June 2017
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Highway 60 Tenacity

I drive under Highway 60 most mornings on my way to work. What has surprised me is the tenacity of this cactus growing on top of a concrete pillar. I know cactus like the desert and do not need much water. However, I think this guy has taken it to the extreme.

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Of course a closeup is helpful

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Mt. San Jacinto

It was time for the July Operation On-Target and due to a large fire that closed the trailhead that I normally use, I chose a different mountain. I also had the opportunity to take my nephew Corry along.

We started little later than I wanted so did not stop for lunch. We did stop at Subway for sandwiches for dinner. We arrived at the Palm Springs tramway, purchased our tickets and waited to head up the mountain.

Once we arrived at the upper tram station we headed down into the Long Valley and off to the rangers station to check in. That was something new as I am used to getting a permit and showing up at the trailhead. I guess with the tram they want people to check in and out to make sure no one gets lost and left out in the forest to fend for themselves.

After checking in we headed to the area where we were to camp for the evening. While hiking up the trail I asked Corry if he was hungry. He said that he was and that he thought we were stopping for lunch. I explained that we left after lunch and had I known that he did not have lunch I would have got something for him. Out came some nutrition bar and I let him know that he needed to eat so that we could move on. He needed the energy.

As we were hiking along several young people (early 20’s) passed us. The last person had a pinata attached to the back of their backpack. I was thinking, great, a youthful party in the wilderness with a pinata to smash as a highlight. Having not camped in Round Valley or Tamarack Valley for nearly 40 years, I could not remember how close the campsites were to each other. I was happy I brought earplugs.

We arrived at Round Valley to sign in on the grease board where we were going to camp for the night. I was happy to see the younger crowd in Round Valley as we were in Tamarack Valley. We stayed at the closed up Ranger Station in ROund Valley to eat our dinner.

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After we ate we headed to our campground. It was one of the furthest ones out. The ranger recommended two and the first one he recommended was taken so we took the second one he recommended. We arrived and set up camp among a grove of large trees.

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If you look closely you can see out tents being dwarfed by the large trees.

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There were a few wildflowers around camp so I took a picture using my phone.

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As evening was falling we played a few games of LCR which is short for Left, Center or right. It is a fun game when you have a few people to play with. For our purposes we added a player, Mr. Pinecone. We took turns rolling for Mr. Pinecone. The obvious challenge to us was that in this game of chance, Mr. Pinecone held his own and in fact won the most games out of the three of us.

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As night fell the sky was getting cloudy. When we awoke in the morning, there were several clouds in the sky. Operation On-Target requires sun to signal other mountain peaks so I was a little concerned. I thought, clouds or not, we will go to the top.

On the way up the trail, there were a few more wildflowers to take pictures of.

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We kept hiking towards Mt. San Jacinto. I could see the clouds slide over Jean Peak and drop as they moved in an easterly direction. The wind was also blowing in an easterly direction. I was thinking that is almost at tall as Mt. San Jacinto and there will be nothing to see up there.

We made our way to Wellmans Divide and looked out to a mass of clouds. Wellmans Divide is aobut 9,700 feet up. There was a lot of moisture in the air. I decided that we needed to take out our rain gear. As we donned the rain gear it began to lightly sprinkle. Corry was taking a video of the clouds as they moved towards us and past us.

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Then we heard thunder. A little more thunder. Then there was a flash and we counted, one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand and then the bang. Five seconds is for one mile so three is three fifths of a mile of about a half mile. I suggested that we try to get to the top of Mt. San Jacinto another day.

As we hiked back down the trail we got some mild rain. Lightning and thunder were very prevalent. You could hear a lot of thunder. A couple of times we saw the flash and only got to one one thousand before we heard the thunder.

As we made our way back to camp we saw a few people headed to the peak. As we made it back to Round Valley, we saw several people unprepared for the rain. We saw a broken pinata being carried out by a young group of people, not all of them in rain gear. It looks like their party was dampened.

We made it back to camp and packed up. We looked at the map and the trail right by where we camped looked like it lead back down to the Rangers Station. We took the trail. The rangers asked us who we had seen as we came back and we told them we came down a trial out of Tamarack Campground. We learned that the trail was the Sid Davis trail and it is not on the maps. Why, it is a little steep and not well defined. Of course I had no problem taking that path as I had taken it before in the snow with Jacob. A little water on the trail is whole lot easier than the snow.

