Category Archives: Boy Scout Troop 985 Adventures

Desert Camping in Anza Borrego

Annotated pano am

My last post on my blog was 2 years ago, and I am hoping to start writing and posting again.  What better way to get things going than a report on a Boy Scout camp out?

Troop 985 headed out on our first camping adventure of the season this last weekend.  We traveled out to the Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves in the Anza Borrego desert, to explore parts of one the largest mud cave systems in the world.  This is an annual trip for our troop, and one of the boys’ favorites.  Lots of climbing, crawling, sliding, and jumping, plus plenty of dust and dirt.  What more could you ask for?

Mr. R. is our Moses, he leads us into the desert.  Below is a picture of his beloved Jeep, with Mr. R. at the wheel.  This is actually a close view of his Jeep, usually he floors it once we hit the dirt roads and I have to look for his dust trail to figure out where he is.

Jose.jeep

Following Mr. R’s Jeep out into the wild.

After we arrived and set up camp we headed out with head lamps and bandanas to explore some caves.  The caves are formed by rainfall percolating down through the mud hills that are common in this area.

Group at start

Our intrepid group on the way to explore the mud caves.

Sam into cave

The entrances to the caves can be hard to find, you need to keep an eye out for openings in the walls of the canyons.

Caves

Inside the caves it can be totally enclosed and very dark, and then suddenly it opens up into skylights or short open slot canyons. The walls are fascinating, with swirling rock layers and embedded stones.

Playing palace

Not all the scouts went into every cave. Some chose to play cards and hang out while their fellow scouts wandered in the darkness.

Joey and dog

While we were exploring we came upon a couple and their little dog Max. He had his own flashlight (the red bit around his neck), and was also a cave explorer!

Adventurer scouts

This is our group of adventurer scouts, who set off to explore the depths of Hidden Cave, which is conveniently located right where we camped.

Mo and Sam

Sam and me at our campsite. In the backgroud between our heads you can see the entrance to a large mud cave. The mud hills extend up to either side, and make a beautiful contrast with the blue sky.

Boys on cliffside

This photo gives an idea of the size of the cliffs above our campsite. The boys had a great time scrambling up and down them, and found perches in the most unexpected places.

Moonrise over hill

Later that night while we were enjoying the campfire, the moon rose over the cliffs and it was so bright we felt like we could play catch. Took this while leaning the camera on Mr. V’s awesome truck. We bring out some fairly heavy patrol boxes for the boys to cook with, and we are always grateful for parents with big, awesome trucks!

Group in am

Here is our gang the next morning, finishing up breakfast. On our way out of the desert we stopped to hike a slot canyon.

Start slot canyon

The start of the slot canyon.

Slot canyon

Heading further in.

Mo slot canyon.2

Me in one of the narrower spots in the canyon.

Top of mesa

The canyon eventually led to the top of a mesa…

Mesa top

…and a beautiful view!

Geology and Mr. R.

On the drive out we stopped so Mr. R. could point out some cool geology. Look at how those rock layers are buckled and twisted.

Mo's subby

This is me giving the thumbs up after traversing a tricky spot on the road out. Only bottomed out once, though it was a good thump. I love my Subey!

Well, another Boy Scout adventure under our belts.  Had a great time getting out camping again with the troop, and we are looking forward to further outings soon!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Palindrome of Scouts

Palidrome header

A few weeks ago a small group of scouts (only 5!) from our troop, along with 4 adults, headed out for an overnight backpacking trip to Agua Caliente Creek.   We noticed that we could make a palindrome of the boys’ names, with Evan in the middle (a word palindrome for the grammarians out there, I realize Evan would have to be Eve for it to be a true palindrome).  So that meant we had a palindrome of scouts.  I know that scouts usually come in troops, along with apes, baboons, buffalo, gorillas, kangaroos, and monkeys, but for this post a palindrome of scouts they shall be.  I’m not sure the official namers of groups of things, the same squad that came up with a murder of crows, a flamboyance of flamingos, a congregation of alligators, a flutter of butterflies, a wake of buzzards, a pounce of cats, a romp of otters, a zeal of zebras, a wisdom of wombats, a hover of trout, a scurry of squirrels, a parliament of rooks, a prickle of porcupines, a pandemonium of parrots, an implausibility of gnus, and a bellowing of bullfinches would agree with my categorizing them as such, but it’s my blog, so it’s my rules.  (For a more complete listing of animal group names (yes, there are more!), ask The Almighty Guru.)

