Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hey, let’s go play the slots!

What a day today was… 82 deg. F. or 28 deg. C. for the Canuks out there… lots of sun… what a great day… I started the day off down at the Clark Air Base,(formerly the Clark Dry Lake Bed…) flying planes and helicopters all over the place… perfect conditions again to fly! (some landings were better than others… but we won’t go there today!)

After I got back to the RV, I asked Judy what she had planned today, and she said “I want to go play in the slots!”…  I said, “OK, where is the local Casino???”

She said,  “No… silly, I want to play in the slot canyons!”   After a quick trip up to the Anza Borrego State Park Visitor’s Centre, we found a great slot canyon to hike in…

Before we went hiking… I was stealing sun rays, and charging up our house batteries with the solar panel that Shawn and Jenn got us before we left… it works great, and fast!


As we left the Vistor’s Centre we travelled down the Main Drag, of Downtown Borrego Springs… well at least there is lots of Palm Trees.


We headed out the S22 road, and pulled off for the trail to the Caltraite Mine… that is where the slot canyon starts…( The mine is kind of neat, right after the attack on Pearl Harbour, they mined Caltraite for bomber site optics… it worked great and the mine was busy, until they came up with a man made substitute, a few years later…)


No vehicles allowed up the slot canyon…


We no sooner started up the trail, and came across this great natural bridge… this is all made of sand stone remember… a wee bit crumbly…


Under the bridge I go… holding my breath!!!!


Lots of weird rock formations around this area…



You can just see where the water has come through, and formed the canyon… what a spot to spend the day!


OK… so things always have to get a bit crazy!!!!


Good thing we have 2 camera’s, as we would be passing one back and forth all the time!



Ya, there are a whole bunch of weird plants growing out here in the sandstone… weird for sure!


We hiked up the Canyon for 1 mile… (yes, I have an nice Magellan hand held GPS to tell me that!) and then we came to this!  At work we used to call this a “show stopper”!  I guess we could have got crazy and climbed over the rocks… but, hey, we want to live for another day!   We turned back!


I call this pic below the true meaning of a “slot canyon”… Judy is certainly playing the slots now! (Best part of these slots… you get to keep your money!)


We were back by 2 this afternoon at the RV and enjoyed some nice sunshine… as we were sitting, this guy walked by for the 4th day in a row!   He live here… don’t know what to call him though…???…. some kind of beetle…


Well, that is going to end our time here at Anza Borrego State Park… tomorrow we will head to Caliente Springs RV Resort and check in.   Yes, the hot tubs are a calling!  Wind is going to be up tomorrow though… we will have to see how bad it gets!

Till tomorrow…

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A trip to the Pumpkin Patch???

Today was a bit overcast, but turned out very nice anyways… it was in the low 70’s or about 23 deg. C.

There was zero wind this morning, so you know what that means!  Yes, I was off for the Clark Air Base, just a bit to the north of us!

Here I am lining up the fleet again today… a great day to fly! First up was the white Super Cub, and then I actually got the P-47 to fly!  Had a great flight with it, until the landing that is, where I had a minor happening… but a bit of crazy glue, and all will be well again1


Judy took the pic as proof of my P-47 being in the air… it is a difficult plane to fly, but I am catching up to it on the learning curve!  Love a challenge!  There is no better place on earth to fly these planes, than at the Clark Air Base, in Borrego Spring, Ca. 


This afternoon, we wanted to take in a Jeep run, so Judy did the pre-work, with our map books, guides, computer maps… you name it, and came up with the Pumpkin Patch Jeep Tour, just off Hwy. 78 here in the Park… what a great run it turned out to be.

As we closed in on the trail head, we spotted this guy below, coming in for a landing at the Ocotillo Wells Air Strip… It was a Military Aircraft, and flew like a plane, but landed like a Helicopter… he was only on the ground in front of us for 20 seconds and then he took off… what a sight.


We found the trail head for the Pumpkin Patch and headed into the unknown… nice day to get the Jeep some exercise!


This area is a well used off road vehicle rec area… and on the weekends, it is packed!  Good news, during the week we have it to ourselves!


A couple times I had to remove a couple rocks to keep things moving forward without ripping the fine parts out from underneath the Jeep…


Check out this pic below,   we are 1/2 way out the 8 miles to the pumpkin patch, and we run into the Army doing some training in the sand hills with the Humvee’s… they were having fun!


We made it out to the pumpkin patch… what a spot… a bunch of rocks that look like pumpkins… they were formed by sand that is almost like cement… and are worn smooth by the wind and rain… strange things you see in California!



There had to be a 3 acre pumpkin patch out in the middle of nowhere… go figure!


Here I am below, contemplating life, wondering how these stones were made… yes, they did put a bathroom out in the middle of nowhere!  The fence you see is to keep the people out of the pumpkin patch with all the off road toys that come here.


