Perseids 2021

12-13 August 2021
Sunrise Trailhead to PCT mile 55.9 and back
(8 miles, +900/-900 feet).

I am still nursing a tendonitis injury so I have not done any hiking lately. But I am itching to get back out there, so I suggested to Half Cookie that she and I do a very short trip to camp out and watch the Perseids meteor shower.

It’s still hot in SoCal, so we had to go somewhere at elevation. I found a PCT campsite at about 5000 feet in Anza Borrego that was just outside the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area, and it was only about a 4 mile level-ish hike from the Sunrise Trailhead.

Perfect!

Uncharacteristic for Half Cookie and me, we started our hike late afternoon, timing it so we could arrive in camp, set up, and have a leisurely dinner.

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Half Cookie is ready to go!

I was surprised to find so many flowers. Usually it is dead up here this time of year, and it has been so dry, but apparently the monsoon cycle has occasionally been giving the mountains some badly needed rainfall.

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California aster
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Shortpod mustard
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Western ragweed
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Giant four o’clock
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California matchweed
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Bristly bird’s beak
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Curl-leaf mountain mahogany
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Pacific velvet ant
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Easy trail through the chaparral
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Baby horned lizard
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So pretty!
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Mountain phacelia
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Coastal goldenbush
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Almost time for dinner!
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Wedgeleaf goldenbush
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Made it to camp!

For our star-watching cowboy camp set-up I experimented with polycro. It’s an ultralight window covering material that people sometimes use as extra protection under their sleeping pads. It wasn’t expensive, just $8, and it did seem quite strong, but the fabric did puncture in a couple of places, and once a puncture starts it rips easily. Even though it only weighed less than 2 ounces, I don’t think I would use this again. I would probably just lay on top of the tent until we decided to go to sleep.

This was a good time and place for the Perseid meteor shower. A crescent moon set a couple of hours after sundown, so we had the whole sky free from both moonlight and city lights. However, it was quite humid. We were directly under the flight path for one of the airports here and as planes turned their landing lights on, they created long cones of hazy light that extended for up to a quarter of the sky. Very cool looking (I’ve never seen anything like it before!) but it didn’t bode well for visibility.

However, it was fine. Half cookie saw a couple of nice meteors before drifting to sleep and I saw about a dozen before my eyelids were drooping, too, and I rousted her to the tent.

I slept well last night and we both awoke this morning before sunrise. I made oatmeal and tea before packing up and heading back to the Sunrise trailhead.

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An apt sight on the way to Sunrise Trailhead!
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Pretty!
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Oh, the scenery too…..
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Small wirelettuce
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San Diego gumplant
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California aster

Back at the trailhead, we crossed the road to go look at a water source that I skipped when I was hiking the PCT. It was apparently dry back in April, but it was full of water now, and also full of bugs!

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Water here!
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Arizona mantis, RIP

I’m so happy to backpack again, but I can tell from how my foot is feeling that it will be at least a few more weeks before I am ready to do anything more strenuous….

5 Comments Add yours

  1. 100peaks says:

    Very nice to meet you. These quick local trips are always nice. We can also bring some luxuries. Let’s make it out as it starts cooling down. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jay Harrison says:

    Nice pictures. Glad to hear your foot is doing better. Is it bilateral? Mine seem to come in pairs….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JimmyJam says:

      Thanks! I do feel strain in my right tibial tendon but no pain like my left. We’ll see!

      Like

  3. Dori Cage says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and trip experience !

    Dori Cage, M.D. , FAAOS San Diego Hand Specialists 8008 Frost Street 403 San Diego CA 92123 858 715-9200

    Liked by 1 person

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