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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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1/16/2011
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
We took a quick trip out for one night this weekend. This would be my wife's first camping trip since she had shoulder surgery about 2 months ago. To lessen bouncing around we did not go in the Desert TJ. We took our truck, but did not bother to put the pop up camper on the back. This allowed us to bring the wash tub and plenty of gear plus our dog Wylie. We left home in the early afternoon and were in Indian Valley by 4:00 PM on Saturday. It was surprisingly empty of people considering it was a three day weekend. There were some people there but not too many. We found a nice spot to set up our tent on the southern edge of the valley about a mile or so up from the fork in the road.


My brother showed up at sunset with his jeep and wife and daughter. We had a nice campfire and a good night sleep. It was not too cold at night and never had to even zip up my sleeping bag. Got up early and took a walk up toward the top of the valley in the wash that is on the very southern edge of Indian Valley. Sombrero Peak looked nice in the morning light from this low ridge on our walk.


There were a quite a few chuparosa plants blooming and a few of these, which I think is Parish goldeneye, and is also known as Parish's viguiera. But overall not many flowers and a little bit of grass under some of the bushes. The sand was quite dry here compared with the soil in the northern part of the park where I was last weekend.


Here is another view of our camp from up on the side of the hill behind our camp.


The best part of the trip was on the way out. We were about a quarter mile from leaving the gorge that leads into Indian Valley when we pulled up to some people looking through binoculars. Up on top of the ridge on the south side of the gorge, a few hundred feet above us was a bighorn ram. This is not a great pic since I had to zoom all the way in with my small point and shoot camera. But it was very cool to see him.


It was a nice trip, very low key. But a success first post op trip with some short hikes and sleeping on the ground for the first time in a long while for my wife.
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surfponto
surfponto
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1/16/2011
surfponto
surfponto
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Nice report David,
If I am correct I think that spot is where my wife and I have camped also. Will have to pull out some pics.
Indian Valley is my favorite area to camp. I like waking up with the sunrise hitting the mountains.

Glad your wife was able to camp with you. I forsee a Maggiolina rooftop tent in your future. Nicy comfy matress. smile

Great you got to see a Bighorn ram.

Best,
Bob

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surfponto
surfponto
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1/16/2011
surfponto
surfponto
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Does this look like the spot? smile
<em>edited by surfponto on 1/16/2011</em>

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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1/17/2011
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Bob,
That does look like the exact same spot. I have camped there 4 or 5 times in the past few years. However when my daughters were young, we camped on the north side road in Indian Valley. Our favorite spot was by a nice tree, unfortunately now dead, right across the road from the small hill of boulders that sits between the north side and south side roads. We must have camped in there 25+ times over the years. Indian Valley is definitely one of my favorite places out there, especially during the spring.

As far as getting a roof top tent, I don't see that happening. I do think they are very cool and if I had an FJ Cruiser or something that size I would love to have one. However, I think the Desert TJ is a bit small for that. When I want a little more comfort though, I do have a camper for my truck. It is a pop up and inside has a queen size bed over the cab, a three-way freezer and fridge, two burner stove, electric pump sink with 20+ gallons of water, a heater, 6'6" of standing head room, and a very very little bit of storage. I have added a 65 watt solar panel to keep the battery charged up. I love the solar power. We have used it in 17 degree night time temps with tons of snow at Mono Lake, many trips to the Sierra, Laguna Mountains, and ABDSP. It has been off road a few times too. It works great. Here are a couple of pics. The first is on the Bradshaw Trail, which is a dirt road that goes from the Salton Sea to the Colorado River. You can see how it looks when it is down for traveling. The next two are from a favorite campsite overlooking Little Blair Valley.






And here is one more from our trip to Mono Lake last January. Not the desert but I just love this photo!
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surfponto
surfponto
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1/17/2011
surfponto
surfponto
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Ok David,
Now I am really jealous. That is an awesome camper. For some reason that snow pic looks familiar. I wonder if you sent that to me once? That is a great shot.

I have looked into those 4-Wheel Pop up campers for my wife's Tacoma. Similar design but maybe a bit more compact. KInd of pricey so maybe if I win the lottery.
Down side on the rooftop tent is when we bring the dogs and try to have them sleep in the car, they run around all night making it feel like an earthquake up in the tent.
The camper option would be much better for that.
wink
Best,
Bob

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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1/17/2011
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Bob,
No need to be jealous. I have seen your rigs on here and on your blog. I looked at the fourwheel campers and they are great for off roading but much pricier than mine and kind of plain inside. Plus it seems like everything is an extra cost with those. They are lighter and would be a great choice for a smaller truck like a Tacoma. My camper is definitely an "entry level" camper. We got a great deal on this one and since it is on my Dodge it doesn't get the serious off road action like a smaller rig would. It also does not have the aluminum frame of the fourwheel camper. It weighs about 1000 pounds and so it fits good on my half ton truck. I did get airbags to help out in the rear. It can get quite heavy when it is loaded for a week or longer trip. Every time we use it we are so glad we got it. It can go pretty much anyplace my truck can go. We try to stay out of campgrounds as much as possible and this lets us do that with some level of comfort. But I still do most of my camping, sleeping on the ground.
David
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/18/2011
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Nice TR and great pics David..! The ram pic is nice, interesting he was alone AND resting. I can see in your pics that is the spot where I camped with my son at Thanksgiving and I can see the mound of boulders where the hunting blind and some morteros were that I saw, did you go climb and try to find it?

My son and I and 'Bones our dog went out for the weekend also, I will post a TR soon.

BTW, that snow pic looks like the story of when you got stuck..is that it??

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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1/18/2011
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Daren,
That must be one popular site in Indian Valley. I did see the mound of rocks but did not go over to look on top, thought about it though. It is right near our old campsite that I mentioned above.

The ram was alone that day. But I spoke with some Canadian snowbirds who said the day before they spotted 7 ewes and an even bigger ram just outside the gorge on the east facing hill just to the south of the entrance into Indian Gorge. (Does that make sense?) The ram in the picture was smaller. They said the ram the day before had about a one and a half curl. That would be great to see!

The snow pic is in fact the same trip where we got temporarily delayed. I learned something very important that day. When my wife says, "I don't think you should go up there we're going to get stuck," I am listening from now on.

Can't wait to hear where you went.
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