After much debate, we got a new dog, Lily! She is a rescue from Mexico and is very similar to Sophie. She is very shy but we hope she will get used to us quickly.
|First walk at the lagoon|
|Getting some sun|
|Monserate marker (what's left of it)|
|San Dieguito War Memorial|
After 11 years with Troop 774 as ASM and SM, I attended my last campout in an official capacity. We were back at Fiesta Island again as we were sailing on the council boat on Sunday and camping at CFI was very convenient. It was typical CFI: watch rocket launches, service hours cleaning the endless amounts of trash, campfires, dutch oven cooking, scout skills, and great weather.
Raahauge's in Corona is one of our favorite ranges. We have been there many times for their awesome sporting clay range and also shot at the 100 yard and steel gallery ranges. This day we tried our their private shooting bays. Jyoti and I did pistol and PCC training but also finally shot a couple of surplus rifles I hadn't fired before. First up was the Carcano TS. This carbine is in pretty rough shape and the bullets were tumbling after just 25 yards. Next was the Arisaka Type 99. A very long rifle was fun to shoot but ammo is really hard to get.
|Carcano M1891 Moschetto TS|
|Arisaka Type 99|
Our wine country getaway started by picking up Robyn and Kevin at LAX then fighting LA traffic on the way to the PCH. But the traffic had others plans as we got rear-ended on the 10. My new jeep had damage to the bumper and exhaust system so wasn't driveable. The other car had a lot of front end damage. After a bizarre turn of events with tow trucks and cops, we got Rosie towed back to San Diego and we got rental Sahara to continue our vacation.
Our first stop was Santa Barbara for two nights. We stayed at the Cheshire Cat Inn which is a place we liked when we lived in Santa Monica.
Then we headed up to Paso Robles for three nights at the Paso Robles Inn. I like old school places like this one but this was a bit noisy. But they did have hot tubs on the patios!
|Our post trip inventory|
|Blue skies over Tablas Creek|
|Braving the cold at McPrice Myers|
|Cheshire Cat Inn|
|Resting on our hike at Alma Rosa|
|Cheshire Cat Inn garden|
After Easter service, Jo and I headed out the Cuyamaca State Park for a TMB training hike up to the peak. The day use lot at Paso Picacho was pretty full but after finding a spot, we headed through the campground and started up the service road. It was steep going at times and after an hour and a half we reached the top. Great views were had! On the way down, we decided to take the Conejos trail. It added another mile and a half but was worth it.
|Getting ready to hike|
|Walking up the road|
One of my goals for the jeep was to reach trailheads to use for backpacking treks. Following a guidebook, I headed out to Rockhouse Canyon at the base of the Santa Rosas. Starting from Christmas Circle, I drove out of town and up a dirt road. The road was pretty easy but had a few large rocks and ruts.
From the trailhead, I headed up the canyon. It was really hot! About halfway up, I came across a herd of bighorn sheep. At the head of the canyon was my first waypoint, a set of rockhouses. A took a break there for water and food. Then I head up a wash to reach my intended destination. After a few miles, the wash turned north but the dry waterfall was unpassable to due a boulder blocking the way. I didn't feel like tempting fate and headed back to the rockhouses to camp for the night.
It was a great night under the stars! I woke up at dawn, packed up and headed back down the canyon. The morning was cooler but I still ran out of water before getting back to the car.
It was a great hike and is worth another trip in cooler temps and taking a different route to avoid the waterfall.
|View from the rock houses|
|Boulder blocking the route|
|Find the bighorn sheep|
|Staging at Christmas Circle|
If anyone is still keeping track, SD County revamped their COVID data dashboard. It will curious to see how long this is kept up. My guess is forever since there is a funding line for this kind of stuff.
Another winter campout got cancelled so Jyoti and I headed out to a local OHV area for some offroading and hiking.
The start was at the Four Corner staging area in the Corral Canyon OHV area. This area has trails for cars, MTB, SXS and jeeps. Our plan was to loop the area in a counter-clockwise direction with a stop to bag Corte Madera.
|Head of Espinosa Trail|
The first leg was along Los Pinos road which was pretty rutted and rocky in spots. We stopped at the closed gate to the fire tower and hiked up to check out the tower. The views were great which is probably why the tower is there. We continued on to the upper trailhead for Corte Madera where we parked.
The hike was steep in the beginning but the leveled out along the ridge. The peak had great views and is well worth the effort. Another hiker took some peak photos.
|View from Corte Madera trail|
|Los Pinos fire tower|
|Corte Madera Peak|
Back at the car, we headed down Espinosa Trail. This road was rated 5 by TrailsOffroad.com and had some deep ruts and decent sized rocks. At obstacle 2, we stopped to plan out a line. Taking our time we made it through the short obstacle without issues.
