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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Bighorn-Nolina Canyon Loop Messages in this topic - RSS

Rocko1
Rocko1
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1/21/2019
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 138
I took the wife on her first backpacking trip Saturday. Based on Daren's recommendation-thank you!-we chose to go up Bighorn Canyon, camp one night and come back via Nolina Canyon. Daytime temp low 70's, night time low 40's. No wind, full moon at night and clear.

Parked at Pinyon/Nolina Wash Rd intersection and headed out toward Bighorn.


From the recent rains, the sand was nice and firm and the cactus/plants were looking very healthy.


Bighorn Canyon has some interested formations. It's an easy hike with the occasional minor rock hop.


As we got to the Blue Spring fork, we headed towards the guzzlers we started seeing many bones.


This unlucky sheep had been here sometime.


A baby sheep was also unlucky. This was not that old as the rotting smell was overpowering.


The guzzler tanks fed by the Blue Spring were full and water was pouring out of the top overflow port at a good pace. I filled up a 2L bag in a 90 seconds. Lots more bones scattered around the metal trough.


As it was getting dark we decided to forgo going to the spring and find a good campsite. Found a small semi-flat area away from any teetering rocks.


Dinner was a couple of MRE's my son had given us. I don't recommend the this particular choice-way too sweet.


In the morning I noticed something silver up on the side of the mountain-15 minutes later I found the culprit.

Climbed this to get the balloon.


Not a bad view from the balloon site.


Broke camp and started heading towards Nolina Canyon. I couldn't exactly see a definitive route so we just kept going up until we got to a saddle and could see down.
On the way up


Here is the transition-Bighorn on the left, Nolina on the right.



Getting to this point and down into Nolina was the only 'technical' part of the trip-not hard but loose scree and hands needed to scale some small parts.
To Nolina


Some nice prints from a decent size cat.



Both canyons have some very healthy Junipers.


As well as this Desert Apricot tree. This canyon really has some of the most flora I have seen in a while.



Nolina Canyon is much easier terrain and is a good exit route. Longer stretches of smooth sand. Also has many nice camp spots as well as side canyons that could be explored.

Some other pictures taken on the way back to the car.



Trip Stats


It was a great trip. Thanks again Daren for the help! My wife enjoyed the trip and other than wishing she had a more comfortable sleeping pad-it went great.

edited by Rocko1 on 1/22/2019
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 200


1/21/2019
Buford
Buford
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Glad it was a success. Only thing that looks wrong was the meal choice poke
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surfponto
surfponto
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1/22/2019
surfponto
surfponto
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Looks like a beautiful area.
How were the nighttime temperatures?

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/22/2019
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Glad that route worked out for you...millions of other choices for the next trip. Save the coyote brown spoons from the MRE, I'll take them..!!

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ziphius
ziphius
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1/23/2019
ziphius
ziphius
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Really nice trip report Rocko1. If that cap is the standard 1.25 diameter, then you have mountain lion tracks for sure. If you have an account on iNaturalist (or are interested) post those tracks, they will no doubt get 'Research Grade' status. It's an area of the county that mountain lion data is sorely-lacking. Glad your wife enjoyed the trip. - Jim

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rockhopper
rockhopper
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1/25/2019
rockhopper
rockhopper
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Great trip. Thanks for sharing. My wife's camping days are pretty much done ,unless it is near a hot spring. ;-o
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ziphius
ziphius
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1/25/2019
ziphius
ziphius
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Rocko1, in a pinch, a dollar bill or credit card makes a good ruler too!

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ziphius
ziphius
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1/25/2019
ziphius
ziphius
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Rocko, saw that you got some of your lion tracks up on iNaturalist, thanks, nice job. Your sighting from this trip currently is shown as two separate observations on iNaturalist. If these were from the same cat, it's customary to report it as a single observation. You can add multiple photos to an observation once created, and then delete any duplicate observations. Also, you were lucky enough to see other lion tracks in Cuyamaca and some folks are ready to provide a research grade status, but they need to know what the scale was: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/19864100 FYI, I go by jim_carretta on iNaturalist, welcome aboard.

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tekewin
tekewin
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1/26/2019
tekewin
tekewin
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Those are some nice bones! A great find. I am normally summit focused, but this trip would be worth it for bone hunting. That peak in between the canyons (3567') was dubbed Bighorn Canyon Peak by Richard Carey, so there's that.
Great set of prints, too. Lions and bones often go together.

I bought a case of MREs for an emergency a few years ago and stored them in my daughters closet, but she ate them all. She said they weren't bad.
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tommy750
tommy750
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1/28/2019
tommy750
tommy750
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Was out last year above Pinyon Wash about two miles east of Blue Spring and found a cache of four sheep remains, one still fairly pungent. Definitely a favorite area for the kitties.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/28/2019
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Rocko1 wrote:
tekewin wrote:

I bought a case of MREs for an emergency a few years ago and stored them in my daughters closet, but she ate them all. She said they weren't bad.
Thanks. I have had other MRE's that were not bad at all-this one was just so sugary and saucy I can't see how it's a main dish. Like a bottle of BBQ sauce, add more sugar and a few pieces of meat.
Heard from an insider (marine) that when you have to eat those things for 30 days straight, they all suck.

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ziphius
ziphius
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7/16/2019
ziphius
ziphius
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It turns out that the baby sheep in this thread is most likely a mule deer carcass. Based on the location, that's quite surprising, but not impossible. https://www.coyotelearning.org/post/why-being-wrong-is-important

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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7/16/2019
dsefcik
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When Tom and I were out at Blue Spring recently I definitely saw a baby deer carcass up under a Juniper.

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tommy750
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7/17/2019
tommy750
tommy750
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Here's the deer carcass I saw in Nolina downstream from the guzzler. Not sure if this is the same one you saw, Daren.

IMG_1714 by tomteske, on Flickr
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