Friday, January 10, 2020

Torrey Pines Hikes

It has been a while since I have hiked in Torrey Pines but I decided to give it a try on a blustery day.  I parked along the 101 and quickly made it up the road to the visitor center.  I then did a loop down to a lookout and took the road back down.  Great views!

A few weeks later, Jyoti and Bengt joined me on a hike.  We parked in the state lot, headed up the road, down the beach trail and then along the beach back to the car.  Great weather!


Christmas in Baltimore

We had a great time spending Christmas and New Years at my brother's in Baltimore.  Lots of activities and lots of just sitting around.
One day, my dad, Jyoti and I hiked around Roland Lake.  It was a nice ~4 mile hike along old roads, railroads and trails.  I slipped on the icy mud and gave my ankle a bad sprain but was able to walk out.
We went into DC to visit a few museums.  I visited the Newseum for the first time (and last since it is closing).  It was a good but somewhat limited museum.  I enjoyed the Berlin wall section most.  While some of our group finished the Newseum, a few of us walked through the National Art Gallery on the way to the National Portrait Gallery.  I really like the Portrait Gallery, especially the presidential portraits. We also visited the new Spy Museum.  I really liked the interactive spy game that went threw the exhibits.  It has top notch artifacts and stories.  Highly recommended. 
We also played lots of games:
  • Catan - classic game; I really liked the 5-6 player expansion as well
  • Mystery Express - we always have to relearn all the actions whenever we play this
  • Codenames Pictures - the images made it a different game and we all liked it
  • Ticket to Ride Marklin - we played it without the passengers
  • Moral Dilemma - some of the cards don't make sense to all people
  • Chameleon - clever game
View of the Capitol from Newseum

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Favorite San Diego Hikes


I have been hiking in San Diego county since we moved here in 2001.  Although there are still some large areas I haven't explored yet (mainly south of interstate 8), I have put together my current list of the top hikes.
  • Mt. Gower – tough up and down hike with some really steep sections but the views are worth it.
  • Wilson Peak – some of the best views of Anza-Borrego.  You can start up at the bottom for a long or shorten it by driving up the ridge.
  • Manchester Preserve – my backyard hike is great short track.
  • Bernardo Mountain – can be crowded but great views from the peak.
  • Piedras Pintadas – do the entire hike out to the interpretive loop.
  • Eagle Rock – I prefer the southern approach out-and-back hike.
  • Blue Angel Peak – lots of rocks on this remote desert hike.  Be sure to find Smuggler's Cave.
  • Bayside Trail – Cabrillo National Monument gets thousands of visitors a year but few of them do this trail with awesome bay views.
  • Oakzanita Peak/Stonewall Peak – two great peaks with Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.  Oakzanita is harder but has better views to the west.  Stonewall is easier but is well worth it.
  • Viejas Mountain - tough uphill but the 360 degree views are spectacular.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Books

Time Team and Modern Monetary Theory


Lately I have been binge watching Time Team.  The show is a British archaeology "reality" show where a team conducts a three day dig at some site in the UK.  When digging Roman sites, they invariably find coins from the Roman occupation (roughly 60 – 400 CE).  One a recent episode that was taking place in Greenwich, they found coins from almost the entire four century period.  They matter-of-factly discussed the monetary policy of the emperors and how they devalued the currency.  The early coins were nearly pure silver but later ones where either smaller or mixed with other metals.  They commented on how this disrupted the economy as it was something everyone should know.  So even British archeologists know the basics of sound money.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Couples Backpack

Jyoti has finally recovered enough from our Thomas Mountain expedition to try another backpack.  So I picked an easy, predictable trip out to Eagle Rock near Warner Springs.  We drove out around noon and stopped at Ramona Natural Foods for sandwiches.  We got to the PCT trailhead at Barrel Springs and there were lots of cars including a couple that was hiking the nearly the same itinerary we were.  After a quick check of the spring and finding it swarming with bees we headed out on the hike. The weather was great but the sun could be intense at times as we hiked along rolling hills.  We quickly got to our camp at San Ysidro Creek.  Unfortunately the creek was bone dry and there were a bunch of flies and gnats.  Since we made good time, we headed out to Eagle Rock before sundown.  The night was chilly and got down to the 40. We woke up early and hiked out before it got too hot.  Jyoti had a good time.



Monday, October 14, 2019

Granite Springs Backpack

The October troop outing was a backpack out to Granite Springs.  The well was flowing nicely after a few dry years.





Wednesday, September 25, 2019

40 Miles of Hikes

Over the last couple weekends, I got in a couple of 20 mile hikes.
The first was San Gorgonio summit via the South Fork Trail.  The north side of the wilderness has been closed for a while due to fire damage so I jumped at the chance to hike it with Mark's hiking group.  We got to the trailhead and started hiking at 8am.  The first few miles were through recovering burn areas and the trail threaded through think lilac and acacia.  The terrain turned to mostly pines when it joined with the south fork river.  It was smooth going to Dollar Lake saddle.  Another hiker and I then went ahead for the summit.  Once there, it was great weather, not windy but perfectly nice.  After hanging around for a bit, we hurried down to the saddle and caught up with the rest of the group right before the trailhead.  Overall this is a great trail and much better than Vivian Creek for a day hike.


Burn area

Dollar Lake saddle

View from the trail

San Gorgonio Summit Selfie

The second hike was Noble Canyon.  I had never done this and the weather looked to be not to hot to try it.  Arriving at the parking lot, the car thermometer read 33!  I put on my rain jacket and hurried up the trail.  It only took a mile or so to warm up as the sun came over the ridges. The trail started along oak and chapparal terrain and then along riparian when along the streams.  There was lots of flies and poison oak.  Along the way, there were runners participating in the Noble Canyon 50K.  After a short break at Penny Pines, I headed back down the trail.  Overall, this is a great San Diego hike.

View from the trail
Old mine