The rest of the road was fairly smooth and finished up right before sundown.
Old Town State Park is one of my favorite places in San Diego. A few years ago, the park took over the site of an old Caltrans building. They tore it down and build a new section devoted to the Indians and nature. This section is more of a park and open-air classroom. There are few exhibits but the place is very peaceful even with the traffic of two nearby freeways and multiple busy streets.
|San Diego blue sky|
We originally had overnight camping trip planned but due to bad weather coming in, we decided on a day hike. Knowing the weather was poor, it was a good chance to get some experience in rain or snow which can be hard to do in San Diego. Jyoti picked out Hot Springs Mt which is located on the Los Coyotes reservation. It is the highest peak in San Diego County but is not really well known since it was closed to the public for many years.
Driving up, we got a bit of rain but nothing too bad. Stopping at the reservation security gate, the guard was surprised that anyone wanted to hike today. After paying the fee, we headed up to the campground and the trailhead. The trail started up the road pretty steeply. We say patches of snow but when we hit 6000 feet, the trail was completely covered. There was about 5-6 inches of snow and we had to break trail in some patches. It started snowing as well. About 1.5 miles from the summit, we took a break and decided to head back. The wind and snow picked up for most the of way down.
|Snow on Hot Springs Mt trail|
In order to use my new Jeep without breaking it, I signed up for a two-day offroad training class through Badlands Offroad Adventures.
I woke up early to head to Borrego Springs. The class met up at a small resort for a vehicle inspection and a few hours of classroom time. After learning the basics, we aired down our tires and headed to Christmas Circle for lunch. Then it was off to the dirt! The rest of day 1 and all of day 2 was conducted in an OHV area a few miles east of town. We started on easy hills and sand and progressed from there. At the end of the first day, most of the class met up for dinner at Carlee's. Half the class was only taking the first day so the rest of us scattered to various campsites or hotels. I headed down to Glorieta Canyon to a wonderful site overlooking the valley.
After waking up, I had some time to hike up the canyon a bit before heading back to the circle to rendezvous for day 2. Day 2 was a continuation of the skills we learned in day 1 but on bigger hills, steeper slopes and narrower trails. We also did some drills with cones on the ground to practice turning and work on wheel cheat. The "final exam" was going down a steep 25 degree slope (called Graduation Hill) in soft sand. We had to pick a line and keep the rig under control so we could stop at any time. I didn't think we could do this after just 2 days of class but the instruction was very good.
|Top of Graduation Hill|
|Campsite near Glorieta Canyon|
For Rosie's first trip off-road, we chose an easy trail in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We drove out the starting point at Yaqui Wells with a stop in Ramona at the Packard coffee shop. From Yaqui Wells, we made the pleasant drive up Grapevine Canyon, making a few brief stop along the way. I tested all the modes and off-road features such as axle locks and sway bar disconnect. At the end of Grapevine Canyon, we headed off on the Jasper Trail. This road was rougher but still pretty easy. We checked out a couple potential future campsites before stopping at the Wilson Peak trailhead. From the trailhead we made the 9 mile out and back along Pinyon Ridge to the summit of Wilson Peak. This peak has some of the best 360 degree views in the county. We got back to the car just at dusk and the temperature was dropping fast. We passed some folks braving the cold and staying overnight.
I also got some data on MPG. The computer reported 21.2 MPG and I calculated 21.3 after I filled up the tank. This was with a full battery leaving the house, driving in hybrid mode the entire time and max regen on most of the time.
|Jyoti on the trail|
Me and a buddy set up for Winter Field Day in the common area.
The newest edition to the family: Rosie, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe Rubicon!
Options include front mounted trail cam, tow package, cold weather package, gorilla glass windshield. The strike gray color is very similar to Bessy.
|2021 Jeep 4xe|
Another winter trip up to Joshua Tree NP, this time to Black Rock Canyon campground. On the way out, we head south through the park which I had never been before.
|View from the Panorama Trail|
|Snow-capped San Jacinto and San Gorgonio|
One of the changes I have made since the start of COVID was to change my consumption of content. Recently, we had Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. But I started watching those less and less as my interests became more focused on specific subjects. I got into YouTube and found great creators in subjects that I enjoyed. Since I have the means, I am able to support these folks directly (usually via Patreon). Lately some have been posting to alternative platforms to avoid the YouTube nonsense.
Some of the stuff I have been watching:
We started the new year off strong with a nice session at the The Gun Range (they have the best RSO's) and a great hike at Cuyamaca (Afoot and Afield #162).
|Bridge over Stonewall Creek|
|Interesting victim of a fire|
|View to the north with a snow--covered San Gorgonio in the background|