So off we set.  Mo, Rob, Zek, Michelle, and our palindrome of scouts shouldered our packs and hit the Pacific Crest Trail, just past the small town of Warner Springs, California.  We hiked north 3.6 miles to a charming little grove of trees nestled alongside a creek.  We had great weather for our hike (overcast and cool).  There isn’t much shade along the trail until you hit the creek, so this was perfect weather as far as we were concerned.

We arrived mid-morning, and didn’t have much of an agenda for the rest of the day.  The boys climbed, prowled, dug, played, splashed, caught, released, and sang the afternoon away.  The adults waved to hikers heading to Canada on the PCT, read our books, chatted, and every now and then did a head count.  Usually we knew where everyone was.  It was a great trip.  Check out my photos (double click on them to get a close up view), and videos.  Here are a few final thoughts to send you on your way…

Now ere we nine were held idle here, we nine were won.

A man, a plan, a canal — Panama

 May a moody baby doom a yam?

Caption

Hiking in on a cool Saturday morning.  The first mile or so runs through golden meadows dotted by oak trees.  The boys are pointing out the Pacific Crest Trail marker.

Hiking in.2

Zek and  Michelle, the happy backpacking couple.  Sam and Matthew, the dramatic backpacking pair.  As the trail climbed, we moved into bushy, rocky terrain.  I love manzanita trees with their rich, red bark.  We also saw lots of moss and lichen, and came up with a mnemonic device to remember what a lichen is made up of.  “Hi, I’m algae, and I lichen fungi”, since a lichen is a composite organism made up of symbiotic algae and fungi.  In case you were wondering.

Aqua Caliente Creek

Two views of the tranquil Agua Caliente creek.  It burbled and babbled, just like a good creek should.  It was full of frogs and bugs and plants, and eventually Boy Scouts.

Caption

The view we saw on our way out.  Lovely flowers by the creek.  A gurgling mini waterfall.  Boys in a tree.

Caption

What do free range boys do when they are released into the wild?  Play cards and slam pixie sticks.  Create a city in the sand.  Catch frogs.  Release frogs.  Finally, make a super delicious dinner with Jet Boils and Mountain House.

Caption

Remember earlier how I said the creek was eventually full of Boy Scouts?  First they fell in and got their feet wet.  Then Evan fell all the way in.  We built a small fire and dried pants, boots, and socks on a rotisserie made from Rob’s hiking poles and a stick.  The fire was nice to hang out by after dark.

Caption

We were up in the morning and on the trail early, heading back to San Diego.  Overall I think the trip was – wait for it – FUN E NUF!  Oh yeah, got in one last palindrome!

Check out these videos below from our trip.

The Great Frog Release

Agua Caliente Creek

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Wind, wind, wind, wind, some pictographs, wind, wind, and wind

Wind.header

Apparently I have been living under the mistaken impression that when camping in the Anza Borrego Desert in the fall and winter, the weather is pretty cooperative.  We have had a few showers here and there, but in general, we have not been assaulted by the forces of nature on trips with Sam’s Boy Scout troop.  This era has now come to an end for me.  A few weeks ago we headed out on our annual troop trip to Dos Cabezas, a primitive camping site near the town of Ocotillo.  The lack of facilities doesn’t bother me.  I can always find a bush or friendly rock to hide behind.  What does bother me, it turns out, is hours and hours of gusting winds.

Not that the trip was no fun.  The kids had a tremendous time clambering over the boulder strewn hills surrounding our campsite.  We had a great hike to the Mortero palm tree grove, we explored the ruins of the old San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railroad Company train station, and we saw the “Horse and Rider” pictograph in Piedras Grandes (believed to be one of the first of early Spanish Explorers in the area) and another set of really striking pictographs at Indian Hills.  There were flowers in bloom in the desert (see my previous post Desert Flowers in Anza Borrego), and the clouds cleared up at night in time to enjoy a beautiful sky full of stars.

