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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Rockhouse Canyon / Buck Ridge / Jackass Flat 4 Day Messages in this topic - RSS

dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/28/2014
dsefcik
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Gary led us on another great 4 day backpack trip that was a big loop thru Rockhouse Canyon, into Alder Canyon and over Buck Ridge and then finishing up by crossing Jackass Flat which led us back to our vehicles waiting at the end of Rockhouse Canyon. The road going into Rockhouse past the Butler Junction is the worst I have ever seen it, the first rock ramp is completely washed away and it just gets worse form there.

My new little Toyota was able to navigate it without trouble but the other Toyota in our group needed to stop every few hundred yards to find a route thru the rocky mess.


Still trying to go as light weight as possible I purchased a brand new backpack, a Granite Gear Torso Blaze Ac 60. It weighs in at 2lb 14oz and has a 60 liter capacity with a 35lb carry capacity. It easily handled my 4 days worth of stuff and I broke it in the first day with no problems whatsoever, I totally recommend this pack.

Here is the pack and my gear waiting to get stuffed in


Here it is in action on the 4th day


The night skies were perfect for watching the stars, we saw many shooting stars as well as the Andromeda Galaxy up near the Milky Way. I took my new Fuji XE-1 and and a new Rokinon 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Ultra Wide Angle Lens and I was able to get some decent photos but I still need more practice. Here are a few of the better ones. The Borrego Sky Art photo was inspired by Ian over at http://www.lonelyspeck.com, thanks Ian!


These next photo is actually a panorama stitched together from several photos, you can see the Andromeda Galaxy at about 1'oclock in it.


One of the springs we fixed up a couple years was still in good order, just a few minutes of clearing it out and we had nice clear running water again, I was pretty happy to see it was holding up so well.


Some early morning sunrise colors on the Creosote and Tom's tent


You don't see these too often, mortars that have worn all the way thru


Heading up towards the Cottonwoods we saw some tracks I am still not able to identify and then later deer






The sunrise colors were beautiful this trip, here is an early morning view from the Cottonwoods looking south towards Alder Canyon and Buck Ridge


Gary watches after many of the trees in Rockhouse and this baby Cottonwood is one of them


After we jumped into Alder Canyon we climbed up Buck Ridge and got an incredible view of Jackass Flat and Borrego Springs with Coyote Mountain in the distance


This is a group photo of everyone coming down the ridge into Jackass Flat


Sunrise from Jackass Flat


I finished up the trip by staying one more night out near Henderson Canyon and took a few more photos of the Sky Art during the night and at sunrise


Total Mylar Balloons This Trip - 26!


You can see more photos of this trip in my photo gallery here

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pacatc
pacatc
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11/28/2014
pacatc
pacatc
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Great pics ! I've been wanting to go out and do some milky way night shots as well. It looks like that was a great trip
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tommy750
tommy750
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11/29/2014
tommy750
tommy750
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Like your camera and pics, Daren. Reluctantly ditched my dlsr for the trip since it weighed in at 4.5lbs and carried a point and shoot which isn't the same. Great quartz desert side notch point find and like the pic.
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ziphius
ziphius
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11/30/2014
ziphius
ziphius
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Great trip Daren! You have a knack for finding dead stuff. smile What were the exposure times on the Milky Way shots? We also saw a lot of meteors this week, on Thursday night, from the Borrego Palm Canyon area. Nice mylar haul.
edited by ziphius on 11/30/2014

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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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11/30/2014
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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Hard to see but could the tracks be bear? It looks kind of long. I know there are bears in the San Bernardino NF. Nice trip report and pics too. Love the arrowhead.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/30/2014
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Jim (ziphius) wrote:
What were the exposure times on the Milky Way shots?
Mostly 12mm, ISO 3200, f/2.0, 23 seconds Checkout lonelyspeck.com, Ian has lots of great tutorials on astrophotography.

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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11/30/2014
dsefcik
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hikerdmb wrote:
Hard to see but could the tracks be bear? It looks kind of long. I know there are bears in the San Bernardino NF. Nice trip report and pics too. Love the arrowhead.
Thought of bear but the track is not right, still not sure what it is....yeah, the point find was great, everyone was just walking right over it but somehow I saw it and nobody else did...

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surfponto
surfponto
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12/1/2014
surfponto
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Looks like an awesome backpacking trip Daren.

Glad your truck did well.
Guessing the straight axle setup of the older Toyota's works better than the IFS of the newer trucks in those rock crawling situations.

Saw you heading North up S2 this past Saturday as we were heading out after our Carrizo Palms hike
Waved but you looked like you were on a mission wink

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AdventureGraham
AdventureGraham
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12/1/2014
AdventureGraham
AdventureGraham
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Awesome trip Daren! You guys always cover so much ground. Great photos! I still need to get up to those ruins one of these days. Its hard to take an overnighter without the wife and kids, though, and they're not up for any serious hiking anytime soon.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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12/1/2014
dsefcik
dsefcik
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surfponto wrote:
Looks like an awesome backpacking trip Daren.

Glad your truck did well.
Guessing the straight axle setup of the older Toyota's works better than the IFS of the newer trucks in those rock crawling situations.

Saw you heading North up S2 this past Saturday as we were heading out after our Carrizo Palms hike
Waved but you looked like you were on a mission wink
That truck is awesome, I love that thing..!! I wondered if I would see you, I was heading out to Dos Cabezas, have another TR to post...Thumbs Up

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surfponto
surfponto
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12/1/2014
surfponto
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Great year for Toyota pickups.
We had an 1985 4Runner on Kauai years ago.
Thing was a tank. Same drive-train as your 83.

dsefcik wrote:
surfponto wrote:
Looks like an awesome backpacking trip Daren.

