Saturday, April 01, 2017

Hiking Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Hiking Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

It was early morning on March 18, 2017 when David, Mariya and myself decided to hike on Anza Borego Desert, 94 miles north east from San Diego. It has been quite foggy morning for last couple of weeks as the day temperature rises on San Diego . With the rise in temperature in pacific, water evaporates and marine layer explodes across few miles west from pacific coast. It’ s quite an experience like back in Nepal during November to March where it’s foggy and chilly but feel of freshness in the air.

I had never hiked in a desert but was quite excited when David says that we are going to Anza Borego national park.  I didn’t know where we were heading to hike  until I jumped in his car. I was so desperate to hike, the other day, I said to David , I am ready -  even without knowing where we were heading.
Driving through the misty and foggy san diego morning towards the Julian was fun. The morning was fresh and chilling,  - a san diego chills on between 50-60 Fahrenheit . As we drive further north west, the sun looks beautiful and the beautiful day was in horizon. What a beautiful day as we pass the San Diego and head towards the Julian. As we reach the Julian, the fog was gone. The day look awesome, cattles were grazing and people were flocking towards Borego National Park. How could NPR be so wrong ?

Anza Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) is a state park located within the Colorado Desert of southern California, United States. The park takes its name from 18th century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and borrego, the Spanish word for bighorn sheep.[1] With 600,000 acres (240,000 ha) that includes one-fifth of San Diego County, ABDSP is the largest state park in California and, after New York's Adirondack Park, the second largest in the contiguous United States. The park occupies eastern San Diego County and reaches into Imperial and Riverside counties, enveloping two communities: Borrego Springs (home of the park headquarters) and Shelter Valley [source : wikipedia]

I was listening  other day on NPR how difficult it was to park and how beautiful the desert looks after super bloom that happened in 2003 last time.  After nearly two hours we reached the Anza-Borrego, one part of the road reminded of curvy road back in the mountains of Nepal.The altitude was decreasing as we enter the desert, I had ear pain.

Due to the large amount of visitors to Borrego Springs, cellular data may not be available and we realized that our cell phone is literally dead for communication and for maps.The cars were all over the road. The hard work of law enforcement agencies were clearly visible as they try to manage the traffic. Before we started to walk, I drink water and ate a piece of cheese. That was really good cheese, and probably gave me the energy for the rest of the trail.

I saw the lizards for the first time, didn’t saw any rattlesnake. Missed the butterfly. The flowers were everywhere popping out of the different cactus. We met all types of hikers from young to old , from states to international. People were really enjoying the day in the middle of the desert.

As we climb the mountain - not truly a hill-station though, we saw different types of flowers blooming across the desert.After reaching the peak, we realized that we were hiking on the different trail and we are not going to see the water fall. But believe me, it was beautiful and was still in the right part of the Geography. Never mind, it was beautiful and awesome, the only thing we were missing in the desert were birds.

The second spot was slot. We had to drive further down. I had never been to slot but was quite an experience to imagine about flooding in slot when it rains.  As we walk in the slot, we saw the layered rocks and soils stacked up in multiple layers, often resemble as an art that have endless boundaries.It makes you feel to go back to the history when the rock started to settle. Oh ya! We really miss Geologist in our team who can explain the GEOG101 to us.

As we were driving back, It is  always fun to stop-by in Julian and eat pie’s and ice-cream. I realized that it was almost a ten miles hike and I really enjoyed it. Really excited for the another one soon.

Interesting can observe the super bloom from space Yaay!


Sunday, June 05, 2016

2015 - Conundrum of Nature


It was on early February I knew that I am moving to San Diego. When I started to share my new destiny , many people were not only amazed , but shocked and jealous. Poor me,I even don't know  what it means to me as i was driven by the immigration chaos , that hunted me for some time. Living in the small cities and small towns in mid west as a student and a professional were only the experiences I had in US. I had never been to San Diego but that's where I am living eternally now.

" San Diego is a city on the Pacific coast of California known for its beaches, parks and warm climate. Immense Balboa Park is the site of the world-famous San Diego Zoo, as well as numerous art galleries, artist studios, museums and gardens. A deep harbor is home to a large active naval fleet, with the USS Midway, an aircraft-carrier-turned-museum, open to the public"( encyclopedia). Interestingly if you drive around 20-30 minutes , you will reach so called Mountains -(weird, expecting more ramification of the word Mountain or wondering about the relativity the word ), Desert and the beautiful beaches,  the conundrum of nature that not only brings the excitement but also brings the chaos and deeper questions  on the epistemology of Geography - at least for a person like me who have little knowledge on history and geography. With the unique position in the Geography, from equator and west facing pacific ocean, Southern California's weather can only be compared to the handful of cities in the world.

When I arrived in San Diego in last week of February 2015,  The cold was  gone, nothing compared to heartland of America, Kansas City. What really amazed me was not only the beaches that I never had opportunity to grow with - (Nepal is a land locked Country) but mostly the terrains of up and downs resonates what  I used to see back in Nepal from my bed room. I was totally surprised to see the different floras that are similar to Nepal's terrain from Eucalyptus to Pine Trees and the beautiful flowers across the cities and highways.It is phenomenal to be the part of this beautiful nature.

The word Mountain in Southern California is pretty funny and skewed  - not only in the altitude but also the lack of floras and faunas. Although I was pretty uncomfortable on using the word mountains in the beginning because mountains  have a notion of snow capped mountains with thousands of meters in altitude, snow capped all year. I prefer to use the word hill stations.

Hiking in San Diego surrounding is fun. Point Loma is one of the favorite place where I have been many times. Cowles mountain is another beautiful hike from where you can see the Mexico ,  bay area and pacific. Hiking around the Torrey Pine beach is awesome as you see the beautiful beaches, blue ocean and insanely crazy surfers.

As the beaches expands more than 70 miles in San Diego County, Its always fascinating to go to the beaches - without hassles of parking and crowds.

During the year 2015, I had great opportunity to roam around the city, taste different foods - I would have never thought of , and hike many places. I am blessed to have this wonderful moments . Some of the restaurant I love were Sardina, Sushiya, Mimi and Koreans.

Its been more than a year , I am living in San Diego and life has never been so adventurous and full of joy with nature and awesome weather. What about your experience?