That being said…the wind really was blowing hard.  One tent came loose and was blown 30 feet in the air, and a few others lost poles and suffered tears.  Many people slept in cars.  I slept in a car with 3 children.  We had trouble keeping the stoves lit, and while we were cooking dinner someone had to stand by holding various things down, since anything left unattended became airborne.  And just the feeling of having strong winds knocking you around for 24 hours is kind of exhausting.

But we are a resilient group, and despite the challenging conditions we spent lots of time chatting and laughing, and then cleaning the grit out of our teeth.  We had four boys complete their First Class cooking requirements, and the scouts did a great job of cooking and cleaning together as a team.  And we were graced with the presence of not just one, but two Scoutmasters Emeriti.  I am glad we went, but I am hoping for balmier conditions next time we venture east!

Click on photos to enlarge

When we arrived at the site around 9:30, there was enough wind that we decided not to set up tents yet.  The boys clambered on the boulder strew hillsides and explored for a few hours.

When we arrived at the site around 9:30, there was enough wind that we decided not to set up tents yet. The boys clambered on the boulder strew hillsides and explored for a few hours.

JD and I had fun with the panorama setting on my camera.  He ran behind me while I panned so he could be in the picture twice.

JD and I had fun with the panorama setting on my camera. He ran behind me while I panned so he could be in the picture twice.

After lunch we set off of the Motero Palm oasis.  The hike up the palms is  very pretty, though I forget how steep some parts are.

After lunch we set off to the Motero palm oasis. The hike up to the palms is very pretty, though I forget how steep some parts are.

The palms are a great place to hang out.  The trees all have skirts of dried fronds, and a large fallen palm makes a terrific bridge.  Amy found a nice comfy rock chair to while away a few hours in.

The palms are a great place to hang out. The trees all have skirts of dried fronds, and a large fallen palm makes a terrific bridge. Amy found a nice comfy rock chair to while away a few hours in.

More palm oasis fun.

More palm oasis fun.

The canyon continues to rise up at the back of the palm oasis.  There is a beautiful view down to the desert floor.

The canyon continues to rise up at the back of the palm oasis. There is a beautiful view down to the desert floor.

The desert was pretty green (for a desert), and I loved the way the plants dotted the walls.  It reminded me a hanging gardens.

The desert was pretty green (for a desert), and I loved the way the plants dotted the walls. It reminded me hanging gardens.

On the hike down Emma found some moteros (grinding holes created by Native Americans), and an old cattle watering trough.  She is pretending to wash up with some rock soap.

On the hike down Emma found some morteros (grinding holes created by Native Americans), and an old cattle watering trough. She is pretending to wash up with some rock soap.

Two of our recent Eagle scouts.  We will miss them when they head off to college next year!

Two of our recent Eagle scouts. We will miss them when they head off to college next year!

Some desert plants.  The bushes on the top were like a fairy tale spooky forest, though on a much smaller scale.

Desert plants. The bushes on the top were like a fairy tale spooky forest, though on a much smaller scale.  Bonsai shrub and wildflowers.

From the palms we headed to the abandoned railroad station.  This water tower is always a great sight, though I was sad that the sky was not blue this year.  The rusty brown against a sunny sky is very striking.

We left the palms and headed to the abandoned railroad station. This water tower is always a great sight, though I was sad that the sky was not blue this year. The rusty brown against a sunny sky is very striking.

Mikey either rescuing Irvan or attempting to tie him to the railroad tracks.  Andrew is neutral, like Switzerland.

Mikey is either rescuing Irvan or attempting to tie him to the railroad tracks. Andrew is neutral, like Switzerland.

Sam and JD having a race along the tracks.  I was tempted to push them over, but opted for taking their picture.

Sam and JD having a race along the tracks. I was tempted to push them over, but opted for taking their picture instead.

Mr. S. in the "Instant Scoutmaster Machine."  Unfortunately, no one had a quarter to activate him.

Mr. S. in the “Instant Scoutmaster Machine.” Unfortunately, no one had a quarter to activate him.

Sam, Matthew, and desert graffiti.

