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Sometimes we hike...Sometimes we camp... And sometimes we just drive

Julian, Ca. Storm

I was excited for the weekend to roll around, so I can get out and camp, and try out a couple new items I purchase for my car camping experience. I had been planning to camp in my 4Runner last weekend, and was excited to have my pup (Chloe) with me for the adventure. After having loaded everything into the car Friday night, once Saturday morning rolled the only thing left to do was throw Chloe’s pillow in the 4Runner, gas up, and head out! The weather Saturday morning ended being a little dicey, but the forecast for Anza Borrego was clear and in the 70’s, so I decided we’d go for it.

Road to Anza Borrego

Given the recent touch of rain we’ve had, I wanted to pass through Mt Laguna to see if we were getting any snow, and see how my favorite hiking area looked dusted in white powder. As we started our climb up Sunrise highway, we started to see signs of snow on the side of the road, but didn’t end up stopping because the weather started to take a turn for the worse, and, to be honest, most of the snow looked like a mixture of gravel, ice, and horse shit.

Chloe Soaking Up Some Sun

As we reached the top of Mt Laguna, the wind kicked up and we started to get a touch of rain. As we started down the back side of the mountain, the weather really started picking up. The wind was howling, the rain was drenching and it seemed like they were getting a touch of hail. What the hail!?. Luckily we weren’t stopping here for the night, so we pressed on through Julian and made our way to Anza and Ocotillo.

Once we poked through the mountains, we dropped down into the desert, and finally saw a break in the clouds. As we worked our way down to Anza Borrego and Ocotillo Wells, I could start to feel the wind picking up and blowing the 4runner around a bit. It wasn’t until I started to pull up to camp that I realized there were gale force that were starting to create sand storms.

So the winds were blowing, and blowing really strong! Strong enough that my poor pup could hardly keep hers eyes open running while running around trying to find a place to shit. I decided I would try to camp in the canyons instead of the open desert, and though there were less winds overall, the occasional sand tornadoes were enough to keep us from camping in the area. So, I decided we would make our way back to the mountains and camp along the meadows.

The campsites were relatively empty this day, it seems as though the weather was really keeping people away. I found an open campsite and slid the 4Runner into position. With the ass end of the 4Runner facing a mountain meadow, Chloe and I were ready for a nap, a cold beer, and little light reading (Been re-reading Grimm’s fairy tales lately)

Mt Laguna Campsite with Mountain Meadows

Chloe managed to wrap herself in in Igneo sleeping bag, and find a shred of warmth, but it wasn’t really lasting for her. After being setup for a few hours, and making a couple trips outside for a couple cold beers, Chloe made it clear that she was not going to settle anytime soon. I felt bad after about 3 hours of her shivering, so I decided I would pack it up and take her home for the night.

Chloe not having the cold

All in all, I didn’t get a chance to try out my new hand axe, and I didn’t get to try out my folding grill, but even a short time out of the city is worth its cost in gas, and a few hours drive.