Saturday morning on February 26th, 2005, looked overcast and gloomy so the boys and I decided to do a little road trip out into the San Diego backcountry in search of some sunshine. We were not disappointed. We drove out Highway 78 a couple of hours through the rustic old-timer style community of Julian and down into the Anza Borrego Desert. Part of the trip would be to scout a campsite and the following weekend and the rest of the trip would dedicated to hiking and goofing off.
Our first stop was at the Tamarisk Grove Campground in the Anza Borrego Desert Park. After we snooped out the best stops for the following weekend we took a fairly short but rugged hike on a nearby trail called the Catcus Loop trail.
While along the hike we got to see a truly remarkable site, Some other hikers noticed a group of Peninsula Bighorn Sheep foraging along the steep canyon walls above us. These animals are on the endangered species list so seeing this really a treat. Any addition to just seeing them we got to see two of the rams doing some head butting. They are really hard to see when they are not moving and even hard to pick on the pictures. I have doctored up a coup of these photos to help you see them better.
After we completed out hike we solicated some information from a park ranger on where we could best see the blooming wildflowers that the Anza Borrego Desert is famous for having an amazing show of nature for just a few short weeks every spring. The heavy rains that we have been getting over the record winter have made for some incredibly lush flora.
Some close up shots of the Desert Floor Show
The boys out in the fields of wildflowers
I'll shut up now as these pictures are worth a thousand words, but they still do not fully do them justice.
After we had our fill of the desert floor flowers we grabbed a bit in the small town of Borrego Springs and then heading up through the mountains along a small mountain road called Montezuma Way. We stopped once up on a plateau and hiked down a four-wheel drive road called the Jasper Trail. We did some walking, talking, and rock scrambling, before heading back to the trailhead. On the way back I got to have a really good discussion with the boys about being quite and walking lightly while on in nature so you can see more critters. We had nearly 15 minutes of walking time were we just quietly walked and looked. I can't think of the last time they were that quite for that long when they weren't asleep or in a timeout.
We logged in just over 200 miles for the day and quite a few hours of quality time.