Sam, Matthew, and desert graffiti.

Next up, a walk to see a set of petroglyphs believed to be the first depiction by native people of a man on horse back.  Here we are heading out.  Though it looks pretty level, it is actually a pretty consistent uphill slog.  In deep soft sand.  With a brisk headwind.  Did I mention the wind?

Next up, a hike to see a set of petroglyphs believed to be the first depiction by native people of a man on horseback. Though it looks pretty level, it is actually a pretty consistent uphill slog. In deep soft sand. With a brisk headwind. Did I mention there was wind?

The petroglyphs are pretty faded, though there is a sign showing what you are supposed to be seeing.  Stevie is complaining that I keep taking his picture.  Don't sit on a rock like the cutest little Buddha in the world, and then I won't Stevie!  It's as simple as that.

The petroglyphs are pretty faded, though there is a sign showing what you are supposed to be seeing. Stevie is complaining that I keep taking his picture. Don’t sit on a rock like the cutest little Buddha in the world, and then I won’t Stevie! It’s as simple as that.

The conditions were challenging, but the scenery was lovely.

The conditions were challenging, but the scenery was easy on the eyes.

At the trail head, waiting to head back to camp.  The boys are playing a game to see how long they could balance on the poles before wind gusts knocked them off.

At the trail head, waiting to head back to camp. The boys are playing a game to see how long they can balance on the poles before a wind gust knocks them off.

Morning at camp.  After I crawled out of the car, I saw lots of dark clouds.  We busted our butts to get the tents down and get breakfast started.  It never rained, but the clouds did liven up the sky!

Morning at camp. After I crawled out of the car, I saw lots of dark clouds. We busted our butts to get the tents down and get breakfast started. It never rained, but the clouds did liven up the sky!

The "Old Guard" of our troop.  These guys have been mainstays for years, and we hope they continue to come out with us.  We need Mr. H. to tell us where to turn!

The “Old Guard” of our troop. These guys have been mainstays for years, and we hope they continue to come out with us. We need Mr. H. to tell us where to turn!

The last stop on our desert trip was to see another set of petroglyphs.  These were spectacular.  They were painted on a cave in a large grouping of boulders that rose up from the desert floor.  Native tribes obviously spent a lot of time in the area, it must have been a comfy winter home.

The last stop on our desert trip was to see another set of petroglyphs. These were spectacular. They were painted on a cave in a large grouping of rocks and boulders that rose up from the desert floor. Native tribes obviously spent a lot of time in the area, it must have been a comfy winter home.

A long view out from the rock pile.  A short view of multicolored boulders.

A long view out from the rock pile. A short view of multicolored boulders.

On our way in and out we crossed the rail road tracks again.

On our way in and out we crossed the rail road tracks again.

Our scouts at the end of another great trip.

Our scouts at the end of another great trip.

Me and my Sam.

Mother, daughter (if you squint you can see her behind me in the pink), and son.

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Desert Flowers in Anza Borrego

Flowers.header

I was in the Anza Borrego Desert this past weekend with Sam and his Boy Scout troop.  A detailed post on the fun that was had by all is soon to follow.  This post is a collection of flower photos I took.  Lots of plants were blooming, from large lupine to tiny little I don’t know whats tucked under rocks or dug into the sand.  We have had a few nice storms, though not enough to break the drought, so there was some green out there, more than we have seen in the past.  As always, the persistence of life under such adverse conditions is amazing.

Cactus flower

Cactus just starting to bloom.

Cactus almost blooming

In about a week this will look like a very prickly bouquet.

Clustered yellow flowers

A small cluster of yellow flowers poking up out of the sand.

Delicate yellow

This looked like wild parsley. Tony liked the delicate composite flowers.

Lupine.2

Lovely lupine was all over in the desert washes.

Lupine

Close up of lupine.

Ocitillo

The ocotillo was just starting to bloom. In the winter these look like bunches of dead sticks. In spring they get small green leaves along the length of the branches, and then bright red flowers bloom from the tips.

Pink flower

Really pretty pink trumpety flowers blooming in amongst the boulders.

Purple flower

Tiny purple flower hiding under a big rock.

