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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Great 2-day trip: Inner Pasture and BM Stage area Messages in this topic - RSS

ziphius
ziphius
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11/26/2012
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890
Arrived at Agua Caliente on Friday afternoon, paid my $3 a day to park in the day-use area, and set out with my pack on my back and an extra gallon of water to hand-carry. Perfect weather for walking. Since I got a late start anyway, I decided to set Camp One:

Not the most-inviting spot, but I knew the weather would be dry and I needed to practice pulling cholla spines out of my calves anyway. The first night, I did a moonlight scramble up to a nearby ridge. I couldn’t believe what I saw across the valley to my NW. An eerie purple light (no Timothy Leary jokes please) emanating from an impossibly steep spot halfway up a mountain between Squaw and Moonlight canyons. Somewhere around 2200 ft. Someone out looking for scorpions with a UV light? Luckily, I was carrying my binoculars with me and could now see it was a ‘purple tube’ with light emanating from inside. A tent. Up there? Who would camp there on purpose? Did someone manage to get caught out after dark and decide to bivouac there? I checked their location again after I returned to camp, did some triangulating so I could relocate the spot in daylight, but whoever it was was gone by morning. View from Camp One in the morning:




I started out for Inner Pasture in the morning to check on the status of a water cache I left in May. Good news, it is still there, no worse for the wear. I did notice that the low winter sun was striking the plastic container though. Not sure how long it will last, this is somewhat of an experiment (or a needed gallon of water for some future trip). It will be packed out, either way. After some hours hiking with the big pack, I saw a shady overhang near some large boulders and decided to take an early lunch. Check out that loaf of bread .... olive and rosemary .... I was dining gourmet!



Weird pattern on the sheltered side of a boulder that I thought I should photograph. Don’t know what to make of it. I call it ‘petromaybe’.


I enjoyed this trip because of the amount of time I spent with the big pack OFF and the light pack ON. Made exploring much easier and satisfying. Don’t worry, I still got a good workout hiking in and out. Saw my first dragonfly of the trip after lunch and tentatively identified it through my binoculars as a ‘Variegated Meadowhawk’. They range all the way south to Honduras and north into Canada. Remember a thread I posted here about wanting to know about the sighting locations of dragonflies and damselflies in ABDSP, because I thought these locations would yield clues to water…. well, it turns out that this particular species is often found FAR from any water, especially during migration, which is right now for this species. But keep the sightings coming if you see ‘em, other species will yield better information. Decided to try and sneak up on this one for photos. I’ve got a small point-n-shoot digital, so I’ve got to get close. Initial attempts scared off the dragonfly, so I tried coming at it from below:



This seemed to work, but I couldn’t stand, otherwise it would fly off. It took laying on my side initially, with my arm outstretched, trying to keep my hand/camera from shaking:



Then I planted one palm on the ground and raised myself into a yoga pose for a closer attempt. Start in a push-up position, then raise one hand off the ground, rotate your body to the side of your raised hand, lift your head and raise camera arm as high as possible. And make sure you get the exposure correct. Several attempts yielded half-of-a-dragonfly, blurry-dragonfly, and then finally:



I think that was my favorite moment of the trip!
Later in the day, I photographed a rusty stain on a boulder, thinking, I’d better have, because this is the closest thing I’ve seen to a picto yet. I call it, guess what, ‘pictomaybe’. I’m imagining all sorts of things in this rock, a fish, a human-figure… time to request D-stretch!



Encountered a bonsai-like sugarbush (Rhus ovata) later in the day, which had wrapped itself around a boulder.



And an interesting set of seed pods, on what I tentatively identified as a cat claw (?):




Later in the day, as the shadows grew long, I came upon some tendrils on the ground and decided to have some fun. I call this Freddy Kruger goes hiking:



The last morning, before packing up, I went for my morning constitutional walk to loosen up the effects of sleeping on a pad. I decided to walk off the beaten track, avoiding the old jeep road, instead going straight through the worst ocotillo and cholla gardens I could find. Figured I’d head to the north end of Inner Pasture, since I hadn’t been along that rim yet. Back in February, I had found a couple of pottery pieces and was hoping to see one more if I was lucky. Plenty of jackrabbits out that morning. I found an interesting burl from a fallen ocotillo and liked the pattern it left:



The sun was up a little bit now and I saw an illuminated circle up ahead. Hmm. Turns out it was an anthill just catching the morning light:



It was a gorgeous morning, with Red Top in the distance.



As I got closer to camp, I saw a fragment of rock. My brain said, wait… Sharp. Different. Doesn’t Belong Here. Those three phrases spilled out of my brain as I came upon it:




An arrowhead or point, whatever the appropriate term is. It felt really good in my hand and I wondered if it had been used or merely lost. Funny how our initial reaction is to want to possess something like this, take it home, show people, and honestly, that was my gut response.





I took a few photos and left it there. Maybe I was the first non-native in a long time to handle this. It makes sense, otherwise, it wouldn’t have been there for me to find. I left it there so that someone else may stumble upon it one day. The location is general, I doubt I could ever relocate it again, even knowing its proximity to my camp. I want to know what kind of rock it is and how far it traveled to get to this spot, where only quartz and decomposed granite seem to exist.



I’d like to dedicate this trip to my boots, which kept me out of harm’s way. And my folding pliers, which got me out of trouble with the cholla more than once.

