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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


3/7/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Just returned from a weekend trip into ABDSP and again this weekend there was lots of wind and more rain than last weekend. It is still too early for lots of flowers but it is very green and it rained on us from about 4:00 AM Sunday until we left the desert at about noon. It was a continuous rain, never turned off the windshield wipers all morning.

We went out highway 8 to Ocotillo to begin our trip. We took the old highway 80 west from Ocotillo and worked our way up the wash and into the very southern part of the park in the Dos Cabezas area. Stopped for lunch at one of our old campsites and then continued on north. Found that the road to Piedras Grande is closed and I was surprised to read from the sign that you can no longer camp in that valley, only day use. We then continued up to the water tank and took some pics. Then down Mortero Wash to S-2.

Headed north on S-2 and went up into Indian Valley. Went about 2/3 of the way up each side of the valley. Visited a old smoke tree that we camped by many many times when my daugters were young, I guessed 20 times but my wife thought it was more than that. The tree is now dead and on the ground for the past 5 years or so. It was a little sad. As we left Indian Valley and were almost back to the highway I saw 2 men standing at the junction of the dirt road and highway. Then a Border Patrol truck pulled up, nabbed one guy and the other fled into the desert. He did not appear to have any water or supplies. The BP chased after him and if he wasn't caught he had a miserable night of wind and rain.

We headed into the east side of Carrizo Creek and camped in the area wher Arroyo Seco Del Diablo meets Carrizo Creek. It was quite windy and started to rain just at sunset. We camped on a little side wash where have camped a few times before that is protected a little from the west winds. The rain wasn't much and it stopped shortly after it began. We had a nice fire and the wind died down before we went to bed. We saw some lightning to the east with huge thunder heads.

I was awaken by the sound of rain on the tent at 4:00 AM and it never stopped. Breaking camp in the rain is no fun! We were planning on going back to Indian Hill and taking a hike but with the rain we changed plans. I see now that I am home that rained 0.66 inches in the Fish Creek Mountains. Nice!

Instead we headed north and just toured through the park. I couldn't believe the number of RV's and toy haulers heading west on 78. I think we were still too early for flowers but the week ahead should be sunny and warm so maybe next weekend the real show will start.

We did find a few flowers this weekend and I attached a few pics.

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quidditian
quidditian
Posts: 46


3/7/2010
quidditian
quidditian
Posts: 46
Man, you guys don't mess around! Camping. Camping in freezing rain. Mountain driving in the rain. It's like a foreign language to me. I'm such a wus.

It's fun being able to follow your path on my little map I got at the Visitor's Center...seeing how far out you guys were from where I was is another reminder how vast the park is. I feel like I traversed huge swaths of territory, but it was infinitesimal in the grand scheme of things.

Love your pics...that lupine looks a lot like lavender...

The Carrizo Creek "prairie" looks lush and lovely...knowing how it's impossible to really capture these landscapes, I'm sure it's breathtaking in person.

I found out there was some sort of four-wheeler convention in the area from one of the guys at my hotel (er, motel). In addition to the flower seekers, that might account for some of the extra toy haulers you were seeing...

Glad y'all made it back safe and sound!
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surfponto
surfponto
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3/7/2010
surfponto
surfponto
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Wow! It sounds like you guys had quite an adventure.

With regard to the Border Patrol apprehension, did you notice that there were not any water drop points anymore?
In November I remember seeing 5-8 water drop points around Carrizo Creek, Mortero Wash etc. But on the last few trips I haven't seen any? upset
I wonder if they are being removed.

Speaking of Border Patrol and Mexican migrants, you should ask me about my mid week encounter a few years back at the East Fork in Carrizo Gorge.

I agree on your flower assessment. One to two weeks it looks like there will be a lot more flowers. I noticed on the S2 towards Ocotillo there was a lot of color along the side of the road. Sand Verbena and Desert Dandelions were starting to come up so that is a good sign.

Did you get a chance to hike up the old jeep road at Piedras Grandes? It is really beautiful back there.

Sorry we missed you out there. We had a funny encounter with a group heading towards Indian Hill along the tracks. The lady in the front had an AWD Saturn Vue and was convinced she could make it up this one off camber hill.
She never did quite make it up, not sure I would have tried either in that vehicle, and ended up driving back around the easier trail north.

Saw some illegal trail damage near Indian Hill from an ATV. That really bummed us out.
Take Care,
Bob

hikerdmb wrote:
Just returned from a weekend trip into ABDSP and again this weekend there was lots of wind and more rain than last weekend. It is still too early for lots of flowers but it is very green and it rained on us from about 4:00 AM Sunday until we left the desert at about noon. It was a continuous rain, never turned off the windshield wipers all morning.