Tall yellow flowers

These flowers are all blooming from a big round plant. They look like a field of daisies.

Yellow flower.desert floor

I am christening this the desert dandelion. If I was more motivated, I would try to identify these plants. For now, I am just enjoying them…

                 

 

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I Walked on an Ancient Sea Bed, and Didn’t Even Get My Feet Wet

At one point on our hike, we climbed up a cliff that was once the bed of an ancient sea.  The ground was littered with invertebrate fossils.

At one point the ground was littered with fossils, lying on the bed of an ancient sea.

Fall has returned to San Diego, and that means the season for desert camping in the Anza Borrego Desert has also returned.  On our latest adventure with Sam’s Boy Scout troop, 27 boys and parents set off on an overnight backpacking excursion to the Domelands in the Coyote Mountains Wilderness.  The hike in was 5 miles (we went the long way and had a lovely walk through desert washes and along ridge lines), while the hike out was a leisurely 3 mile trek.

Our destination was the New Wind Caves, which are ancient fossilized sand dunes that rise up from the desert floor.  Wind and water have carved out caves of all sizes, some large enough to sleep a dozen scouts!  Our troop calls this trip the New Wind Caves, to distinguish it from the Wind Caves, another area we camp at nearby (see my post A Desert Sunset, Moonrise, Moonset, and Sunrise).

Besides being a beautiful desert and badland landscape, this area is renowned for the many fossils that can be seen, literally littering the ground.  About 5 million years ago what is now desert was covered by the warm, tropical Imperial Sea, which was full of abundant and diverse marine life.  By about 1 million years ago, after the sea disappeared, the land was dotted with lake, grassland, and stream environments.

The Domelands are an amazing place to observe the remnants of this life, though collecting is prohibited.  Some of the fossils we saw were cemented into fossilized reefs, while others, such as sand dollars the size of your palm and other invertebrates like oysters, scallops, clams, snails, mussels, and sea biscuits, were scattered loose on the ground or embedded in sandstone.   A photo gallery of our trip is below, full of inspiring views, astounding fossils, tenacious plant life, and adorable Boy Scouts.  And some crusty parents too!  Click on the photos to get a better view.

Our group of 17 scouts and 10 adults looking fresh.  Not for long.

Our group of scouts and adults looking fresh. Not for long.

A line of hikers heading into the desert.

A line of hikers heading into the desert.  Our packs are full of delicious snacks and refreshing water, while our eyes are full of panoramic views of the surrounding desert.

We continue our trek.  Some desert plant life, which survives with almost no rainfall.

We continue our trek. Plant life in the desert, which can survive with almost no rainfall, has my undying respect and admiration.

Down in the washes and canyons we began to find our first evidence of fossils.  On the top is a fossilized reef, while boys hold fossil clams and oysters.

Down in the washes and canyons we began to find our first evidence of fossils. On the top is a fossilized reef, while boys hold fossil clams and oysters they found on the ground.

After heading down washes for awhile, our fearless leaders decided we needed head up, so we did.  We scurried up a loose hillside, the kind where it is a good idea to keep going forward so you don't start slipping down!  Oysters anyone?

After heading down washes for awhile, our fearless leaders decided we needed head up, so we did. We scurried up a loose hillside, the kind where it is a good idea to keep going forward so you don’t start slipping back down!  There was a nice breeze and great view at the top.  Oysters anyone?

Rest stop

After several hours of hiking we found a nice little rest stop, complete with fossils (of course!), caves, and even some patches of shade. We rested, ate, and explored while Mr. W. and Mr. M. ran ahead to get a feeling for how much further the caves were.

Ancient sea bed

Time to move out!  As we hiked out of the canyon where we had rested, up another ridge, we were captivated by the number and diversity of fossils right under our feet. We were climbing up an ancient sea bed. When I mentioned how cool this was, Evan replied that he wished he was an ancient fish so he could swim up the sea bed to the top of the ridge.

The view from the top.

Desert view.  Washes are below us, more ridges above.

I know it seems like we keep having to climb up ridge after ridge, but we are intrepid scouts!  This really was the last one though.  You can see my Sam up there waving at me.

