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…


  1. call that guy just a wee big crazy!!..I would have been like Judy..getting the heck out of there!!..
    lovely photos by the way...looks like a it was a great day for a hike!!

  2. Had I known you guys were headed up there I could have told you where to find a neat little Geo Cache. If you read the book about Marshal South that whole place takes on a special meaning. At least it did for me. Great views eh. Don't know if you have hiked through the Borrego Slot Canyon but it's a must. Hard to find but they will give you directions at the Visitor's center. Split Mountain near Ocotillo Wells is another nice Jeep drive. Alcoholic Pass is a great hike and Jeep drive as well and it's just on the other side of Coyote Mountain from where you are. You can even drive up a flowing creek bed. Rockhouse Road near you also turns into a Jeep road the farther you get down into the Clark Dry Lake Bed. Ask at the Visitor Center when Park ranger Kelly McGillis will be at the airport giving a talk and demonstration about her job as the State Parks only pilot. She and her little plane are flying those mountains and canyons every day. A very brave little person.....

  3. Looks like another beautiful day for you guys... What a great hike and finding his home really a bonus! Vwery interesting and great photos!!!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  4. John what an interesting drive and hike today. I have never ventured out that way before but look's to be very worth the drive. Look's like your all set to fly. Another day off for the Leafs, think I will watch the Ottawa Winnipeg game tonight.

  5. Another great day trip! Sure got some nice views and pics from some of those vista points. Great hike too!

    Those quilt shops in Temecula will probably be sending out an SOS to Paulette soon!

  6. very very interesting blog to think someone lived up there for 16 years...excellent for the mountain lion..I would have been gone like the wind..brave soul that guy.

  7. Most interesting day you two had. We have not ventured past the town of Borrego Springs but your blog has convinced us to do so the next time we're in the area.

  8. Tents and mountain lions. Somehow having those words in the same sentence is scary and definitely not for me. Thanks for the trek up the mountain rocks and all the pictures. Really enjoyed it.