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Hike from the San Diego River source, La Paz with Dad, lost at sea off Mission Bay, Pacific Crest Trail, El Camino Real

Voyages, 1975-1986

Were not my friends and relatives counting on me? Hadn't they thrown a wonderful going away breakfast for me?
  • Were not my friends and relatives counting on me? Hadn't they thrown a wonderful going away breakfast for me?

Read more voyages in the Reader: trek with trail wizard Jerry Schad, San Dieguito River hike from Volcan Mountain to Del Mar, bike ride from San Diego to Minnesota, Amtrak from Oakland to New Orleans, a trip down Baja with maniac father-in-law, a brutal climb up El Cajon Mountain, San Diego hitchhiker stories, local daytrips.

Surrender at Milepost 45

I didn't think lack of companionship would be a problem. But within one and a half-days. I found myself talking to every moving thing I saw. I had a chat with the owner of an Ocotillo Wells restaurant acclaimed as having the “Best Pizza in the West." There was a talk with a waitress in a Westmoreland cafe who charged me $1.10 for two small Dr. Peppers, and gave the advice that I was crazy.

By Tom Raab, Oct. 30, 1975 | Read full article

“What’s the best way to get to El Paso from here. I’m right across from the post office.”
“Okay. Now head back to Fifth Street, make a right at that light ….”

“What’s the best way to get to El Paso from here. I’m right across from the post office.” “Okay. Now head back to Fifth Street, make a right at that light ….”

Just Passin' Through, Good Buddy

Channel “One nine (19)” is the main channel CBers tell each other where the smokeys are, but it is used for various other purposes. And since you always have your “ears” on channel 19, you quickly learn of the many other uses CBs offer. For instance, the King’s Kid who took me to Abilene, the town known as the “Buckle of the Bible Belt,” used his CB to find out how far ahead the rain began.

By Manny Ramos, June 9, 1977 | Read full article

River Run

He screams up next to me, and as the red dust settles on my shoulders and face he smiles through his droopy mustache and says, “Where ya been?” I tell him, and he nods as though he knew it all along. I ask about the nearest phone, and he says, “Climb on. I’ll take ya there.” So I climb on, backpack and all, lock my fingers around his tight little devil’s belly, and we take off.

By Steve Sorensen, Oct. 26, 1978 | Read full article

There was a street named for Padre Kino, one of the great explorers and colonizers of the Southwest and another street for Emiliano Zapata, who led a peasants’ revolt.He was murdered in 1919 by an emissary of President Venustiano Carranza, whose name is now a street three blocks to the north of Zapata’s.

There was a street named for Padre Kino, one of the great explorers and colonizers of the Southwest and another street for Emiliano Zapata, who led a peasants’ revolt.He was murdered in 1919 by an emissary of President Venustiano Carranza, whose name is now a street three blocks to the north of Zapata’s.

Travels with My Father

Our pilot, a middle-aged man with aviator sunglasses and a cowboy hat, steered us out of the yacht harbor and past the Calmex canning factory, where workers in white boots and smocks were eating lunch in the building’s shade. Far off, the Sea of Cortez was smooth as a bedsheet, and it had that bland, colorless look that water takes on when light is directly over it. But where we were the water was green as a river.

By Joe Applegate, May 24, 1979 | Read full article

They decided to huddle together for warmth. “If you kiss me, we’re through.”

They decided to huddle together for warmth. “If you kiss me, we’re through.”

Say Ahoy, Somebody

Their inability to tack against the wind cost the novices three agonizing hours from the time they reached Mission Bay until they landed. Somewhere in the bay there was a slip Rusty had rented at which to dock his boat, but he wasn’t sure where it was. At 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening. Rusty and Albert finally brought the Shangri La in, running her aground near Campland, north of Fiesta Island. They had spent fifty-six hours at sea.

By Leslie Robard, July 14, 1983 | Read full article

“I’d just about get to sleep, then we’d pull into another town and all the damn lights would come on."

“I’d just about get to sleep, then we’d pull into another town and all the damn lights would come on."

The Greyhound Tales

He had come from Oakland for a week’s vacation, he told the crowd, and had been sleeping, stretched out across the back seat, when the woman got on in L.A. and asked to sit next to him. He made room for her, he said, and then went back to sleep. He slept — soundly — until the bus pulled into San Diego. Then he noticed his wallet was gone.

By Judith Moore, April 26, 1984 | Read full article

Lake Morena. Peter; Chicago, Illinois; 3-20-84. “How many of you found the trail north of Lake Morena? We road walked, but it was still better than Chicago.”

Lake Morena. Peter; Chicago, Illinois; 3-20-84. “How many of you found the trail north of Lake Morena? We road walked, but it was still better than Chicago.”

The Big Hike

Just south of the Riverside County line, the PCT has more of a wilderness feeling than other portions of the trail in San Diego County. Other than the abandoned fire lookout on Hot Springs Mountain, there is no evidence of man in sight. The trail climbs to within 500 feet of Combs Peak, 6913 feet high, and provides shimmering vistas of the Santa Rosa Mountains to the north and the Borrego badlands to the east.

By Steve Sorensen, Dec. 6, 1984 | Read full article

For many years a monument stood there marking the route of El Camino Real, but the entire corner had been bulldozed to make room for a housing subdivision at North City West, and I couldn’t find the monument anywhere.

For many years a monument stood there marking the route of El Camino Real, but the entire corner had been bulldozed to make room for a housing subdivision at North City West, and I couldn’t find the monument anywhere.

Forty Miles of Bad Road

Before long I had left the subdivisions of La Costa and arrived at the industrial parks surrounding Palomar Airport. From here the road descended into the small valley of Agua Hedionda (stinking water), named after the stench left by the lagoon at low tide. It’s a beautiful little valley, wooded with sycamores, which Father Crespi confused with alders: “We descended to a valley full of alders, in which we saw a village, but without people.

By Steve Sorensen, Jan. 16, 1986 | Read full article

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