Monday, November 03, 2014

Sierra Club ABDSP Backpack

After trying to get a PCT hike together, I ended up on a Sierra Club overnight to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  This event was in the far eastern part of the park that I have been to, Fish Creek.
I woke up early on Saturday and headed out to Ramona for the first checkpoint.  We then headed along 78 past Julian, down the Banner Grade, past Scissors Crossing to Ocotillo Wells where we gathered again.  We then head down Split Mt. Road to the Fish Creek wash turnoff.  After a very short drive into the wash, we parked off the road.  There was a quick briefing while we got our stuff together.  The camp was only about a mile from the cars.  We got to camp and setup.  We then headed on a dayhike around the ridge that we were camped up against.
We headed around the hill and at the north end, we headed up to the peak.  There was a benchmark named "Cerro" at the top.  We then headed along the ridge to the old strontium mine at the southern end.  On the way back to camp, we stopped by the cars to pick up some cleaning supplies.  We then proceeded to dismantle and clean up several fire rings.  We packed out a lot of cans, bottles, charcoal and other trash.  We later found out that particular piece of land isn't owned by the park yet!  Hopefully they will obtain it soon. After the hike, there was a great gathering for dinner and a "campfire" using a homemade candle.  The night was very nice, not too hot or cold nor too breezy.
We woke up, broke camp and made coffee.  The plan was to do another dayhike, but I had to head back home.  When we got to the cars, we ran into a bighorn sheep study.  They were catching the ewes using a helicopter, then bringing them down for tests.  It is not everyday you see a bighorn sheep hanging beneath a helicopter!
The ride back was wonderful.  There was little traffic and the weather was cool until I got past Ramona.

Cerro benchmark.

Cowboy camping next to a sheltering bush.

It is hard to see the sheep handing under the chopper.

Sheep inspection station.

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