We carried on from the pumpkins, and took a cross trail that was going to come out close to our RV!  Bonus!  Check out these sandstone walls in this canyon… you don’t want to be here when it rains real hard, or at least have a boat with you!


We had a great afternoon out buzzing around in the Jeep, which is starting to look like a dirty Jeep now, but it is Happy!  On this trail, you needed a high clearance vehicle, with 4 wheel drive available with low range on the transmission, otherwise you are call CAA, or AAA.  (Good luck getting them to come!)


We got back home at 4 this afternoon, and Judy wanted to have a fire… it was a perfect night for it and it kept us warm as the sun went down!


The sky was on fire tonight…


Yup, you guessed it, simply another great day in California!

Till tomorrow…

Monday, November 28, 2011

“Day Tripper…”

We were up early this morning, 7:00 or so, and just in time to catch little Gwenny on a Skype call from Ontario… 3 hours ahead of us of course… but it works out great… she is doing very well along with her Mom and Dad.

We were in the mood for day tripping today, so by 8:30 we were out on the road… I had convinced Judy it was a good idea to head a little south west out of Borrego Springs, and after 65 miles, we just happened to be in Temecula… home of Hobby Town!  (Needed a few spare parts for the fleet to keep it in the air…”  If you head south out of Town, you take the S22, or Montezuma Valley Road.  This has to be one of the most spectacular roads to drive in the area… straight up into the mountains and the view along the way are second to none!  Anyone coming to this area should make the 12 mile drive… worth every inch!

The Montezuma Valley Road is cut right through the rocks, and is steep going up… you don’t want to be on a bicycle!


This view is looking north, with Borrego Springs behind me… the mountains you see in the distance are where yesterday’s hike centered out of.


Here is a bit better view of Borrego Springs…


The view below is from the same lookout, just to the right of Borrego Springs, is a vast area, that includes the Salton Sea at the very top of the picture… too bad it was a bit hazy today, so you do not get a good view of the Sea.


Once we got up top of the mountains, I did not realize how nice it was, driving over to Temecula… it was a great drive that we are glad we did not miss!  We found this soaring club on top of the mountains… elevation here is about 3,500 feet. 


This is a sampling of some of the lovely homes on top of the mountains… they are all ranches, and mostly horses!


It was about an hour and a half drive over to Temecula, that has a nice “Old Town” to go and visit… we had to pass right through Old Town Temecula to get to Hobby Town.


Judy was pointing out all the Quilt Shops that Paulette from Rick & Paulette's RV Travels loves to come and visit… business looked a bit slow here today, as I believe Rick and Paulette are over in Desert Hot Springs, going over all the loot they picked up on Black Friday!


With airplane parts in hand, we started our return journey, back the same way we came… however instead of turning off the S2, onto the S22, we carried on up to the south end of the Anza Borrego State Park, and wanted to go for a hike… our good blogging friends Al and Kelly from TRAVEL WITH THE BAYFIELD BUNCH)) had recommended we head out to Blair Valley, and hike to to see the remains of Marshal South’s Home… so we did!

We had to run about 3 miles or so of a Jeep road which is not in bad shape to get to the trail head.


Every kind of cactus in the world grows around these parts, except Saguaros… too bad!


No, I am not in someone’s rock garden below, I am mountain climbing, about 1.2 miles straight up to get to the old homestead.


Looking at the picture below, check out the stark contrast from the one above… the higher you got, the more rocks poked out!


Catch the view below, as we hit about the 3/4 way up the mountain, nearing the top!


We made it to the top, and found the ruins… not very much left, as time and erosion have had their way with the old homestead! Yes, that is an old bed you see in the pic below… Marshall and his Wife and kids apparently lived up here for about 16 years.  They had to lug everything up the mountain path, including water!  He must have been in good shape!


This looked like some kind of earth oven, or maybe chimney from the old house…


He used a lot of rock in his construction… it is all but crumbling down now… too bad.


He looked like he had a complex way of dealing with water… there were pipes that led from the tanks into the home…


I found what appeared to be a bicycle wheel, not sure why it would even be up here… no where to bike around here! Could have been used for something else maybe????


Judy was just taking it all in… oh ya, mid 70’s today, with a bit of cloud cover… just perfect for hiking!


I am sure if you google “Marshal South”, you will get to read the whole storey of this man… must have been quite the guy!


We enjoyed the hike, and going back in time to the great depression and the 30’s, when Marshal decided to build himself a home!

As we drove back out to the S2, we came across a gentleman camping in the park by himself, and he was telling us about sleeping in his tent the other night, and a Mountain Lion came and walked around his tent, and climbed up on his vehicle… apparently scratching the paint!  He showed us some prints and you can see them below!  Not a great picture, however you do get the idea… they were a big print, and Judy and I got out of “Dodge” real quick!  (He stayed and was in his tent again tonight!)


Simply another great day in the desert!

Till tomorrow…