
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The different thing about this canyon is the amount of TRASH, compared with Moonlight Canyon. One of the first artifacts I found was this Mexican phone card:
[IMG]http://i412.photobucket.com/albums/pp204/Berardius/Inner%20Pasture%20May%202012/InnerPastureMay201239.jpg[/IMG]


How ironic the little story on the phone card you found in the middle of the desert is about the cliff divers of "La Quebrada" in Acapulco. Nice post. Would love to get out there some day. Happened to have met one of the current owners of the Crawford Ranch earlier this year. When I asked about pictographs etc. in Inner Pasture, the owner hesitated a while and then suggested I try Blair Valley! Tom
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dsefcik
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5/31/2012
dsefcik
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tommy750 wrote:
How ironic the little story on the phone card you found in the middle of the desert is about the cliff divers of "La Quebrada" in Acapulco. Nice post. Would love to get out there some day.


Aren't the Latadel cards usually sold or marketed to tourists to make calls back to he US or other countries outside Mexico?

tommy750 wrote:
Happened to have met one of the current owners of the Crawford Ranch earlier this year. When I asked about pictographs etc. in Inner Pasture, the owner hesitated a while and then suggested I try Blair Valley! Tom


You can find the pictos, just need to go look for them....how about asking your new friend if we can drive out in my truck thru their property to cleanup all the illegal clothing and trash???

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ziphius
ziphius
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5/31/2012
ziphius
ziphius
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Count me in for any trash-picking-up missions to Inner Pasture. I don't have a 4WD, but I like to work hard.

Now I'm gonna obsess about finding pictos in Inner Pasture. No hints please, the SEARCH is where the fun comes from. - Jim

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tommy750
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5/31/2012
tommy750
tommy750
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You can find the pictos, just need to go look for them....how about asking your new friend if we can drive out in my truck thru their property to cleanup all the illegal clothing and trash???

That's an interesting idea. Will bring it up when I see the owner. Tom
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