Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

COMPLETED: Bow Willow and Palm Oasis areas - Dec 2007

Trips/trails in the western coast of the U.S. (loosely follows the Pacific Time Zone)
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by The Roadie » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:38 am

Went for a quick expedition to the desert this weekend - met a co-worker and his mother for a dinner (I grilled filet mignon and we had some great Cabernet.) Saw coyotes, a kit fox, hares, but no kangaroo rats this trip.

Went hiking to a palm grove, up a canyon you'd never know it was there. Drive to a 1857 historic stagecoach station site, but nothing was left but fenceposts. The site was about 12 miles down a trail whose last three miles was about 3" of running water in a narrow wash, so naturally it threw up some mud. Sigh. People who have been reading my reports for a couple of years know I don't really appreciate mud. Anyway, enjoy the pics, all ye with snow for Christmas.

Almost a full moon. No good views of the stars this trip, but Venus and Mars were spectacular.

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Sitting around the campfire with nice wine at 45 degrees. The low that night was 30. Shared bodily warmth is essential, but less fun when your partner is wearing flannel long johns, mittens, and a wool hat.

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Anthill cleanup after the rains.

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The canyon to hike into.

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Mutant barrel cactus.

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Normal barrel cactus.

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View of the grove.

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Self-portrait with the camera on a tilt - forgot to being the tripod.

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Up close. Some human had set the dead palm fronds on fire that normally hang down low on the trunks. The trunks are burned, but the palms survive, since fire is a normal part of their development. It does drive out the critters who normally live in the fronds - snakes, rats, and thousands of scorpions.

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View back to the valley.

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Spot of Christmas mud.

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In the middle of frickin' nowhere, some prankster put up a semi-familiar intersection sign. I've seen pictures of this on the net, but never knew its location, which I suspect is not to be shared. You have to find it yourselves. :raspberry

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A final close-up of the mud to freak out the folks who keep their trucks clean like show poodles. :thumbsup:

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The Roadie
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:29 pm
Location: CA, Vista, San Diego County
Name: Bill Carton
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DriveTrain: 4WD w/ G80
Rank: Expedition Guide

by The Roadie » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:39 am

It is indeed a rare treat to just drive out and have your pick of secluded campsites. No worry about finding a spot. If I didn't want the pit toilets for Mrs. Roadie's comfort, which meant going to one of the six semi-organized campgrounds, there are 500 miles of trails on 600,000 acres you can just pull off anywhere and camp for free.

It's just that in the Anza Borrego state park itself, you can't drive willy-nilly off the trails because of environmental damage, and you have to use a portable fire pit because you can't leave ashes on the desert, and you have to use a porta-potti or dig a cat hole to poop in, and the Tread Lightly principles say you need to pack out the TP you use. I either carry a porta-potti or a PETT Toilet system. http://www.nrsweb.com/pett.asp

Oh, and except for three of the semi-organized campgrounds, it's ALL FREE!

We grew up and lived for 40 years in Massachusetts. Mrs. Roadie was from Boston and then New Hampshire for a while, while I was born in the Berkshires. Worked in Boston or the suburbs for 20 years, and were regular tenters in Maine and New Hampshire that entire time until we got a pop-up trailer. So we've paid more than our share of dues in thunderstorms and mosquitos and biting greenheads!

If you've read my trip reports for the September Sierra Nevada expeditions, you'd know our budget for food and wine far exceeds the cost of the backcountry campgrounds, and even the petrol for the trip. I think for two of us this year for a week, it was about $350 gas and $450 food/wine/beer. We eat well. :D And we usually have more time for food prep on a trip, and no microwave, so it's all the old fashioned way. Here's a few pics of camping, Roadie style. It's my college housemate and expedition partner Paul working his Blackberry on a rare time we had a signal, and reading the book with the odd title.

Merry Christmas to everybody also!

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User avatar
The Roadie
Founder
 
Posts: 5009
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:29 pm
Location: CA, Vista, San Diego County
Name: Bill Carton
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: GMC Envoy
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ G80
Rank: Expedition Guide


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