Day 2 of Silver Lake

The roar of the waterfalls lulled me to sleep last night while I fretted about the bag of trash that Michael refused to take to the dumpster! He doesn’t want to waste a half full trash bag and I agree, but I don’t want a bear ripping out a side window to get to the garbage either. There are bear postings everywhere. I woke up to the sound of the waterfall roaring and a bear did not come a scavenging during the night!

Callie coughed again last night and we think it was because of the air conditioner. If that is the case, it could very well be asthma again as the default diagnosis for her ongoing health problems. She is feeling fine today and we went on a morning walk and she got to hang out on the picnic table and watch the ground squirrels argue about their territorial disputes, and the deer tiptoe ever so elegantly in search of food.

Silver Lake Resort RV Park is wonderful and we are very pleased with our location. Due to the overwhelming amount of water flooding out a lot of the campsites, only those with reservations can stay. We are going to move a couple miles down the road to a day use facility called: Aerie Crag- an original founder of the Lake site camping in 1916, that will be allowing RV’s to camp overnight. There will not be any hookups and I would be surprised if I will have phone service. We can bike into town everyday and I will post photos and write if I so desire. If it isn’t too hot, we may try to stay for at least 5 days or through the weekend. Because of the flooding everywhere, including Yosemite, campgrounds are filled up and reservations that were made a year ago, honored first. There are no first come first serve availability at this time.

We went on a bike ride this morning and are amazed at all the water. Silver Lake is filled to capacity and the overflow has flooded out neighborhood cabins and driveways. The California drought is officially over in this area. I bet there will be a huge mosquito problem in a couple of weeks if the temperature stays warm. There is a lot of stagnant water lying around and they are already starting to buzz around when I stop to take photographs. Wild Iris blooms are everywhere and the scent of sage and pine fill the air with a wonderful outdoor scent.

It will be another warm day and I hear it will hit 101 in Oceanside, California where Fred lives. It will be 86 here….


Badge of Honor

I am gaining much more respect for trail biking! I have bruises between my thighs from braking hard and jumping off of the seat in order to prevent myself from crashing. I have discovered that you cannot use your front brake when you hit deep sand because you will go over the handlebars lickity split! Fortunately for me, I have been a horse back rider all of my life, so the urge to bail before I get into trouble is an immediate reaction to the first sign of danger! One must know their limitations, and in most cases, I most certainly do. I haven’t taken a nasty fall yet, but can only imagine not if, but when. It seems totally inevitable, so I brought along bandages and my trusty bandana just in case I loose a limb, break an arm, or worse, sever an artery or vein and bleed to death. I imagine head bashing is another thing to worry about, so we both wear helmets. You can see where the younger generation does stump jumping and rock bouncing and they must be able to become totally air born. I won’t ever get to that level of sportsmanship, but I did go over an embankment and land in one piece and I consider myself lucky. You also have to lean back and straddle the saddle with your thighs when going downhill and into deep sand, and that is a talent I am very good at. I have always had powerful thighs and Michael can attest to that, so my thighs have been a big help to me. That is also the reason why I have bruises between my legs. When I am convinced I am going to crash, I jump down with both legs to keep from falling over! When I land hard, I stop myself by planting both feet firmly on the ground and this bangs the bike frame into my thighs. Better that then landing in a broken heap.  No shame in that! So, bruises between my legs at 61 years of age is a badge of honor, and I shall take it as a compliment to my level of skill at staying out of trouble. I am also having a little more difficulty with crossing my legs!:)

Callie woke up to birds singing and enjoyed watching them flit about outside the window. She loves RVing and I am so proud of her for being such a good sport. I made Michael a nice Father’s Day Breakfast and now that our bike ride is finished, we are going to have lunch and possibly walk into town for dinner tonight to celebrate. We may go to Lundy Canyon or Convict Lake tomorrow. Not sure which direction to go in as of yet, but staying out of the heat is a deciding factor. Fred made it safely home after a disastrous tire blow out near Indio and we hope he recovers from his big adventure as soon as possible. He attempted to travel with a fractured ankle and it was too much for him. Rest up Fred and get on that new awesome, Stumpjumper bike. 

Happy Father’s Day to all the good men out there raising children. The world needs good parents!

Henderson Canyon-ABDSP

Michael and I had a fabulous bike ride to Henderson Canyon this morning. The weather has cooled off and that is always a nice surprise. We didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and when we got to Henderson Canyon, we noticed that a new sign had been posted that read- Anza Borrego Desert State Park. I am so happy to see that the park has expanded and that this favorite bike ride of ours will be protected. This canyon is where I take photographs every springtime for the spectacular desert wildflower bloom. This particular spring we had a super bloom! It is famous world wide for sand verbena, dune primrose and sunflowers. Today I took photographs of a few stragglers that had found reason to bloom because of a storm that passed through last week; but these will be the last of the flowers until next spring. I am so heartened to see that this valley will remain wild and that no developement will destroy the beauty of the place. * 

* super bloom- be sure to check out stories and photos I uploaded during the super bloom as a comparison to now!

The Last of the Desert Wildflowers

It is with a heavy heart that I write about the last of the desert wildflowers. I understand that it is the story of the desert and the extremes of an arid climate, but it is still a dramatic and incredible feat of nature to witness the super bloom and I am sorry to see it fade. The caterpillars, wind and rising temperatures have been the doom of the blossoms and the seeds and pollen have been dispersed for yet another year. Anza Borrego Desert State Park is returning to normal, the crowds have moved on and the cry of a single Swainson’s Hawk fades in the distance. 

I Can’t Help Myself

The Anza Borrego Desert State Park Super bloom is just too grand for me to ignore. I can’t help myself for wanting to upload more photographs. It will be past its peak by the end of the week because of rising temperatures. Once it is gone, it will be gone…. I have to admit that the past 3 weeks have been a blur of activity and anticipation. To watch the desert bloom into such a profuse amount of wildflowers has been a gift to witness. I will always be grateful for having witnessed it first hand. It made living through the inferno of last summer all worth it.

Hiking Borrego Palm Canyon with Lara

My daughter Lara is visiting and taking a break from working on her dissertation and PhD program in physiology to play with me for several days. We got up at the crack of dawn and were the first car signing in to hike Borrego Palm Canyon. The sun was just starting to rise as the moon set in the west. You would not believe what a week makes in terms of the brittle brush and other blooming plants.  It appears that most every plant is blooming now and I have never seen so many visitors to Anza Borrego Desert State Park. I am proud of where I live. Park Rangers are assisting the crowds of people that have descended on our tiny community and helping them to experience optimal fun while enjoying the desert safely.  Lara and I had a wonderful hike and made it to the oasis. The temperature was mild and the lower portion of the hike shaded from the sun. We did not see any sheep on this hike but I know they were all around enjoying the beautiful day.

The Slot- Anza Borrego Desert State Park & Hawk Canyon

Michael, Fred and I got up at dawn to hike The Slot, a narrow siltstone canyon hiking trail before the day got too hot. You can locate the marker on Route 78 East if you are driving from Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs and turn left or (north) on a road marked Buttes Pass. It is a well maintained dirt road leading to the parking lot. The winding trail descends into the canyon below and as the trail gets narrower, the cliffs get taller. There are times along the trail where you have to turn sideways in order to squeeze through, hence the name, and it is a lovely, easy hike to the bottom. When we reached the canyon below, we saw wildflowers everywhere because of the recent rains and the Anza Borrego super-bloom and the view of the valley was quite spectacular. Heading back home along the dirt road, we sidetracked to Hawk Canyon and were not disappointed. Wildflowers were everywhere and it is a place that people can camp overnight.