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Our neighbors Brian and
Kait wanted to go camping and see Thor in action. Since
sooner is always better than later, we made a plan to go over
our the first common available time which just happened to be
Fourth of July. Now, our planned destination is within the
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park at an altitude of about 200 feet
above sea level. So, there was no question it was going to
be hot. The only open question was HOW hot.
The photos below are
what we saw.
due for some maintenance actions and checking the house
batteries was on the list. Thor uses 4 GC-2 golf cart
batteries. These batteries were recently replaced but the
new style "speed caps" appear to allow acid leakage. Note
the corrosion on the battery retainer straps.
our normal driveway packing job. Note the ramps under the
front tires to keep the rig level to allow normal operation of
Lakeside area, we pulled behind a large truck carrying crane
counterweights. What is wrong with this picture? The
weights are 10 tons each and are restrained with only 2 medium
sized ratchet straps. Given the weight of the load and the
strength of the straps it seems like a mis-match and dangerous
for any vehicle following.
through the desert is a rather lonely road. We encountered
virtually no oncoming traffic.
transitioned from asphalt to dirt trail and headed into the Fish
Creek Mountains. The trail is a wash and the wash has cut
a deep canyon through the mountains. Note the undercut
areas due to water flow. There was some evidence of recent
water flows on the canyon floor.
planned our arrival time to be sundown so the heat would not be
so bad. We were punctual per the plan so the waning light
impacted the colors of the landscape.
approached the narrows in the canyon.
narrows had steep cliffs that showed strong evidence of
faulting, folding and uplifting.
narrows we stopped for adult refreshments.
folding on the far canyon wall.
This set of folds
shows the eye of a tight anticline.
squeeze in the narrows.
past the squeeze we spotted some desert sheep on the far side of
the canyon. In all the years that I have come to Borrego,
I have only seen one other sheep.
canyon walls transitioned from sandstone to conglomerate with
huge boulders as inclusions.
Further upstream, the
conglomerate transitioned to mudstone. This is a water
erosion cave with rainwater coming in from the top of the
We continued up the
main wash and then turned west into Sandstone Canyon and
camped under high sandstone walls.
Brian and Kait erect
their shelter for the evening.
After dark, I set up
my Olympus EM-1 camera for a composite exposure. I
light-painted the cliff with my flashlight which was
superimposed within the camera on the star trails. This
is about 30 minutes of exposure before moonrise.
I pointed the camera
down the canyon to a wall that was being illuminated by the
rising moon. This was a 10 minute exposure.
None of us slept that
well due to the heat. Next morning we headed back toward
the coast through Julian and away from the high
temperatures. Since it was the Fourth of July we
encountered a parade in Julian.
We got to pass the
parade in a separate lane and encountered the old stage
fellow was driving his vintage International Farmall in the
parade. We headed south from Julian to Jamul to attend a
Fourth celebration at Kait's parent's home.
folks attended and they were enjoying the conversation.
house has a beautiful pool and patio.
patio had a great view of the Tecate Mountains.
closest houses were quite far away.
We had fun
camping, but it was hot, hot, hot. On previous trips to
this area at the same time of year, I don't recall encountering
this level of heat. None of us slept that well due to the
heat and we were all happy that we camped on the shade side of
the cliff allowing us to enjoy the coolness of the morning.
never seen desert Bighorn sheep in Fish Creek Canyon. I
assume they were hunting for water and likely found it.
They did not seem all that scared of us, but that said, they
bolted back into the canyon well before we got close to them.
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