Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Trip to the Mountains...

When we left this morning it was overcast and raining, so I didn't bother taking my camera.  That was a bad mistake on my part, as Cuyamaca and Laguna mountains were in bloom – flowers everywhere we went!  Bright red penstemmon were perhaps the most common flower we saw, and far more of them than we can recall ever seeing before in our mountains.

We started out by stopping for breakfast at the Descanso Junction Restaurant, where we both had a meal large enough to fuel us for the entire day.  After that, we headed north on Boulder Creek Road.  The creek was running higher than we've seen it before, and clear.  The ford's lower edge is shown at left – if you're familiar with the road, then you know that's much higher than normal.

We stopped there for perhaps 20 minutes, and I took a walk along the north side of the stream, upstream.  It was still drizzling, and the plants along the stream were wet, so I was soaked from my hips down.  I saw quite a few nice things along the way (below), and I came back smelling strongly of plant I walked through – not sage, but with a similar smell.

Then we drove on up to where the short cut to Eagle Peak Road branches from Boulder Creek Road, and took the shortcut.  This turned out to be a beautiful drive, full of wildflowers (especially monkeyflowers and a variety of cheerful, bright yellow wildflowers).  The streams all along the road were flowing higher than we've ever seen them.

Once we hit Eagle Peak Road, we headed north and saw something we never expected: a waterfall with water!  This is a fairly tall waterfall, 50 feet or more high.  There's a rough turnout where you can park and walk south along the bluffs for a great view.  The water was pouring over this falls, and in one spot the swiftly falling water was turned 90° to shoot out straight horizontally.  It's a most pleasant spot for a little sightseeing.

Then we kept on back up to Boulder Creek Road (where we bought some honey at a roadside honeybox), over the hump on Engineer Road to Cuyamaca Lake, then down the Sunrise Highway to the turn on to Pine Creek Road, down Noble canyon.  Along the way we had spectacular displays of many different wildflowers, most especially penstemmon, lupine, snow-on-the-mountain, and fireweed.  We also saw redbuds about to bloom – lots of them, right where we thought they'd all be permanently killed by the 2007 fires.  The wind had kicked up, gusting to 50 or 60 mph, and clouds were scudding by at this speed just over our heads.  This made for really interesting and fast-changing lighting effects that we greatly enjoyed. 

Here's our remaining crummy cell-camera photos...

1 comment:

  1. Really dig that you see so much of 'San Diego' that's missed...