I understand the concern of the ranger by looking at all the people getting off the tram and heading into the wilderness. Even as we were headed up to the tram station, people were purchasing cheap ponchos and raincoats at the gift shop to go explore the wilderness.

On our way down, the tram employee told us that the rain had let up and that there was a huge storm expected in a couple of hours. We that information, we know we made the best choice to get off the mountain. One could ask, how bad was the storm that was coming in? It was the same one that washed out the 10 freeway in the desert and caused flooding in other areas. Do not mess with mother nature when she is full of moisture.

The adventure was fun. It can be counted as a great trip, a learning experience and time in the outdoors.

Independence Day Thoughts

As I sat and listened to “Amazing Grace” by Condoleezza Rice and Jenny Oaks Baker I could not help think of the founding fathers and their belief in God. Their understanding of the importance of freedom as a God given principal. As the founding fathers were guided by the spirit and their wisdom, we have a nation that has grown and a land of people that have had freedom. As we pass through challenging times, it would seem that our nation needs to turn their eyes towards God rather than secularism and those things contrary to faith, hope and charity. Enjoy this rendition of Amazing Grace. Perhaps it will touch you as well.

One can only hope that people realize they are celebrating Independence Day and should be walking away from a government dependence lifestyle.

Regatta 2015

For the past six years the Riverside Community Sailing Program has hosted the Mayor and City Council Regatta for the City of Riverside. Today was year Seven. All went well. I only have two pictures of the event. I am tired and happy that it is over. It is time to rest and soon enough it will be time to prepare for year eight.

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Sailing with Emily

It was a warm day and I wanted to get out of the house. I looked and Emily and we thought about a walk. It was a little warm for that. How about sailing was the next thought. So it was off to the lake for a evening of sailing. The breeze was cool and it was a lot of fun.

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Sunflower

Every year I let a volunteer sunflower come up in the backyard. It grow about 8 feet tall and is covered with sunflowers. This year I let two come up. One grew up tall and the other one laid over in the parking area. The one that was close to the ground gave Elizabeth and I a chance to pick some sunflowers. We put them in a vase and then decided it was a good place for a picture.

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A Hot 102

Today was hot. As I was headed home two neighboring communities were at 104 degrees. Riverside only hit 102. I still did a little work in the garden tonight as the sun was setting. As for today, the chocolate ice cream after dinner was the highlight. As for tomorrow, the forecast is for 90 degrees and a 40 percent chance of showers. I think I would rather have the 102 than rain and 90. Either way there is ice cream left for tomorrow.

Hazy Hike - Operation On Target Workshop

Today I took a little time to hike up to high point on Box Springs Mountains to flash a mirror at some Varsity Scouts that were at the Operation On Target workshop. Each one of the youth got to make their own signal mirror.

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The Scouts successfully signaled me on the mountain. I did not have a camera to record their flashes. However, I saw a lot of flashes.

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They had a camera and recorded my flash.

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As I was on Box Springs Mountain, I took time to look at Mt San Gorgonio off in the distance. I need to bet out and exercise more so I am prepared to get up to that peak on the third Saturday in July. The mountain barely shows through the haze.

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A Bear of a Good Hike

Last year in the month of May I hiked almost 90 miles. This year in the month of may I cot close to 20 with this hike. It was tough as I was not in shape. We started out early leaving the house at 5:00. We were at the trailhead of the San Bernardino trail at 6:00. There was a group of Boy Scout sleeping in the parking lot when we got there.

The hike up the first part of the trail is a little steep and has several switchbacks. I found myself chasing my daughter Emily and her friend Michael. Emily was out front leading the way.

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As we got further up the trail I noticed a tree stump that as freshly torn up. I was going to show Emily and Michael the tree stump. However they were about 100 feet in front of my and I was breathing too hard to feel like garnering their attention. I just keep up the pace trying to stay up with them.

We came around another switchback and headed up the trail further. Emily was out in from of Michael by about 20 feet. I was about 40 feet behind Michael. All of a sudden Emily stopped, turned, had eyes as big a saucers and said, “Dad, it is a bear”. I hustled up the trail and sure enough there was a black bear off in the distance slowly making its way through the woods. It looks like it had been stirring up the pine needles about 50 feet off the trail where Emily saw him.