Glad your truck did well.
Guessing the straight axle setup of the older Toyota's works better than the IFS of the newer trucks in those rock crawling situations.

Saw you heading North up S2 this past Saturday as we were heading out after our Carrizo Palms hike
Waved but you looked like you were on a mission wink
That truck is awesome, I love that thing..!! I wondered if I would see you, I was heading out to Dos Cabezas, have another TR to post...Thumbs Up


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dsefcik
dsefcik
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12/1/2014
dsefcik
dsefcik
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surfponto wrote:
Same drive-train as your 83.
Technically an '81...smile
It went thru Rockhouse Cyn like it was nothing, I had to keep waiting for the '90 something model that was with us...Cool

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tommy750
tommy750
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12/1/2014
tommy750
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Here's a few more pics from the trip last week.


Everyone getting ready to head out on Saturday morning after the most grueling part of the trip, the drive to the trailhead smile


DSCN1310 by tomteske, on Flickr


Getting ready to descend into Rockhouse.


DSCN1325 by tomteske, on Flickr


The view from the seep above Santa Rosa Village.


DSCN1380 by tomteske, on Flickr


My sleeping quarters at the Cottonwoods near Nicholias Canyon. Dropped to below 20 degrees that night. Need to bring down booties next time!


DSCN1444 by tomteske, on Flickr


Gary picking mistletoe off a nearby oak he's been tending for the past couple decades. He says it was near death from a severe mistletoe infection when he started removing every stem each visit he made to the area. This trip, a few smalls stems were removed and the tree looks healthy.


DSCN1445 by tomteske, on Flickr


A deep mortero.


DSCN1403 by tomteske, on Flickr


Heading up Alder Canyon a ways before we turned left toward Buck Ridge.


DSCN1521 by tomteske, on Flickr


The view from Buck Ridge into Dry Wash/Jackass Flat. We would need to descend 1600 ft to our camp in the wash.


DSCN1538 by tomteske, on Flickr


DSCN1539 by tomteske, on Flickr


Happy for the invite to a nice 25 mile 5K gain/loss trip, my first multi day BP trip ever. Enjoy. Tom
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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12/1/2014
dsefcik
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Thanks Tom, I was hoping you would post some photos, you have some good ones! I forgot about the 20 degree night, probably a few other things after all that cheap booze...crap, really, 1600' down?? Yeah, I guess it was a bit steep..haha...hope you decide to join us again!

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rockhopper
rockhopper
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12/2/2014
rockhopper
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Great photos and trip report. Looks like you went during great weather. Man we go from hot to 20 deg nite time temps. That's the desert! Brrrrrr!
1. How in the world did you spot that quartz arrowhead? Looks like for hunting rabbit and birds.
2. Was there any remnant of the 4x4 rock built road going up the 30 ft water fall drop off? Others may chime in on the history of this. A 4x4 club back in the day (1950's- 1960's) ?? built a road up Rock house canyon. I don't know if they ever made it to the valley floor. But parts of the 4x4 ( rock and boulder) road built by these guys still was intact about 20 years ago.
3. A big hats off to Gary and you guys doing conservation work in one of the most fragile eco-systems treasures.
Its raining good at the coast as I write this. I guess my rain dance worked
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tommy750
tommy750
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12/2/2014
tommy750
tommy750
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rockhopper wrote:


2. Was there any remnant of the 4x4 rock built road going up the 30 ft water fall drop off? Others may chime in on the history of this. A 4x4 club back in the day (1950's- 1960's) ?? built a road up Rock house canyon. I don't know if they ever made it to the valley floor. But parts of the 4x4 ( rock and boulder) road built by these guys still was intact about 20 years ago.



Gary pointed out where 4x4 enthusiasts had built a road bypassing a dry fall to access Rockhouse. Looked pretty narrow and sketchy to me and not much more than a rock ledge remained along with a graffito dating to 1969 that indicated some VW "sand buggies" had made it through. Tom
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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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12/2/2014
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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There are still remains of the "road" on the west side of the canyon going around the fall. You can see some stacked rocks on the downhill side of the "road" when you look up at it from the canyon floor. My first trip up the canyon we didn't know there was a bypass up the falls and we actually climbed up and around that wall. On the way back down the canyon, when we came to the top of the falls, we looked at the bypass and decided we weren't as smart as we thought. I looked through old files but couldn't find any pictures that really showed the bypass. But here is one from March 2012 from the top of the falls. The bypass is in the dark rocks on the right side of the picture, below the white rock band. The bypass is much more like a road once you get over that off camber section you can see in the picture.
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Florian
Florian
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12/2/2014
Florian
Florian
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Felt like i'd been there after reading this thread and looking at the photos. Great. Thanks.

-Florian
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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12/2/2014
dsefcik
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Definitely can see the traces of what they used to drive up, you can totally see the outline of the "road", I don't have a good photo of it though, David posted a pretty good photo of it. That quartz point was right on the ground, everyone else just walked right over it, I saw it on the ground and picked it up, no magic involved...it has a safe spot out there now though. Rain dance is working now....

rockhopper wrote:
Great photos and trip report. Looks like you went during great weather. Man we go from hot to 20 deg nite time temps. That's the desert! Brrrrrr!
1. How in the world did you spot that quartz arrowhead? Looks like for hunting rabbit and birds.
2. Was there any remnant of the 4x4 rock built road going up the 30 ft water fall drop off? Others may chime in on the history of this. A 4x4 club back in the day (1950's- 1960's) ?? built a road up Rock house canyon. I don't know if they ever made it to the valley floor. But parts of the 4x4 ( rock and boulder) road built by these guys still was intact about 20 years ago.
3. A big hats off to Gary and you guys doing conservation work in one of the most fragile eco-systems treasures.
Its raining good at the coast as I write this. I guess my rain dance worked


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