The morning was windless, the air cool, the ocean relatively calm,
with 3 to 4 foot gentle swells. We paddled out about 2-1/2 to 3 miles from our
launch site. As we paddled we noticed that there was a "tour" boat out, so we
headed in that direction. As we got further out we noticed a whale spout.
Yippee! Whales! We felt privileged. A few more paddle strokes put us within
sounding distance from this whale...we could hear it's spray shooting into the
clear blue sky. We watched as the whale's back surfaced and resurfaced. We then
had a repeat from another whale after about ten minutes. Then, the grand prize
appeared! Our third sighting came, yet again ten minutes later. This time you
could not only hear the spouting, but you could actually hear the singing. We
felt so special! This whale must have realized just how much we appreciated its
talent for singing, because she decided to fluke (tail up)! Now that's special!!
January 2004 Kayaking at Santa Margarita Lake
The weather was cold (for us Southern Californians) at about 47 degree
air temperature and water in the 30's (?), but the sun was out so it didn't feel
as cold. If you haven't paddled here, it's a must in the off-season. We saw only
onesmall fishing boat and a few people standing around the launch area as we
left. We leisurely paddled along, following the shoreline. We spotted a couple
of deer just up from the water's edge. The quiet was amazing and the water very
calm, no wind. As we rounded our last bend, a bald eagle flew across the bow of
my kayak. He/she was carrying a very large fish in its talons. The eagle perched
himself high up on a dead tree limb. He sat there chowing down on this fish for
a very long time. We sat with binoculars, mesmerized by it's beauty. We were so
caught up in watching "our" bald eagle, that we forgot to get a photo. Oh wow,
but it's etched in our memory. On our return paddle to the launch, we spotted a
small herd of 9 deer grazing at the water's edge with dusk fast approaching.
Until next time...
High Sierra Backpack
We couldn't have ordered better conditions for this trip. The sun was shining,
although a little dimmer than normal due to the fire in the Sequoias. What did
we see? How about 9 lakes, glaciers, streams, meadows, deer, golden trout,
rainbow trout, and not many people. It was 5 days of bliss! Only a sprinkling of
rain one afternoon and a couple of afternoons of wind. The lake waters were not
freezing and the nights were almost warm. An A++ trip!! Can't wait for next
San Pasqual Mull
Hill July 8, 2002
The new trail section is quite nice. It's flat for about 3 miles &
then begins to climb. There is some shade for a short while, but then it's all
in the sun. The day was very warm, around 88, but there was at times a cool
breeze. We stopped about 2 or 3 miles short of the full trail and had lunch in
some shade, thanks to the kindness of some locals. We did come across persons on
bikes and horses, but we were the only hikers. We'll be going back for a
horseback ride and for a bike adventure. Hope to see you with us.
Backpack Mt. San Jacinto
Some comments heard throughout the weekend: What an adventure!
Fabulous view! We did it!! Are we there yet?? What's that smell? Did you see
those eyes glow?!? Where's my Sherpa? How do you use this thing(compass)? Box
north?? Join us in the High Sierras on July 30 and you too can have these
Spitler Peak Saturday,
May 25, 2002
We scored high again with this one. It's a wonderful trail with amazing views
from the saddle & even more from the peak. We saw no one on the trail until
about half way down. Some of us headed for the peak & some stayed in the saddle.
Those at the saddle saw some horseback riders pass by. There were many wild
flowers & lots of lizards, 1 garden snake & a ton of deer tracks. Saw some
bobcat scat & possibly fox scat. This one's definitely a keeper.>San
Gorgonio Wilderness - San Bernardino & San Bernardino East Peaks, Saturday, May
What an awesome 18 mile hike this was. The weather was perfect, except when we
were directly across from the North face and the wind was blowing. We estimate
the temperature dropped 30 degrees for a short time. Brrrr!! We headed up Forsee
Trail and ran into 3 people who were to meet some friends at Johns Meadow...they
missed the turn & had to go back down about 2 miles. The only other people we
saw were two guys up near San Bernardino East Peak. The temperature was mainly
in the high 60's, low 70's. We only saw trickles of water, but if backpacking
you could melt & boil snow for drinking water. The next water we came across,
and there was plenty, as at Johns Meadow. This is also where all the people
were. So if you want people, camp at Johns meadow, if you want solitude, camp
anywhere else. But in all seriousness, it looks like lack of water is going to
be a problem here this summer. Join us for our next hike on Saturday, May 25,
2002. Happy Trails!
Friday 4/26 to Sunday 4/28 Topock Gorge at the Colorado River...an awesome kayak
trip, but it was tough due to the head wind, 19 miles of it to be exact. The air
temperature was perfect, about 80. There was also a full moon for the weekend.
Call us about scheduling your group for this trip. If the wind blows too hard,
there are many other versions of the trip.
Next day hike is scheduled for May 11, Saturday, to San Bernardino Peak. It's a
long one, but a beautiful one. Call or e-mail us about it.
Sunday, April 14, saw us hiking in Pine Valley, Secret Canyon Trail. It was a
beautiful day in which we saw many wonders of nature; among them were minnows in
the creek, bluejays, woodpeckers, butterflies, bobcat, coyote, & fox scat, water
spiders, deer tracks, cow patties, California lavender, a vulture, a wild turkey
(way cool!), agave, sage, mint, pennywort, poison oak, lizards, crayfish shells,
and yes, a hugh rattlesnake! It was a wonderful, nature filled day. Hope you can
join us soon.
As usual, the Grand Canyon was awesome. The weather was absolutely perfect. The
rim was a little chilly at night, 25 to 29, brrrr!, but the bottom was up to 81,
ahhh! fabulous. We entered through the South Kaibab, spent two nights at Bright
Angel Campground. One day was spent hiking to Ribbon Falls and back. It's a
wonderful hike, with 1400 feet of gain in 6 miles, so not strenuous. The third
night was spent at Indian Gardens. The view of the Colorado River at the Plateau
Point really puts things in perspective. We hiked out with a full moon and
immediately headed to El Tovar for a stupendously scrumptuous breakfast. And
well deserved by all I might add. Hope to see you in our group next March. Dates
to follow shortly.
We'll be heading out to the Grand Canyon soon, March 25 (date change, Monday
instead of Sunday). There's still time to sign up for this 5 day 4 night trip.
If you've only seen the Grand Canyon from the rim, you haven't seen the "grand"
in Grand Canyon.
Joshua Tree: Ever been to Rattlesnake Canyon? Congures up images of rattlesnakes
right? Well, we were there in there off-season, the weather was brisk but not
cold. It was an awesome day of bouldering. Call to set up your trip to scope it
out before the weather heats up.
If you didn't make it out to Torrey Pines/LaJolla, you missed an awesome
experience. We hiked the Torrey Pines trails in the morning. The weather was
typical San Diego County, lots of sunshine with a cool ocean breeze. That was
February 10, 2002. After the hike we headed to LaJolla Cove to explore the sea
caves. Lunch was eaten on the beach and then the exploring began. The water was
very clear. We were able to see many schools of small fish. There was also a
sealion family sunning on the rocks by the caves. We thought we may have seen a
whale in the distance, but nothing up close and personal. It was a fabulous day!
Our most recent hike saw us in Joshua Tree. We had a special treat in that there
was snow on the ground. It was beautiful and cold (about 35-39 degrees). We were
also treated to a fabulous sunset over the snow covered San Jacinto Mountains.
Our next hike will see us at the back side of Palomar Mountain. Check the
schedule page for date.
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