I know it seems like we kept climbing up ridge after ridge, but we are intrepid scouters! This really was the last one though. You can see my Sam up there waving at me.

When we arrived at the Wind Caves we hunted around for a nice spot.  Sam and I found one that was shaped like a bathtub, and was pretty sheltered from the wind.  Fossils are lined up on a shelf in another cave.

After we arrived at the Wind Caves, everyone hunted around for a nice spot to settle in. Sam and I found one that was shaped like a bathtub, and was pretty sheltered from the wind. Fossils are lined up on a shelf in another cave.

Home sweet home, for a night.

Home sweet home, for a night.

Night falls fast and hard in the desert in November.  We had a few hours to relax and explore, before we got out the Jetboils to make our delicious ramen.  Nolan works on his shadow puppetry.

Night falls fast and hard in the desert in November. We had a few hours to relax and explore, before we got out the Jetboils to make our delicious ramen. After dinner Nolan worked on his shadow puppetry.  Sam and I snuggled down into our cave at about 7:30!  Good thing I brought a book.

We were up with the sun, and the wind that started to blow pretty hard the night before was still at it.  It made for a hazy, dusty, blustery hike out.  It made us appreciate the crystal clear weather we had on the hike in.

We were up with the sun, and the wind that started to blow pretty hard the night before was still at it.  We had a quick breakfast, packed up, did a head count (we are supposed to come back with as many scouts as we start out with), shouldered our packs, and hit the trail.

hh

The windy conditions made for a hazy, dusty, blustery hike out.  It made us appreciate all the more the crystal clear weather and gorgeous views we had on the hike in.

Sam and Mo, Mo and Sam.  We had a splendid adventure with our scouting friends, and are eagerly awaiting our next trip to the desert in December.  Until then, the pictures and memories will have to carry us through...

Sam and Mo, Mo and Sam. We had a splendid adventure with our scouting friends, and are eagerly awaiting our next trip to the desert in December. Until then, the pictures and memories will have to carry us through…

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Making Like Tortoises, With Our Houses On Our Backs

Blog header.PCT

This past spring Sam’s Boy Scout troop went on a few backpacking trips.  This post chronicles our May trip to Caliente Creek, along part of the southern leg of the Pacific Crest Trail.  Fifteen scouts and 9 adults backpacked a total of 7.2 miles on our 2 day, 1 night trip.  This was a backpacking training event for the troop, and for 5 of the scouts it was their first backpacking trip, and for several others it was their second trip.  We were all treated to a lovely hike through the back country, to our campsite near the burbling Caliente Creek.  The oaks were big and green, the creek was full of frogs, and most important of all, the Starbuck’s Via coffee was flowing on Sunday morning.  Pictures of our excellent hike are below.  There is also short video of the creek, complete with water striders and a little waterfall.

Caliente Springs map

Our Scouts

Now that we see where we are going, and who is going, let’s head off…

(click on the photos for a closer view)

We assembled on Saturday morning at the Von's parking lot, and the younger scouts have their packs checked to be sure they have all they need, and to be sure they haven't packed half the house!

We assembled on Saturday morning at the Von’s parking lot, and the younger scouts have their packs checked to be sure they have all they need, and to be sure they haven’t packed half the house!

More pics from the hike in.  As we went further in, the meadows disappeared and were replaced by scrubby hills.

We pulled off on Route 79, shouldered our packs, crossed the highway (step lively!), and entered the back country. Some views of the hike in.

More pics from the hike in. As we went further in, the meadows disappeared and were replaced by scrubby hills.country.  Some views of the hike in.

More pics from the hike in. As we went further in, the meadows disappeared and were replaced by scrubby hills.

After hiking a little more than 3 miles, we camped at a little clearing by Caliente Creek.

After hiking 3.6 miles, we camped at a little clearing by Caliente Creek.  Here are 3 views at different parts of the creek.

Speaking of the creek, here is the troop filtering water.  It is really nice to have water at your destination, so you don't have to pack as much in with you.

Speaking of the creek, here is the troop filtering water. It is really nice to have water at your destination, so you don’t have to pack as much in with you.

Camp cooking.  We all made excellent use of our Jetboils and other lightweight stoves.

