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May 31, 2020

Julian - A escape to the local mountains

Although California remains under an official Stay-at-Home policy, each county is able to make choices of how to begin reopening.  San Diego County has reopened its parks for camping at 50% of capacity and only household members can share a campsite.  That was enough incentive for us to join up with friends Doug and Marilyn and their granddaughter Lilly for a few days at William Heise County Park.  As required, in separate campsites, of course.

Our site in RV Loop 2 was nice, but small and did not offer much shade.  Bigger rigs would find RV Loop 1 better suited. 

We took the short Nature Loop trail for our first hike.  We’ve done this trail several times before, but not in the past decade or more.  The trail seems now at a higher elevation and a lot steeper!  The hills must be getting bigger…

Near the trailhead was a hen turkey with her three poults. 


The Rio Grande Turkey was introduced to the area in 1993 by US Fish and Game, they are now estimated at 20,000 in the area.

The trail starts out in the shade of the Cedar and Oak trees that were spared by the 2003 Cedar Fire.

And quickly climbs to the remains of the new growth of the area where the fire took a toll.

Wildflowers are among the new growth.


After our ‘strenuous’ hike we headed into Julian to see how it was opening up.  There were nearly as many hand washing stations on the street as there were people. 


Most of the stores along main street were open.  However the restaurants were takeout only.  The pie shops sold only whole pies.


The following day we took the Cedar Loop Trail that passes through an area hard hit by the Cedar Fire.  The fire opened the area for many new growth opportunities.


The steepest section of the trail has a 'pull' rope for assistance.  Other trails are accessed from the top of this section.

The trail will cross Cedar Creek several times.  It is possible to reach Cedar Creek Falls from the Julian side, but it is best done from the maintained trail on the Ramona side, which I blogged HERE.

The park is also planting many dozen Incense Cedar trees that once populated this area.

Lilly gave a gallant try at making Jiffy Pop over the campfire.

The pictures in this post are all from my phone.  In the process of checking out the features on my new camera I managed to not be able to use it!  I finally resorted to a factory reset!

This is my first post using the new Blogger, I hoped it would be an improvement over the previous version.  

May 13, 2020

Red Tide - and another visit to Tecolote Canyon

San Diego is experiencing a bioluminescent Red Tide.  It had been occurring for a couple weeks when the local San Diego beaches were opened for restricted use.

The parking lots remain closed, which make social distancing a lot easier.  

Fran’s sister lives in Pacific Beach a few blocks from the ocean.  We parked there and walked over to the beach to do our ‘beach walk’.  The PB boardwalk remains closed, but we like to walk for an hour in the sand at low tide.

During the day the red tide shows in the waves as a muddy brown.  That does not stop the surfers who have been waiting to get their boards back in the water.

There were quite a few walking or jogging near the shoreline.  Most wearing facial covering (myself included).  It was nice to have even a little of the beach open.

“Red Tide in the morning,
surfers are boarding.
Red Tide at night,
a photographer’s delight.”

The muddy waves during the day take on a dazzling neon blue after dark.  My cellphone did not capture the real experience,

So here are a couple pictures from the web.

And a brief video produced by Scripps Institute of Oceanography HERE.

There is no ‘Red Tide Watch’, no prediction of when, nor how long one will last.  This is now the longest red tide San Diego has experienced and the ocean coastline is being depleted of oxygen.  It seems the local coast is experiencing a pandemic of its own.

While the sea life is dying, Mother Nature is providing some nice wildflowers in Tecolote Canyon.

We hiked the western section the day before Tecolote Golf Course opened for restricted use. 

Fran was there with her gal-pals the next day.  Face coverings were required in the parking lot and check-in but not on the course.  Almost nobody there.

Meanwhile at home Fran completed a 3rd puzzle, which was a collage of Van Gogh paintings.  I didn’t help much with this one, his work is too dark, depressing and troubled for my taste.

Instead I spent time in the kitchen, my work there may never be finished!  My next project was to remove the green tile walls.  We put this tile up over 30 years ago, it does not want to come down!

Once down it reveals the old rock lath, or button board walls of our mid-century house.

This house is old, but certainly not classic.  I’ll be putting up a moisture resistant drywall in preparation for new counter tops

Fran’s latest puzzle is of American Places.  We’ve been to a lot of these places and it was more fun than tearing down tile.  I helped a lot on this one.

Although California is still under Stay-at-Home orders, more things in the county are beginning to open.  This week the county has opened several campgrounds!, restrictions still apply.  But we’re off to Julian for a few days in the mountains.

Stay Safe!