Thanks for reading and looking. - Jim
edited by ziphius on 12/7/2012

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surfponto
surfponto
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11/26/2012
surfponto
surfponto
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Great TR Jim,
Everything from a mysterious purple light, to pictographs to arrowheads. Looks like it was a great adventure. Really like the closeup of the dragonfly picture.
I wanted to comment on the tendrils going across the desert floor.

We saw the same in Box Canyon. Very invasive vine! If you look close the "vines" cover the plants around them and smother them. Pretty eerie.
My wife and I tried to pull a bunch of it off but it was pretty futile.
I am wondering what it is?
Pretty sure it is not Sahara Mustard so i am wondering if we should ask the park service?
Bob
edited by surfponto on 11/26/2012

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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890


11/26/2012
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890
surfponto wrote:
Great TR Jim,
Everything from a mysterious purple light, to pictographs to arrowheads. Looks like it was a great adventure. Really like the closeup of the dragonfly picture.
I wanted to comment on the tendrils going across the desert floor.

We saw the same in Box Canyon. Very invasive vine! If you look close the "vines" cover the plants around them and smother them. Pretty eerie.
My wife and I tried to pull a bunch of it off but it was pretty futile.
I am wondering what it is?
Pretty sure it is not Sahara Mustard so i am wondering if we should ask the park service?
Bob
edited by surfponto on 11/26/2012


I'm betting if I had stood there long enough, the vines would have absorbed me into the surrounding countryside. Like something out of a horror flick. smile Jim

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anutami
anutami
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11/26/2012
anutami
anutami
Posts: 491
Nice Trip! Love the ant hill pic.

Your mysterious purple light sighting might be related to one of these stories.... there may be buried treasure where that light was :0
Check it out http://issuu.com/awodigitaledition/docs/ss_offroad_october2012?mode=window&viewMode=doublePage starts on pg 26
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ziphius
ziphius
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11/26/2012
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890
I almost forgot, I photographed another boulder that had some suspicious-looking marks, more like modern graffiti. Does anyone see a three-letter word in these photos?



edited by ziphius on 11/26/2012

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ziphius
ziphius
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11/26/2012
ziphius
ziphius
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Nolan wrote:
Nice Trip! Love the ant hill pic.

Your mysterious purple light sighting might be related to one of these stories.... there may be buried treasure where that light was :0
Check it out http://issuu.com/awodigitaledition/docs/ss_offroad_october2012?mode=window&viewMode=doublePage starts on pg 26


I like it. The ghost lights of Borrego. But these were pretty obvious. smile Just in a crazy spot.

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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11/26/2012
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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Great TR. I like that campsite, perfect size, and the Freddy shot too. Looks like you had a fantastic time out there.
David
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tommy750
tommy750
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11/26/2012
tommy750
tommy750
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Great trip. Amazing how everyone goes out into the desert for a hike and sees so many completely different things. If those dragonfly pics are taken with a point and shoot, I'm leaving my bulky DSLR at home! Tom
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/26/2012
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Love that ant hill shot and nice find on the point! Looks to be a good size also. I am not much of a "rock"ologist to say what kind of material it is though...
The close up of the Dragonfly is very good for a Point 'n Shoot, like most technology items I am sure DSLR's will be gone soon, there are already some very good compacts that can achieve very good photos. Did the catsclaw chew up your (sweat?)pants?

I would have loved to see a photo of the purple light. I know this weekend I saw way, way too many people in the desert...but more on that later..

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dsefcik
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11/26/2012
dsefcik
dsefcik
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ziphius wrote:
time to request D-stretch!

You can always try and use the online Java Applet version

http://www.dstretch.com/IJapplet/ImageJApplet.html

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ziphius
ziphius
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11/27/2012
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 890
Thanks for the comments gang. Daren, nope, I wasn't walking through cat claw in the fleece pants, those are just for lounging around camp at night. I ran my photo through the D-stretch applet, trying various options (worked my way through the entire menu I think) and came up with the photo below. I'm guessing not a picto. Boy, if you saw a lot of people on your trip, given your proposed route, what does it take to get away from it all? I saw three sets of tracks between the mouth of Moonlight Canyon (where it meets Inner Pasture) and in IP itself. Two sets were a pair travelling together, typical hiking soles. The third was a loner with shoes that had no pattern on the bottom, and they weren't cowboy boots. Old-school shoes, like a CPA might wear. This person came from the direction of Crawford Ranch and worked his / her way up to the mouth of Moonlight Canyon. I lost the tracks after that.


edited by ziphius on 11/27/2012
edited by ziphius on 11/27/2012

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/27/2012
dsefcik
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ziphius wrote:
Boy, if you saw a lot of people on your trip, given your proposed route, what does it take to get away from it all?

We only saw 3 people on day 3 of our trip, they were out geocaching and I think we scared the crap out of them since they did not see us and Gary who was with me came out of some boulders with his beard and all and greeted them...haha...

All the people I mentioned I meant to have seen on the highway.

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AdventureGraham
AdventureGraham
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11/27/2012
AdventureGraham
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Thanks for the trip report and photos. Looks like you had fun out there!

I've never been to Inner Pasture before. One of these days I'd like to head out there via Pepperwood Canyon from McCain Valley.
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