Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
While the rest of San Diego was watching a football game Marty and I decided to take a drive up to the High Point Lookout on Palomar Divide Road, in the Cleveland Nat'l Forest.

There is a short-cut, of sorts, to get from Ramona up to Hwy 79, along an unpaved one-lane shelf road called Black Canyon Road. No need for 4WD here, but there are several blind turns on the road, and signs suggest using your horn to warn oncoming traffic.



The road is actually in better shape now than the first time I was there 2 years ago, but it looks complete different today. This canyon was badly burned in the recent Witch Creek Fire, and driving through it now is really eerie. Two years ago it was really green here. Today it looks a lot like those old movie depictions of what you'd see after a nuclear holocaust.









This road seems like it's in the middle of nowhere, way out in the backcountry of San Diego County, yet for some reason in 1913 they felt the need to build a pretty nice bridge.



Well, our plan to see the High Point Lookout was stopped cold by this new steel gate. So much for that idea.



We decided against a 13-mile walk and instead drove up to the observatory at Mount Palomar.



The 200 inch telescope was impressive.





From the road down you can see the setting sun lighting up the ocean in the distance.



On the way down we stopped in Escondido to see a sculpture garden. The black birds were out in force, it was like something out of a Hitchcock movie.









There is a lot of really weird stuff (and people) in that town.

 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,272 Posts
Stay away from that guy in the last photo Frank. He looks like he is up to no good.

Great pics as always. Thanks for sharing.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
735 Posts
Sucks on the new gate. That is the number two reason I sold my jeep- land access issues.

I got into some private property behind Escondido (with permission) and it pretty much looked the same way. Coastal sage grows back in just a few years, you wouldn't even know what happened in a decade.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
mike100 said:
Sucks on the new gate. That is the number two reason I sold my jeep- land access issues.

I got into some private property behind Escondido (with permission) and it pretty much looked the same way. Coastal sage grows back in just a few years, you wouldn't even know what happened in a decade.
Yeah, the sagebrush does come back quickly. It's the manzanita that, to me, is the real loss. Those things look really cool when they get old.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
750 Posts
Cool pics. I work in burn areas a lot collecting vegetation data so I know what you mean by the spooky post apocalyptic feel.

As long as burns are not too huge or high intensity..it's sometimes nice to have patches of "newer" habitat mixed with the old.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
mike100 said:
Sucks on the new gate. That is the number two reason I sold my jeep- land access issues.
Well, I spoke to the rangers about the gate, they said that it was only a temporary closure in advance of the expected storm. Hopefully it will be opened again soon. Funny thing, they could easily have waited until Monday to close it, there wasn't a cloud in the sky on Sunday.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,695 Posts
I always like checking out the cool pics, Frank; nice job.

The fires are a bummer, but what a necessity! Statistics here in Colorado released recently indicate that our entire Lodge Pole Pine population could be lost IN FIVE YEARS due to our Pine Beetle infestation epidemic caused, in large part, to no natural/controlled burns to kill the little buggers. There are lots of places around Breckenridge/Silverthorne out here that are just plain sad to see.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
750 Posts
Lower than normal precipitation levels also play a big role in that as the trees cannot form enough sap to combat the beetles. Sap basically glues or pushes burrowing insects out of the bark and wood. But yes, the west desperately needs to thin and burn.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
86 Posts
Uh, it's not that the Lodge Pole pines "could" be lost, but they WILL be dead in 3-5 years. Every lodge pole pine forest in the state will be dead, which amounts to a few million acres. There are a number of factors playing a role here.

A: Temperatures bellow -10 deg. F for approximately a week will kill the beetles. This hasn't happened recently enough.

B: Tree sap kills the beetles. The trees have not been creating enough sap for a couple of reasons. For the past 75 or so years, forrest fires have been put out. 75 years ago, the average distance between trees in the forests was ~25 feet. Every now and then, fires would roll through the forrest and kill the weaker trees and clear all of the underbrush. Due to lack of fires and the fact that the forrest service does not thin the trees adequately, there are now many more trees. The average tree spacing is now ~6 feet. There are many weak trees that do not secrete enough sap. The strong trees do not secrete as much sap as they used to anymore, because all of the weaker trees use up the scarce water supply. In other words, the forests are unhealthy, and the beetles have already penetrated most of the forests. The spread is unstoppable, and the trees will die in 3-5 years.


Anywho. Just a random rant. Looking at dead trees gets old.

Cool pics from SD. I almost took a job down there when I graduated last month.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
750 Posts
Yeppers. Now the crappy thing is that when natural fires do get going they have way more propensity to go catastrophic and scorch the soil...so it makes winter control burns pretty much mandatory. Congress and the Pres have given this issues lip service but on the whole the forest service still has to beg for control burn/thinning funds since Congress tends to hold back the money for fire suppression.

I predict this trend will continue until we lose an entire town or city here in the west. Sadly, it will take a high body count to get the politicians to wake up.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
197 Posts
I enjoyed the pics and found it mildly amusing that even in CA, some 'good old boys' just can't resist blowing holes in the signs...

Nice shots.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top