Tramping in the Lagunas

(6/22/05) It was a whirlwind weekend for me for the Monument Peak hike hosted by San Diego Trail Tramps, with company down from LA, a dinner party, three hikes in one, sixteen great guys to converse with, and even an accepted offer on a Palm Springs condo.

Ken drove down from Los Angeles the night before to join us for the hike the next morning. Jimm, another Perfect Pace member, and four others joined the three of us for a dinner party that night in our outdoor dining room.

The next morning Ken and I started off to the Laguna Mountains with about fifteen others, as well as two dogs. After picking up Forest Adventure passes, drinks, and snacks at the Laguna General Store, we then headed off to the nearby trailhead.

Chris Wray led our group along a section of the Pacific Crest Trail and a couple adjoining trails to Monument Peak. The view from Monument Peak was very clear. You could see all the way to the Chocolate Mountains past Salton Sea. Snow was still visible on Gorgonio Peak. Monument Peak provided a very interesting perspective on the mountains surrounding Anza-Borrego Desert.

A few of us stuck around for a second hike continuing north on the Pacific Crest Trail to a great view point near Foster Lodge. There was nice view of Garnet Peak on one stop of the second hike.

Ken and I decided to do a fast-paced third hike around the Laguna Lakes along the Big Laguna trail. This was a flat trail with gorgeous views of the meadow. On this hike I received a cell phone call from my sweetie, Mike, that our offer on a Palm Springs Condo was accepted. I was stoked, which one of the pictures captures. Ken and I probably hiked about seventeen miles that day. The jacuzzi and a few beers back at home were a very welcome treat.

Many thanks to Chris Wray for fearlessly leading our group. Chris is a prominent writer and photography of San Diego backcountry. He has a new book out, The Historic Backcountry, which is a geographic guide to the historic places of the San Diego County Mountains and the Colorado Desert. Check out his Web site at: http://www.chriswraypublications.com.