Musicmatch Camping Trip

  Camping with the Musicmatch alumni in Anza-Borrego

Trip Report 20151010-11

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The Experience

During our 10 year reunion from Musicmatch we discussed doing a camping trip in the Anza-Borrego state park.  We agreed upon a date and the date finally arrived.

The photos below are what we saw.

In preparation for this trip, I added a new hood ornament to Thor.  I purchased the yak skull at Wasteland Weekend for $75 and then spent 3 days repairing and stabilizing the skull for mounting on the truck.  Most of the teeth were loose and would not withstand a good, hard off-road thrashing that we seem so prone to do, so I epoxied them in for good. Additionally, I added some glue to most of the cranial sutures just for good measure.

Our meet-up point was the Rancho Bernardo Courtyard which used to be the home of Musicmatch before the sale to Yahoo in 2004.  I had forgotten how nice the facility is, truly one of a kind.

The interior courtyard is beautiful, complete with a nice fountain.

We decided to split the group into the soft-core and the hard-core.  The soft-core would go directly to the campsite in Sandstone Canyon via the easiest route.  The hard-core group would come in from the south via Vallecito Wash and the Fish Creek Drop-off (AKA Diablo Drop-off because of the access through Arroyo Seco del Diablo).  We met up with our portion of the group at the marker on SR78.

From the marker, the Pacific Coast Trail is visible on the far hillside as a diagonal trace.

We traveled south of S2 to Vallecito Wash and then turned east to Arroyo Seco del Diablo.  We turned north into Seco and then followed the wash through the mud hills.

The walls got steeper as we went upstream.

Beer o'clock rapidly came, so the interrupt needed to be handled.

One of the hazards of narrow canyons is the chance of a collapse of the cliff walls.  If the spall is large enough, the trail can be easily blocked.  This was a large spall during the recent rains, but it was not large enough to block the trail.

The combination of sandstone and mudstone produced interesting patterns.  Notice the erosion that looks like a hot candle dripping wax.

This area has been faulted and folded and the tilted strata provided interesting patterns.

At the crest of the Diablo drop-off we had a great view of the badlands.

The far hills have valuable mineral deposits, in this case, gypsum.  The drop-off starts on the far side of the fence.

The mud palisades in upper Fish Creek were visible from the overlook.

The group heads down the upper portion of the dropoff.  The high crown due to the ruts caused most of the vehicles to scrape their undercarriage.

Everyone got down with only a light scraping.

The lower portion of the dropoff will require some careful tire placement.

The lower dropoff is quite steep.

This SUV turned out to be quite capable.

We all made it down the lower dropoff unscathed.

The exit from the dropoff passes through a tight canyon that has a significant obstacle that required some road building to pass without damage.

Note the size of the rocks compared to the tires.

It was easy for the FJ Cruiser.

The jeeps had no issues after the rocks were stacked.

Easy as 3.1415926....

This little berm will inflict some damage from the grey SUV.  Some speed was required to get over the berm resulting in an impact with a large rock at the top.

We got to camp and partied hearty until quite late.  I was not capable of taking photos, or at least did not think to take photos after dark.  Next morning, on the cliff outside of Thor, we were treated to more mudstone flows.

Interesting bedding in the sandstone walls.

The crew was wounded in action and generally damaged goods in the morning.

Pam was nice enough to make coffee.

One of the guys had a run-in with the fire pot the night before and got burned.  Ouch.

Returning hom

Almost everyone had a great time but pain has a way of spoiling fun.  Fortunately, despite being burned, the victim should fully recover.  The balance of the crew that avoided the worst tomfoolery only suffered from the alcohol therapy the night before.  But even that can be unpleasant.

It was a hoot getting together with the crew; we had a great time.  Thanks and kudos to Dave for setting this up.

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