Camp cooking. We all made excellent use of our Jetboils and other lightweight stoves.

Me and my guy.

Me and my guy.

Camp life.  Adults hanging out, boys playing cards, surrounded by big oaks.  This is the life!

Camp life. Adults hanging out, boys playing cards, surrounded by big oaks. This is the life!

I love to check out the plants, so here is a nice selection.  From the top left: sycamore, oak down the middle, sage flower, thistle flower, a yucca I think, and California fucshia.

I love to check out the plants, so here is a nice selection. From the top left: Sycamore, Oak down the middle, Sage flower, Thistle flower, a Yucca I think, and Indian Paintbrush.

More cool things I took pictures of.  A boulder encased by a branch, and a manzanita tree up on a cliff.

More cool things I took pictures of.  A boulder encased by a branch, and a Manzanita tree up on a cliff.

I mostly made up this panel so I could throw in some gratuitous photos of my Sam!  He's awesome.

I mostly made up this panel so I could throw in some gratuitous photos of Sam. He’s awesome.

The scouts and the adults, just before we set out for home.

The scouts and the adults, just before we set out for home.

Heading back to civilization.  Another great adventure with Troop 985.

Heading back to civilization. Another great adventure with Troop 985.

As promised, here is a link to a short video I took of Caliente Creek.

As you can see from the screen shot below, it only has 13 views.  Sigh.  Not exactly Nyan Cat. If you go to our YouTube channel (click on my name to get there when you are in YouTube) you can also check out the Lego Land Shark video Sam made for his Cinematography merit badge.  That one has 1,822 views.  Now that’s more like it!

Caliente video

 

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Memorial Day Flag Placement

Flag placement header

Established in 1882, Fort Rosecrans is a federal military cemetery on Point Loma, a peninsula with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and San Diego Bay on the other.  Recently closed to new internments, which are now directed to Miramar Cemetery, the earliest burials at Fort Rosecrans date to the mid 1800’s.  The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, local Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops converge early in the morning to help place flags on all of the graves.  After an opening ceremony, the children and parents fan out across the cemetery, flags in hand, placing one before each stone and at the base of each row of the columbaria.  There are 101,ooo graves at the cemetery, of fallen troops, veterans of the armed forces, and their spouses and dependent children.

San Diego has a long history with the military, and many of our friends and neighbors are active members or veterans.  Military families give a great deal to our country, and it is an honor to give back when we can.

Our Morning at Fort Rosecrans

Double click on the ph0tos f0r a closer look.

Mr. F. always arrives extra early and hands out water, coffee, pastries to the scouts and parents in Troop 985 from the back of his truck. After a bit, we head up the road to gather for the opening ceremony.

Mr. F. always arrives extra early and hands out water, coffee, pastries to the scouts and parents of Troop 985 from the back of his truck.  After a bit, we join the crowd heading up the road, as we all gather for the opening ceremony.

The flag is raised, and a few speakers talk to the scouts about their purpose today.

The flag is raised, and a few speakers talk to the scouts about their purpose today.

The scouts a parents gather bunches of flags from bins.

We gather bunches of flags from bins, in preparation for placing them at the graves.

Putting flags near stones.

Putting flags near stones.

It is a day for sharing the past with the next generation.  Mrs. M. takes a photo for man near his father's columbarium.

It is a day for sharing the past with the next generation. Mrs. M. takes a photo for man near his father’s columbarium.

Eagle Scout Scotty at his grandfather's grave.

Eagle Scout Scotty at his grandparent’s grave.

Sam always likes to find our former neighbor, Helen Mackersie, who was a WAVE during WWII, to place her flag.

Sam always likes to find the grave of our former neighbor, Helen Mackersie, who was a WAVE during WWII, to place her flag.

Honoring our military families.

A morning well spent.

I am always proud of our boys, who take this honor very seriously.

I am always proud of our boys, who take this honor very seriously.

Some of our older scouts, flags in hand.

Older scouts, flags in hand.

Some of the members of Troop 985, at Fort Rosecrans for flag placement.

Some of the members of Troop 985 who participated in flag placement at Fort Rosecrans.

 

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