Monday, September 08, 2014

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Summer Books

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

  • Lunch with parent at Cheesecake Factory (I haven't been there in a long time)
  • Reunion with some of the Kenya trip folks
  • Lunch with the Golds
  • Great waves at Moonlight on Sunday evening
  • New hikes in the Bonsall/Fallbrook area at Hellers Bend and Los Jilgueros Preserves
  • Built Jaya's new IKEA bed - went surprising well for an IKEA projects

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekend Activities

This was my first "normal" weekend in a long time.  By normal, I mean with the entire family in town.
  • We visited San Diego Air and Space Museum and the Hall of Champions - I really like the sailing exhibit at the HoC.
  • Some dog walks
  • Beach time (St. A's had a their annual beach service)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sierra Trek

Troop 774 headed up to the Sierras for a great backpacking trek.  The plan was to base camp in the Devil's Postpile are and do a pair of out-and-backs to some alpine lakes.
Day 1 started by driving up to Mammoth Lakes and checking into the Pine Glen group camp.  Tents were set up in a slight bit of rain, but the forecast was for clear weather.  Some of use went to Giovanni's for pizza.
Day 2 began by heading over to the nearby visitor center to pick up our permits.  Since we needed 2 more spots, we got a number (#1 - first in line) and waited until 11a and then go the next day permits.  We then drove down to our base camp at Pumice Flats group camp.  The camp and the host were very nice.  We ate lunch at the Mule House Cafe (best shakes ever) and then day-hiked Rainbow Falls and Devil's Postpile.  By the time we got back, everyone had arrived in camp.
We started the trek on day 3.  After breakfast and packing, we took the bus to the Agnew Meadows trailhead.  We walked the short distance to the parking lot and trailhead stopping along the way for some stretching.  The map showed a "shortcut" from the wind-damaged Agnew Meadows campground to our desired route, the River Trail.  After wandering around for over an hour, we figured that the shortcut was no longer maintained so we headed back to the parking lot.  There we saw the real entrance to the River Trail.  The trail headed down into the canyon and at the bottom, it was a slow and steady uphill hike.  The San Juaquin River was not visible for most of the trail despite its name.  We stopped for lunch at the junction with the Shadow Creek Trail.  The trail got a bit steeper but more scenic.  We hit a short steep section getting up to the outlet from 1000 Thousand Island Lake.  Everyone was very eager to find a spot and get camp setup.  There were quite a few groups there and it too us a while to find a great spot about halfway along the north edge of the lake.  After pitching tents we started on dinner.  Almost as soon as dinner was finished, the skies opened up and we got a short violent rain and hail thunderstorm.  Everyone put on their rain gear very quickly.  The rain lessened but kept up for some time during the night.  Thanks to the training we have done, everyone did great and there were no issues with things getting wet.
Day 4 was zero-day.  We explored the lake and hiked to the western end.  There was a meadow that backed up to imposing Banner Peak with its glaciers.  Roy gave a tutorial on fly fishing.  We didn't get any more rain but it was quite windy and cloud cover came and went so layering was mandatory.
We got up early on day 5, broke camp and hiked out along the same River trail back to base camp.  The hike was easier going since it was mainly downhill and we didn't waste time being lost.  We setup base camp and planned the rest of the trek.  The plan was to have another zero day at our next destination, Ediza Lake.  But we decided to drop the day completely.  Night at Pumice Flats was the coldest of the trip for some reason.
On day 6, we did not take the buses to Agnew Meadows but did a car juggle and left one car at the trailhead.  We started up the River trail but after a couple miles hit the junction to the Shadow Creek trail.  Some of the group was nervous about heading up the cliff (which had a great waterfall running down it).  But it turned out to be quick and easier than everyone expected.  We did have a significant injury.  One scout hurt his foot going up the trail.  After resting a bit, he and his family decided not to risk and headed back to base camp.  At the top of the cliff, the trail opened up to the picturesque Shadow Lake.  The group was waiting for those of us that were with the injured scout.  We ate lunch there and then headed up to the Ediza Lake.  The trail from the lake was a steady uphill but followed close to the creek which made for great hiking.  The hiking was well worth it once we saw Ediza Lake.  We walked over the western side to the legal camps and found a great space on a meadow with great views of the lake, the mountains and easy access to the streams for fishing.  Everyone loved Ediza Lake and we could have easily spent a zero day exploring the area and other lakes, such as Iceberg Lake.
On day 7, we got real early start and hiked the ~8 miles in less than 3 hours.  Since we got in so early, the drivers decided to head home.
We ended up doing over 32 miles, camped 6 nights including the acclimation days.

Monday, July 14, 2014

San Gorgonio Wilderness Backpack

With the family gone, I decided to make up for some canceled trips and head up to San Gorgonio.  I decided on a one-nighter along the Vivian Creek trail and was able to secure a permit for Friday night camping at High Creek.  I got to the trailhead around 2:00p and was hiking at 2:30p.  After a bit of a crummy road walk and crossing Mill Creek, I hit one of the steepest trails I have ever hiked.  The next mile was tough going up to Vivian Creek camp.  After that, the trail leveled out somewhat for a 4 mile steady climb past Halfway Camp to High Trail Camp which I made in 2.5 hours.  At High Creek, I stopped for a snack and chatted with volunteer Ranger Dan who was very helpful.  Since I was ahead of schedule, I decided to head up to the summit to camp for the night.  About halfway up the hike to the ridge crest, I started getting nauseous.  I know I suffer from altitude sickness but hoped this would just be a mild case and hiked on.  After making the ridge and seeing the Choachella Valley below, I knew I couldn't continue; the nausea, headache and fatigue were too much.  After a short break, I headed back down to High Creek.  I wanted to tell Ranger Dan my change of plans since he signed off on my permit change.  I quickly set up camp, washed up and lied down to recover.  The night was restless and had a few sprinkles to make me get a bit nervous about cowboy camping.  In the morning, I decided not to tempt fate again and quickly descended down the mountain.  I got the trailhead in 1.5 hours, put on some fresh clothes and headed home with a quick stop at the Elkhorn General Store for a much needed cup of coffee.  Overall, the hike was great, weather was great, altitude sickness not so much.  I intend to go again but will not try to go above 10,000 feet on the first day.

Camp Osten 2014

My nephew Gabe was in town for the 2014 installment of Camp Osten.
  • Encinitas Junior Lifeguards
  • July 4th at Grandma's and altered fireworks
  • Hike San Juan loop trail in OC (loved the Candy Store!)

Friday, July 04, 2014


With some good book reading time due to recent long plane rides, I got through a good batch of books.