Photo by Robert Burroughs
I have decided that if there is any true wilderness left in San Diego County it will probably be found on the San Diego River between the Santa Ysabel Valley and the El Capitan Reservoir.
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
Mike Ryan: "In the morning, right after the first bus leaves for San Ysidro and Tijuana, the terminal pretty well clears out and then I do a ticket check.”
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.”
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
Mission San Luis Rey. I passed San Luis Rey Auto Salvage, the River Bottom Inn, and the Blue Room Beauty Salon. It seemed to be an inelegant approach for what had once been the most prosperous mission in all of California.
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
Were not my friends and relatives counting on me? Hadn't they thrown a wonderful going away breakfast for me?
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
"I’ve got to stay overnight in Tucson before unloading my 18-wheeler, mind if I come by to see what you look like?”
"Uh. Okay, Rambling Red. What’s your 20?”
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
I take off my pack, then my clothes, and dive into the nearest pool. Up and down the river, every frog in sight accepts my suggestion and dives in with me.
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
"Some students from the first class met me and escorted me to the gate of the school, where they kind of formed two lines for me, and motioned for me to walk between them. And as I did, they applauded!"
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
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.