Friday, December 30, 2011

RoadTrip 2011 finally does the Marshall South home site hike!

After reading about this place for several years in the Bayfield Bunch posts, I finally found myself headed into the Blair Valley and up Ghost mountain to check this out.PC280447PC280449PC280450

Essentially, it is a story about a man and his wife who raised a family here, and attempted to live off the land in the 30’s and 40’s. He was a well known author and writer.

But, instead of me re-writing everything about this place, why not just go to the Bayfield Bunch blog and type ‘Yaqitepec’ in the search box, and Al will tell you all about his 4 (?) and counting visits to and thoughts about this place.PC280452PC280451PC280453

Marshall’s sundial.PC280457PC280459PC280460PC280461PC280463PC280464PC280465PC280466PC280467PC280468PC280469PC280470

I will just say that it is a very nice area to visit, and very scenic. Unlike Al (and I don’t want to jinx us here), we have not suffered from any wind at all while boondocked in the Borrego Springs area.PC280474PC280475

Time to put on the hiking boots and head somewhere else today!

Late addition: Thanks to Lori for reminding me. I did check at the Park Info center and confirmed that the concrete structures were aerial gunnery targets from when the lake bed was used as an airfield and range. I also researched a bit and it appears that the wires on low posts that I found may have been part of a radio telescope from the same era.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Drive, Bike, and Hike

After a day of kicking back and relaxing in camp, it was time for a bit of a move.  So Hailey hopped into the truck and off we went, bouncing up the washboard of Rockhouse Canyon road, up into the hills, past Clark dry lake bed.  PC260429

We made it about 13km or so before the rocks got a bit large and the width of the road not really suitable for a vehicle with paint on the sides.  A couple jeeps went on a bit further, but they soon turned back as well.  I didn’t see a single Ford, though I did find the remains of one on the road today – just an oil filler cap.  A state park ranger had been up the road even further in his jeep, so we had a nice chat when he came out.  He had not seen the other jeeps as they had turned around before getting as far as he’d gone.


After discovering that some other Canadian bloggers were camped not far away – from their comment on my last post – I rode my bike over their way this morning and introduced myself to Jean & Skip, who hail from Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island, and are also bloggers at

We had a coffee, discussed boondocking locations, other bloggers and blogs, dogs, cats, and the price of fuel among other things.  We left a few world problems unsolved, but made a good start at it.  We’ll have to solve a few more over a happy hour soon I’m thinking!

They told me they had hiked across the dry lake bed to the far side, and I thought it sounded like a good idea – except for the hiking part.

The dry lake bed looked pretty interesting, but in this area distances are very deceiving, and everything is further than it looks.  Vehicles are not permitted, so I drove down to the ‘lakeshore’, then rode my bike across the lake bed to the far side, then hiked around a bit.  There are some groves of big trees there, partially covered with sand that has blown in among them.  I found evidence of an old chimney from a house that must have been there at one time, and quite a few owls inhabiting the trees.


Out on the lake bed were two of these concrete structures, about a half mile apart, more or less identical.  Like Jean & Skip, I have no idea of their origin or purpose.CIMG7439CIMG7440

There may have been some type of mining in the area at one time, and there are a large variety of stakes and other stuff scattered across the expanse of the lake bed.CIMG7441CIMG7442


This row of low stakes seemed like they had at one time had wires strung between them.  I don’t know if it was some type of surface level power line, or …?

I may have to make a visit to the park office on the far side of Borrego Springs one of these days and see if the folks there can tell me.  I also want to see if the self-serve roadside grapefruit stand is in operation at a junction not too far from here.  Last year they were sure good, and cheap as well.


The weather here has continued to be gorgeous.  Warm sunny days, and virtually no wind.  It cools quickly when the sun goes down, but warms up fast again in the morning.  I think I can take this a while longer!

Hailey has been out on her own and very well behaved and staying close, but when the coyotes started to howl late this afternoon, she thought it would be wise to watch for them from the windows instead.  Driving back from the lake, I saw one not too far from the accumulated RVs.

Speaking of which, the population here seems to have almost doubled today.  A lot more rigs showed up last night and today, many of them appear to be groups, or friends camping together.  Maybe they have all completed their festive family commitments and are back on the road?

Till next time …

Monday, December 26, 2011

Borrego Christmas

Here are the photos of the sea lions on the California coast near the Hearst Castle that were on my other camera and not available for the last post.  The beach was not too crowded this time, so there was not as much fighting and squashing, and flippers-full of sand thrown in each others eyes this time.  Multiple human volunteers were on hand to answer questions.


After we moved inland, we visited with friends for a few days in the Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs area.  Hailey had a chance to check out the urban cat lifestyle.CIMG7419CIMG7421

While visiting the UPS (Santa?) store, we found it was very near the Palm Springs airport.

I thought that this sign advising of the end of the pavement might have been a little redundant, given the guardrail, the bushes, the airport perimeter fence?  Watched the planes for a few minutes, and was surprised to see two Canadian registered Lear jets take off one after the other, as well as a WestJet.PC210396PC210397PC210398PC210399

From there we headed south into the desert near Borrego Springs, and the Anza-Borrego desert state park area.  There were a scattering of other rigs out in the area, but we managed to get into the same place as last year (or was it two years ago?), when the Bayfield Bunch tracked us down here.  It seems like the weather we have here has been a bit warmer than what they are having over in the Benson-Douglas area.  It is lower elevation here as well, so daytime temps have been in the 20’s celsius, while at night it just gets close to the freezing point.  But not a cloud in the sky, and virtually calm, so it is not that hard to take at all.

Hailey heard that Santa might be in the area, so she got up on a high perch to keep an eye out for the jolly old guy!CIMG7431 - CopyCIMG7429CIMG7433

But mainly, it was a very laid back, relaxing, and stress free Christmas – just the way I like them.

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I think that as long as the weather remains the same and the food supplies hold, there will be no reason to move from here for a few days.  It will be tough, missing the snow shovelling and frozen fingers the way I do!  But I think it will be manageable if we work at it!

Hope your Christmas was as good!