Saturday, January 29, 2011

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (#46)

January 19, 2011 -The Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve stretches east and west, between Interstates 5 and 15, along an eight mile section of Penasquitos creek. Wilson and I had planned on hiking from the east end of the trail along the south side of the creek out to a waterfall about 3.5 miles in.

We were welcomed by nice little parking lot, an inviting trail head and a nice wide trail.

Everything we read about this walk suggested that the south side trail would be the most pleasant.

Best laid plans!

After years of drought San Diego recently received a much welcomed week-long onslaught of wet stuff.

Turned out trails to the south of the creek were flooded out and apparently a few of the crossover bridges were destroyed.

Plan B?

Take the north side trail instead. Du-uhh! 

When we made our way over to the other side of the creek we soon came upon the Johnson-Taylor Ranch House.

Not really sure who Johnson-Taylor is but the ranch house now serves as the park headquarters. Wilson and I popped our heads inside the office and met about four or five friendly Park Rangers engaged in a seemingly important meeting. Wilson was intrigued by the variety of caged rattlesnakes on display there in the office.

Finally we found ourselves on the north side trail heading west.

Wilson started complaining about how the trail was to far removed from the creek and the trees...

 we promptly adjusted our course.

And the trail,


got much more interesting.

In fact, the trail morphed into something that Wilson could get excited about!

The first crossing point was very much discombobulated.  You can see how the bridge was trashed.

The bridge at Carson's Crossing was still manageable though it was in two separate  pieces.

Kind of cool actually.

So we crossed over to the South side...


...then we turned around...

...and crossed back. Doesn't get much more exciting than that does it?

A very interesting fact that I discovered about this area is that in 1846 at a time when the Americans, under the command of General Kearny (a familiar name around San Diego) were pretty much getting hammered by the Californios in the Battle of San Pasqual, Kit Carson sneaked past mounted sentries to go fetch military support from San Diego.

Carson succeeded! Commodore Stockton showed up with some sailors and marines and the Californios split allowing Kearny's battered soldiers be escorted safely back to San Diego.

Pretty cool huh? I'm a sucker for happy endings.

Moving right along, let's go see the waterfall area... we're almost there!

Getting closer...

...almost there...

...and there you go!

A great place to hang out and just "be" for awhile.

This was our turn around point for this hike.

Next time we'll come in from the west end of park to see what that's like.

We made a new friend on our way out.

Another Great Hike!


Caution: Sloppery When Wet!

Bridge Destroyed

Looking West

Red Tail Hawk

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