Desert season, well winter is a great time to get out and enjoy the California Desert. Although it is much more enjoyable than the summer the winter in the desert can come with its own unique challenges. With cooler temperatures, high winds and the possibility of flash flooding due to the heavy rains in the mountains there is still a lot to factor. Luckily though this trip I didn’t have to factor to much since my buddy Lance planned the trip and we had an awesome time!
Steph and I packed up later in the morning after knocking out some KFO stuff and headed out in the Jeep. For San Dieagans heading to the desert there is basically two routes. Highway 8 east which is quick and pretty easy or going up the Highway 67 and then taking whatever route suites you. I suggest the 67 for two reasons, first I live in Ramona and while it is a mountain road the view is great you can stop in Ramona which is the last real sized town and get gas, something to eat, fire wood ice etc. second the Ramona route gives you a few more options for where you come pout at and where you might camp. Another upside especially this trip the 8 and a lot of other roads were closed due to the snow fall. This was an unusually heavy year with snow coming down to two thousand feet and while it was absolutely gorgeous the roads were closed or required chains plus they would be full of people trying to make a day trip of it. Lucky for us a left at Santa Ysabel and down the S2 we dodged the Julian snow/pie traffic. It was one of the lower passes and pretty popular with the RV crowd so we enjoyed a little longer but more enjoyable trip through East San Diego County.
When we arrived at the trail head at Dos Cabezas we still had cell reception which was pretty nice and called into the crew, it is always nice when the crew can meet right away. And we were off up the truck trail and to find a camp spot. Anza Borrego State Park is one of my favorites and the fact that you can camp almost anywhere as long as you use a metal fire pit is awesome. We drove up to the “abandoned” railway and did a little four wheeling and exploring before deciding on camping by the old trestle.
Now here is where we really lucked out… the gang from Flatpit was on hand to give us a pretty amazing cooking demonstration on their packable overland grills. I don’t even like mushrooms but their jalapeño cheddar portabellas where on point! The camp fire was cooking and music playing well into evening. The following morning they didn’t disappoint with a mountain of fresh hash browns and silver dollar pancakes.
One of the best parts of the trip was having Lance and his wealth of knowledge about the local area and its history. I learned more in an afternoon than I have in years (more adventures to come based off of this). Another high light was Lance breaking out his knapping kit (like making primitive knives and arrowheads) and gave us a class, keeping me busy all afternoon. Side note while I was busy learning to make arrow heads I wasn’t busy putting on sunscreen and it is in fact very possible to get a sun burn in the winter. It was a straight up arts and crafts day, we had Gus carving some awesome spoons and James picking up all of these skills and knocking them out like a natural.
I think the wives where pretty happy as we left them alone for the most part and no one had to get rushed to the hospital. Major shout out to Steph and Jenn for doing the supply run. The relative close location to a pave road made it easy for people to roll out and go as they pleased so we had a steady flow of new friends all weekend!
While I am definitely trying to get up to the snow this weekend, I will suggest everyone tries to get out to the desert this winter and enjoy it while the enjoying is good. It was super green and you could see the snow topped Lagunas in the background. Even though it is not spring a lot of flowers where beginning to bloom and it was great to walk around. This year is supposed to be another super bloom but I would really suggest getting out early and beating the crowds. Definitely go out now before the bloom and enjoy it now then get the pictures later haha.
We had a great weekend and a great time putting together this story, hopefully you enjoyed it as well. We look forward to the next tale of weekend adventure and hope to run into you out there one day. Until then let’s Get The Fox Out There!