We went out highway 8 to Ocotillo to begin our trip. We took the old highway 80 west from Ocotillo and worked our way up the wash and into the very southern part of the park in the Dos Cabezas area. Stopped for lunch at one of our old campsites and then continued on north. Found that the road to Piedras Grande is closed and I was surprised to read from the sign that you can no longer camp in that valley, only day use. We then continued up to the water tank and took some pics. Then down Mortero Wash to S-2.

Headed north on S-2 and went up into Indian Valley. Went about 2/3 of the way up each side of the valley. Visited a old smoke tree that we camped by many many times when my daugters were young, I guessed 20 times but my wife thought it was more than that. The tree is now dead and on the ground for the past 5 years or so. It was a little sad. As we left Indian Valley and were almost back to the highway I saw 2 men standing at the junction of the dirt road and highway. Then a Border Patrol truck pulled up, nabbed one guy and the other fled into the desert. He did not appear to have any water or supplies. The BP chased after him and if he wasn't caught he had a miserable night of wind and rain.

We headed into the east side of Carrizo Creek and camped in the area wher Arroyo Seco Del Diablo meets Carrizo Creek. It was quite windy and started to rain just at sunset. We camped on a little side wash where have camped a few times before that is protected a little from the west winds. The rain wasn't much and it stopped shortly after it began. We had a nice fire and the wind died down before we went to bed. We saw some lightning to the east with huge thunder heads.

I was awaken by the sound of rain on the tent at 4:00 AM and it never stopped. Breaking camp in the rain is no fun! We were planning on going back to Indian Hill and taking a hike but with the rain we changed plans. I see now that I am home that rained 0.66 inches in the Fish Creek Mountains. Nice!

Instead we headed north and just toured through the park. I couldn't believe the number of RV's and toy haulers heading west on 78. I think we were still too early for flowers but the week ahead should be sunny and warm so maybe next weekend the real show will start.

We did find a few flowers this weekend and I attached a few pics.


upset

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


3/8/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Bob,
Yes I did notice there was no water drops anymore. I wonder who took them.

I was really hoping to get back to the cave at Indian Hill and check out the tank across from it. But it was raining so hard on Sunday morning there is no way I was going to do it then. Perhaps another day. We still want to do a couple of backpacking trips this year before it gets too hot and with my daughters coming home for a week and then a planned trip to Yosemite for backcountry skiing I don't know if I can fit it all in. But I am sure going to give it a try.

Did you make it that far with your friends? Did you see the tank? Have you seen it before? The first time I saw it it was almost full but each time after it has been empty or nearly empty. It is about the size of a bathtub. I have a picture of it somewhere but can't seem to find it. When standing in the mouth of the cave it is across a little wash up on the side of the hill about the same elevation as the cave.

David
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surfponto
surfponto
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Posts: 1275


3/8/2010
surfponto
surfponto
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Hi David,
No I haven't seen that. If you are standing at the mouth of the cave is it to the South on that far ridge or is it to the West?
I would like to check that out sometime.

There is something similar by the Mortero Palms.

I think I am going to do a solo overnight trip during the week next week.
I want to hike up Rockhouse Canyon (BLM) past the linehouse that is up there.

Regards,
Bob
hikerdmb wrote:
Bob,
Yes I did notice there was no water drops anymore. I wonder who took them.

I was really hoping to get back to the cave at Indian Hill and check out the tank across from it. But it was raining so hard on Sunday morning there is no way I was going to do it then. Perhaps another day. We still want to do a couple of backpacking trips this year before it gets too hot and with my daughters coming home for a week and then a planned trip to Yosemite for backcountry skiing I don't know if I can fit it all in. But I am sure going to give it a try.

Did you make it that far with your friends? Did you see the tank? Have you seen it before? The first time I saw it it was almost full but each time after it has been empty or nearly empty. It is about the size of a bathtub. I have a picture of it somewhere but can't seem to find it. When standing in the mouth of the cave it is across a little wash up on the side of the hill about the same elevation as the cave.

David

<em>edited by surfponto on 3/8/2010</em>

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


3/9/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Since I found out how to do this (Thanks Bob) I thought I would share a few more pics from the trip to Piedras Grande and beyond.



This is a huge cholla garden between Piedras Grande and the water tank.



and finally here is the rock tank that is near the cave in Indian Hill. This picture is from 1995. I have not been there this year to check it out, yet.



And finally here is the guy running from the Border Patrol where the Indian Valley road meets S-2

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quidditian
quidditian
Posts: 46


3/9/2010
quidditian
quidditian
Posts: 46
Holy crap, those are magnificent. The rock tank is unbelievable! I guess even if there's no movement with the water, it's drinkable (should it come to it) and swimable/bathable since it's replenished in the sense that it evaporates and is eventually refreshed.

