Welcome and thanks for stopping by.
My reference links will open in a new tab.

If you have any corrections, suggestions, comments please use the Comments at the end of the post.
I do respond to all comments. - Thanks!

December 17, 2015

Kingston Trio at The Springs - Borrego Springs via OLW

This is really a test of Open Live Writer, I’ve tried text, links, pics and all worked alone so now I want ti integrate that into a singe post.  I chose the concert as I have not used it before.

This trip is from March 2014:
Dropping down from Ranchita the deset floor is clearing from a thunderstorm with the rainbow promising great weather to come!   For this trip Rufus was set up in a dry site within the State Park.
P1000795.1 (640x480)P1000813 (640x480)

The kids are coming up to join me at Panorama Overlook for the sunrise.  A nice morning hike to a sunrise view. 
P1000809 (640x480)

But the real attraction of the weekend – the Kingston Trio.  And Bob Shane is still able to perform!  This is a top notch performance by guys who still care about the audience and fans.  Although we’ve seen them for each of the fundraisers in Borrego, I’m ready to see them again Smile.  Trivia – The ‘Trio’ has always been a ‘Quartet’!
P1000844 (640x480)P1000851 (640x480)

A surprise on this trip was the filming of Last Days in the Desert with Ewan McGregor as Jesus and Ewan McGregor as Satan.
P1000853 (640x480)P1000854 (640x480)P1000854.4 (640x480)P1000858 (640x480)

Notes on OLW – very similar interface to WLW, but no spell checker for Windows 7.  Like WLW works off-line, blogger editor requires a connection.  No option for ‘labels’?
Workaround - 'post as draft' and use blogger's tools

BTW – the Kinston Trio did not to Borrego this year and do not have it on the schedule for next year.  DANG!

December 16, 2015

Anza Borrego State Park (South) - sight seeing

The Golden Acorn Casino is a great stop when getting a late start out of town.  It's about an hour east of San Diego and offers a boondocking site for the night.  And it was a blustery night with torrential rain and Biblical winds!  But what a beautiful dawn morning!

Casino Camping

From the Golden Acorn it's a quick drop down to the desert floor and then north on S2 from Ocotillo.  We did the sites along S2 a bit backwards because we unhooked the Jeep in Canebreak and followed Vellecito Wash to Canyon Sin Nombre.  Then S2 back to the RV.  Note that the south exit/entrance of Canyon Sin Nombre has a bit of technical aspect - it is easier to enter here, but still requires high clearance.

The first stop along Vellecito Wash is Palm Spring.  There used to be a nice pup-fish population here, but the water has become quite cloudy, the bees have taken over and no pup-fish were seen on this visit.  There is also a campground here with nobody in the camping area either, the bees can be a bit territorial...

Trail Head Parking

Still a reliable water source, but ....

it belongs to the bees now, did not see a single pup-fish
At the south end of the Canyon Sin Nombre is a nice slot canyon that we did not visit on this trip.   The canyon itself is fairly easy with a nice soft sand base with many side canyons / camping areas to explore.

The Nameless Canyon

Lots of soft sand

Mountain Palm Springs Canyon seems less affected by the drought.  There was still running water from the springs along the trail and the palm groves are thriving.  Palm groves are always interesting as they require reliable water, which often means a geological oddity and lots of vegetation and wildlife.

Mountain Palm Springs Trail Head

Looking east just desert scrub
and cholla in need of water

Looking up trail the palms are doing fine.

but Palm Groves thrive with reliable water

No this  is not Whale Peak - but it should be
This is the second grove and largest of six palm groves.

The Well of Eight Echos offers more of a reverberation echo, too many have dropped rocks into the well.  It has become to shallow to hear the echos.

The well is the metal pipe 

This was a spontaneous unplanned diversion.  I miss this area of the park, it's been too long since I've explored the trails, caves, canyons and ruins here.  

Note to self - South Carrizo Creek offers good RV boondocking with a clear view of the eastern horizon - not a bad option for another attempt at the Comet Catalina, although the entrance can be a bit of a washboard.

December 14, 2015

Blair Valley - Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Our campsite viewed from the Butterfield Stage route
Blair Valley is always a great place to view meteor showers as it is well protected from light pollution.  A telescope is not necessary for the meteor shower, but was hoping for an early morning glimpse of Comet Catalina. Geminids did not disappoint, easily a dozen per hour - a very spectacular showing.  However, those same canyon walls that protect the valley did not allow enough time before the glow from the distance dawn illuminated the early morning sky and the comet could not be found in the dawn glow.

There are a few short, but interesting hiking destinations.

Butterfield Stage Route

Butterfield Stage marker
The campsite was near to the California Riding and Hiking Trail, which follows parts of the Butterfield Stage Route and the old county road.  A short hike to the summit provides views of both Blair Valley and Little Blair Valley.

Stage route

County road, most county roads are in better condition now.

Hike to South Mountain

Trail Head Information
Perhaps the best know hike strikes at the wanderlust in all of us, the steep one mile assent to Yaquitepec, Yaqui for 'House of the Sun'.  Not up for the hike?, or want background information, a good read is Diana Lindsay's Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles: An Experiment in Primitive Living.  

Me as the Elf with his staff

Looking back over the dry lake bed of Blair Valley

Looking east toward the Salton Sea

The homestead

Walls made of adobe and stone

Cisterns for water storage
Solar powered clock

The central clock tower was solar powered

All good homesteads need a garbage dump ....

The Morteros Trail of Little Blair Valley

Morteros Trail Head
Mortero is Spanish for mortar, in native Kumeyaay called ehmuu meaning 'bedrock hole', think the Kumeyaay have it right.

The cholla thrive here, apparently the Kumeyaay found there was no use for them

By the stunted growth of the Yucca there must have been lots of use for them.


The mortero is a grinding hole in the rock basically a stone food processor.  The small depressions called cupules, are also found on vertical surfaces, hence the experts think they have religious significance.  Ah heck, I think the young just need a place to practice make grinding holes, but they were not yet good enough to grind in the 'kitchen'.


Don't turn back yet!, another quarter mile is an interesting pictograph.

The Pictograph Trail

Pictograph Trail Head

This is my favorite -
IMHO the 'Y' is the Agave and it shows how to use a solar still for tequila 

Although this is a good place to turn back, continue on towards Smugglers Canyon.  The trail narrows as cliff walls develop on either side.  Eventually arriving at a dry waterfall overlooking the canyon.

Continue on the same trail...

The trail narrows...

View from the top of the dry falls

South end of the park next ...