Deep Springs and Santa Rosa Plateau

I recently left the warm (ha, ha-far from it) Southern California, to travel north to Big Pine and Deep Springs. It really was only a ‘little’ colder there. This has been the coldest winter for SoCal residents in recent memory. It really hasn’t been a whole lot warmer than Maryland!

My northern grandchildren are outdoor enthusiasts as there’s no TV in their house. They get very dirty and their cheeks are rosy. On Saturday, we hiked to Tom’s Cabin near the top of the mountain to the south of Deep Springs campus. What has always looked like a straight up hike to the top, turned out to have a nice gradient, easy enough for ‘I do it myself’ 2 1/2-year-old Ada. My daughter took Willa on her back and the rest of us climbed.

Ada during hike.
Ada during hike.
Elias telling me all about his favorite climbing tree.
Elias telling me all about his favorite climbing tree.
Happy Willa.
Happy Willa.

During our hike, a ‘bull’ drive was taking place. Three days earlier, the student cowboys had driven the cows with calves to the lower part of the valley (about 7 miles away). There really isn’t much to eat there as you’ll see from the photos, so they’ll have to be moved in another week or so. The bulls were being taken down separately to be with the cows.

Watching the bull drive from the mountainside. They are the brown specks in the far distance.
Watching the bull drive from the mountainside. They are the brown specks in the far distance.
Ranch Manager Janice returning for more cowboys now that the bulls have settled down.
Ranch Manager Janice returning for more cowboys now that the bulls have settled down.
Novice cowboys joining the cattle drive.
Novice cowboys joining the cattle drive.
Calves - one a few days old, the other a week old.
Calves – one a few days old, the other a week old.
Second year cows already at low-end of valley.
Second year cows already at low end of valley.

On the Monday following my Deep Springs trip, a school holiday allowed me to take my older grandchildren on a hike at Santa Rosa Plateau. This is a 47,000 acre preserve to the north of Temecula. It originally started as a cattle ranch and adobe homes and barns are still there. Since we’ve had so much rain, the slopes are greening up nicely. There are vernal pools there, but not all of them have water in just yet. More on that later. We didn’t see any coyotes or mountain lions – but they are out there.

Emily and Claire at Adobe House, Santa Rosa Plateau.
Emily and Claire at Adobe House, Santa Rosa Plateau.
Emily feeding the ground squirrel.
Emily feeding the ground squirrel.
Ground Squirrel
Ground Squirrel
Warm enough to shed our sweatshirts.
Warm enough to shed our sweatshirts.
Emily and California Oak.
Emily and California Oak.

3 Replies to “Deep Springs and Santa Rosa Plateau”

  1. The countryside is just beautiful. I often wonder if people who live in places where I think the scenery is so beautiful, get so used to seeing it that after a while they don’t notice it anymore. I hope not!

    I think that Claire and Emily really don’t look alike, but they both resemble you. That is a really nice picture of the three of you. Shelby’s gang are so cute and they do have chubby pink cheeks and it is so nice that they are enjoying the outdoors like their mother and grandmother do.

    Love your blog!!

    Like

  2. So glad you went anyway!! I’d love to try another time before you leave! We have 2 kinds of oaks: Englemann and CA coastal live oak.

    Carol

    _____

    Like

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