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.
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.
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.