The night is clear, chilly, and again windy. That gentle rocking with the wind induces terrific sleep. Anza-Borrego Desert SP is a night sky park. The star shows are amazing.
As we are condensing back into travel mode our new friend from BC stops by on his bicycle this time, to say goodbye. Our intention is to head for Fish Creek Canyon while the forecast is for sunshine. By Wednesday night, the rain will make the canyon muddy.
We pause in town to call the lovely Rebecca Williams on her birthday - and to check in with the Gigi. The drive to Fish Creek Canyon takes us southeast in and out of the park several times. Fish Creek must on occasion rage with flood waters. We're following the park map through Split Mountain, past the Anticline, Wind Caves, and Elephant Knees trying to find Sandstone Canyon. More helpful, fellow explorers who stop us to ask directions and tell us where they are coming from. We opt to camp in Fish Creek Canyon trusting the weather forecast for no rain until Wednesday night.
Sandstone Canyon is beautiful - and worth waiting to see in full daylight. The guidebook tells us that for most of the years since 1992 when an earthquake caused a massive rock fall blocking the entrance, it has been hike-only access. Q takes us about a mile into the canyon before the way becomes formidable. A small, lightweight keep Q is not. The guidebook also says "Camping or resting under unstable cliffs. Not a good idea...massive landslides, fierce flash flooding, and devastating earthquakes." ABDSP is on the San Andreas Fault, BTW.
After Sandstone Canyon we aim for Olla Canyon exploration. We meet Q's expensive, posh cousin, a Sportsmobile heading a way from Olla. The driver greets Alex with a "Hello brother!" And recommends Olla Canyon for our camp tonight. After exploring Fish Creek Canyon to find Split Rock, we settle in front of a red-orange bluff in Olla Canyon. The silence is greater than any other camp site on our big trip. Even the air traffic seems either higher or wider than this lovely canyon.
One more little bit of history from the ABDSP guide book tells us that the Pupfish that used to inhabit Fish Creek were likely devastated by a huge flood in 1916 when San Diego County hired Rainmaker Charles M. Hatfield to refill the reservoir. The storm caused the Lower Otay Dam to break and wiped out the Pupfish population from Fish Creek Canyon.
As we are talking about where to head next and consider the weather forecast all around. North is colder and in every direction it's rain. This isn't the rainy season here in the southwest! There are sites to see as we exit Fish Creek Canyon - and it won't be a fast exit, so we have time to make a decision about where next will be.
One of our guidebooks mentions that the Layer Cake formation is an interesting one - and it serves as a marker for the entrance to Sandstone Canyon. We find Sandstone without the marker, but keep guessing about which formation is the Layer Cake. The photo in the book isn't in color, so when we finally spot Layer Cake we agree that it is too beautifully odd not to be done up in a color photo.
Quiggy at Split Rock