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There was not enough time to get the camera out an get a picture of the bear in the distance. We just got the picture of where he was. We hiked on. However, Emily did not get out in front as far. She stayed closer. She had never seen a bear before. She told us the reason she called for me is because I had hiking sticks. What on earth am I going to do with a pair of lightweight aluminum hiking sticks when it comes to a bear?

As for bears, if you treat them well, they do not bother you. If you do not treat them well or take the proper precautions, it causes a problem. Nothing like a good cartoon used with the creators permission to give bears a point of view. www.raesidecartoon.com

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We hiked on and fairly soon Michel spotted a deer. It was a buck in the distance. (lower right corner area of the picture.)

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We continued our way up the San Bernardino trail. We realized that we were not going to make it to the peak before we had to turn around so that Emily could go to work. We ate lunch and then traveled up the trail to Limber Pine Bench to take in the view.

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It was a little hazy. However, I though it would be a cool place to camp as you can look out towards all the city lights once night falls. Further up the mountain behind us was some large patches of snow. We will have probably missed our last chance this year to play in the snow on this mountain.

We headed back down the trail, headed to A&W Root Beer for a root beer freeze and as planned, an afternoon nap. Overall, it was a berry good hike. I just need to get in more miles as in July, I will need to make it to the top of San Gorgonio.

Flower on a Mountain

Took a little walk tonight looking for the sunset. On the way up Mt. Rubidoux, I came across a nice flower.

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I hiked a little further and I happened upon another one of natures beautiful creations.

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I bet she would say that she is a princess if you ask her. The princess of the mountain.

Where is the Princess

Elizabeth and I got to spend some time together today. We were in the back yard doing yard work when I thought, Elizabeth may want something different to do. I went to the garage and got out the log cabin tote and sat down with her and played for a while.

I remember building cabins and forts when I was a kid with log toys. Cowboys and Indians was a big thing. As we were older we were making guns from 3/4″ pine and running around the yard playing cowboys and Indians.

As for the year 2015, when Elizabeth found and Indian Chief in the tub of log toys, her first question was, “Where is the Princess”. I would guess her point of reference is one too many Disney movies or cartoons.

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Then again, in today’s world, we need happiness and princesses.

Happy Mothers Day

It is a good day to wish mom Happy Mothers Day. She raised four boys and survived. Her boys survived as well. For the boys there was a few car crashes. Jumping off the roof of the garage into the pool. Sighting of rifles from the kitchen down the long hall. Yes, one of the boys was sighting his 22 using 22 shorts in the house. Chasing birds with a bow and arrow in the front yard. Boys coming home late. The list probably goes on. (I know it does).

So a wishing mom a Wonderful Happy Mothers Day.

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Route 395 - A Place to Drive

This weekend was the 2015 Show and Go. Tradition is to walk from home a couple of blocks to to where the Show and Go is every year. We then walk to Carl’s, which is on the route, for lunch. Today the choice was Clark’s Nutrition for and ice cream sandwich. I just thought I would throw a few picture from the Show and Go up on the blog. There were a lot of entries. I would say better than one hundred. As for Route 395, the signs showed up on the poles in the last couple of days. Nothing wrong with having signs for the Historic Route 395 downtown.

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This year was the first year I saw some tractors at the Show and Go. I thought I would get a picture of one of those as well.

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The Animals

We let Elizabeth know that we were going to see some turkeys, chickens and lamas also known as the animals at my brothers house. She was excited to see them. However, when she actually saw them, she treated them like aliens. then again, how often to young children come face to face with large feathered of furry friends. We walked past the chickens. She was not to excited about them.

It was off to the lamas. now those were big animals and Elizabeth found comfort in mom’s arms. Of course that did not stop the lama from wanting to say good afternoon.

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Curiously they do not lick you. They just smell you. She warmed up a little when she could hold a branch and the lama began eating the leaves off the branch.

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We then went back passed the chickens. This time she was handed a scoop of chicken feed. Se really enjoyed feeding the chickens. It was fun to watch her walk around and toss some chicken feed out while being followed by the chickens.

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Joseph's Coat

Several years ago I planted a climbing rose along the fence in the backyard. The years I take more care in pruning it during the winter, the showier it is in the spring. Of course, the name of the rose plant is Joseph’s Coat. The flowers change their color through the progression of each blooms life cycle.

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As for the yearly volunteer sunflower, it is well flowered as well.

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