This Ivan Alexander, whose links I posted elsewhere regarding the pictographs being maps to shelter and water (rather than somewhat random shamanistic/artistic scribblings) has captured my imagination about certain pragmatic things in the desert. I mean, they DID require drinking water (I forget this with my handy dandy bottled water), and they DID bathe when and where possible.

I feel like I'm falling in love with the mysteries of native culture all over again...it sort of got shoved aside years ago when eeking out a life got in the way of being enraptured by the past. Dormant cells jiggling and wiggling into wondrous curiosity again. Man, the power of the desert.

I love the migrant guy. That's totally Nat Geo worthy.
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surfponto
surfponto
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Posts: 1275


3/10/2010
surfponto
surfponto
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I agree, that picture is amazing!
You must have been really close.

I want to find that water tank. That looks awesome.
Bob

quidditian wrote:
Holy crap, those are magnificent. The rock tank is unbelievable! I guess even if there's no movement with the water, it's drinkable (should it come to it) and swimable/bathable since it's replenished in the sense that it evaporates and is eventually refreshed.

This Ivan Alexander, whose links I posted elsewhere regarding the pictographs being maps to shelter and water (rather than somewhat random shamanistic/artistic scribblings) has captured my imagination about certain pragmatic things in the desert. I mean, they DID require drinking water (I forget this with my handy dandy bottled water), and they DID bathe when and where possible.

I feel like I'm falling in love with the mysteries of native culture all over again...it sort of got shoved aside years ago when eeking out a life got in the way of being enraptured by the past. Dormant cells jiggling and wiggling into wondrous curiosity again. Man, the power of the desert.

I love the migrant guy. That's totally Nat Geo worthy.


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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


3/10/2010
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
I wasn't really that close, maybe 10 -15 yards. I did use a little HP Image Zone program to zoom in a bit before I posted it. It was strange seeing one guy just give up and the other take off running. Then the Border Patrol guy got back in his truck turned on his lights and took off after the runner.
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surfponto
surfponto
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3/12/2010
surfponto
surfponto
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Not sure I should post this but once when i was solo in the East Fork of Carrizo Gorge I surprised a group of 10-12 migrants.

They scattered when they heard my diesel coming up the canyon but I said in my bad Spanish. "Its' OK", or something like that. Suddenly they all stopped and started walking towards my LandCruiser.

First thought was OK I am by myself and there are 10-12 dudes walking towards me. When they got closer I realized how bad they looked, this was late April and It was over 90', so I gave them what was left of my food and water.

hikerdmb wrote:
I wasn't really that close, maybe 10 -15 yards. I did use a little HP Image Zone program to zoom in a bit before I posted it. It was strange seeing one guy just give up and the other take off running. Then the Border Patrol guy got back in his truck turned on his lights and took off after the runner.

<em>edited by surfponto on 3/12/2010</em>

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quidditian
quidditian
Posts: 46


3/14/2010
quidditian
quidditian
Posts: 46
Well, after David posted the pic, it added to the list of potential dangers. Although, I doubt murder is at the top of their priority list when they're just trying to get across the border. I've always been a registered Libertarian, but also the daughter of a German immigrant (albeit legal), but I've never been able to land firmly on one side or the other of the immigration debate. I see both sides.

I think what you did was precious. The fact that they started to approach you, though...even though you said "it's okay"... did that feel at all threatening, or did it seem more that they might politely ask for some provisions? I've heard of groups who go out and provide food and water for these guys, so maybe they thought you were one of those peeps. Seems like a few years ago the migrants were dropping like flies in the summer, and that's when people started organizing and, much to the chagrin of the BP, giving out food and water.

What you did supersedes politics...it's just the human and humane thing to do.

Still, would have scared the crap out of me.
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surfponto
surfponto
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3/14/2010
surfponto
surfponto
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Posts: 1275
Hi Cayenne,
It was a weird experience. They looked like they had been out there for a while and really needed some help.
I think we were both surprised to see each other.
Can't imagine what it must be like for them trying to make it across Anza Borrego like that?
I wouldn't say they felt threatening, Probably just my paranoia at first.

Bob

quidditian wrote:
Well, after David posted the pic, it added to the list of potential dangers. Although, I doubt murder is at the top of their priority list when they're just trying to get across the border. I've always been a registered Libertarian, but also the daughter of a German immigrant (albeit legal), but I've never been able to land firmly on one side or the other of the immigration debate. I see both sides.

I think what you did was precious. The fact that they started to approach you, though...even though you said "it's okay"... did that feel at all threatening, or did it seem more that they might politely ask for some provisions? I've heard of groups who go out and provide food and water for these guys, so maybe they thought you were one of those peeps. Seems like a few years ago the migrants were dropping like flies in the summer, and that's when people started organizing and, much to the chagrin of the BP, giving out food and water.

What you did supersedes politics...it's just the human and humane thing to do.

Still, would have scared the crap out of me.


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