Monday, June 05, 2017

Off The Grid (almost)

Our solar generating system went on line about a month ago!  We got 16 panels installed by Sullivan Solar which will generate all of our electricity.  We will surely be in the black during the non-winter months but we will have to wait and see how much we generate during winter.  We also got an electric Fiat 500e so it will interesting to see how much net out at the end of the year.

Big Ride

We did a new thing this year with the troop and heading up to Irwindale for the Big Ride!  The Big Ride is a cycling event put on by some folks out of Antelope Valley.  Participants have choices of 25K, 50 mile and 100 mile routes.  We had a small contingent but riders in all 3 segments. 
We fought traffic driving up Friday night.  We setup camp on the nice grass near the lake.  After the riders meeting we all hit the sack.
The 100 milers woke up really early to get going.  Me and another scout were doing the 50 mile route and were up and about by 7:00.  The first part of the route had us going north up the San Gabriel River into Asuza canyon.  It was uphill but a nice ride in the morning.  We turned around at the trail end and headed downhill, first to the dam and then to the first rest stop and Legg Lake at Whittier Narrows.  The next segment continued south down the river to El Dorado Park in Long Beach were lunch awaited.  After some rest, we headed back up the river trail.  The sun finally came out and made things a bit hot.  We stopped again at the Legg Lake rest area for water then make the final stretch back to camp.  It was pretty grueling for me since I don't ride much but all the scouts did great.  We met the 100 mile guys on the dam.
Once back at camp, we pile in the cars and fought traffic on the way home.  It was a cool event and something to consider again in the future.



Friday, June 02, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Activities

  • San Dieguito Academy memorial service
  • Finished the patio and got all the furniture in place
  • Had a great day with my parents and the family
  • Awesome hike at Del Mar Mesa Preserve

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mt. Laguna

For the last official troop outing of the year, we headed up to the Mt. Laguna for our biennial pioneering event.  We hauled up the staves and ropes and built and awesome tower.  The scouts are getting good at it and taught the new guys well!  This was the first time I had seen the little Laguna with water up to the rocks!  Big Laguna was full all the way up to the dike.


Pioneering Tower

Little Laguna


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mt. Wilson Backpack

For our first (and maybe last) Philmont training hike, we hooked up with troop 782 for a weekend at Mt. Wilson.  The forecast going in was for some rain and probably cold and maybe windy at the summit.  We didn't cancel since we figured it wouldn't be too bad.  Both troops met at our church and we loaded gear and scouts quickly so we could make it up there before the gate was locked.  After fighting traffic and accidents, we made to Chantry Flats road gate with 10 minutes to spare; the police car was standing by to lock it as well!  At the parking lot, we arranged group gear and food.  Then it is was off for a 3 mile night hike to Hoegee's camp.  The moon provided some nice light but the trail is very wooded so it was a bit spooky walking it.  Camp was pretty crowded mainly with other scouts but a few other groups as well.  A few of us cowboy camped but I was awakened around 4am by sprinkling on my face.  I made the decision to put up my tarp and went back to sleep. Some of the scouts didn't put up shelters and woke up a bit wet.
The next morning was overcast as we ate breakfast, drank coffee and packed up for the hike to the summit.  Shortly after starting out, it started to rain lightly.  As we made our way up the steep trail, it rained harder and harder. By the time we got to the road, we were all in full rain gear.  The summit was socked in and we couldn't even see across the parking lot.  We decided to bail and thankfully another scout and his family had driven up and were able to give us a hitch back to Chantry Flats.  After several hours of shuttling and rescuing another hiker, we finally headed back to Encinitas.
It was a great hike to test out gear and I can't wait to get up there again so I can see what it looks like!

















Hoegee's camp

Raining at the bench



Monday, April 24, 2017

Eagle Rock PCT Backpack

For a troop 774 beginner backpack, we headed to do the PCT section up to Eagle Rock near Warner Springs.
On Saturday morning, we parked the cars at Barrel Springs.  While we waited for everyone to arrive, we checked out the spring and trough which had plenty of water.  There were a few hikers there; they certainly wouldn't be last we would come across.  After lunch and some training on gear and maps, we headed out northbound on the PCT.  It was about 4 rolling miles to our camp at San Ysidro creek.  We were the first ones there but by nightfall another troop camped upstream and several thru hikers had found spots as well.  There were probably 40 plus folks along the creek! The scouts setup tents and started exploring the local creek and rocks.  In the afternoon, we took the 2 mile walk out to Eagle Rock and back.
The next morning was slow getting up and going but the hike went quick.  We got to the cars, unloaded gear and drove home. Overall, it was a bit hot but a great trip to get the new scouts into backpacking.




Barrel Springs trailhead

Along the PCT

Great views

To Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock

Cowboy camping


Monday, April 10, 2017

Pamo Valley Recon

I was going to spending the weekend at Wilderness and Remote First Aid class so I took the chance on my off Friday to recon a place I have never been, the Pamo Valley area.  I have seen it on the CNF maps but didn't really know what was there.  I drove up along the 79 to Ramona to the Palomar District ranger station.  I chatted for a bit with the very helpful rangers and the head out to find the Black Canyon pools.  After some pavement and a few miles of dirt road, I made it to the pools.  With all the water, they were flowing nicely.  With the great weather and lack of people, it was an awesome spot.  The only downer was all the graffiti (which the ranger warned me about).
After enjoying the pools I drove back to the station and down into the valley.  It was like an oasis with all the green and flowing streams.  I drove up to the north end and back.  Most of the bottom of the valley is owned by the City of San Diego for ranching.  But you can take side roads up to Black Mountain and Orosco Ridge.  I headed up to ridge for a few miles on a very bumpy road.  There wasn't much there.
This is a great area for day hikes and exploring.  But I need to search some more to find some good camping spots.

Black Canyon bridge

Black Canyon pools

Black Canyon pools

Pamo Valley - End of the Road

Pamo Valley - View from Orosco Ridge