John (Our CEO / My boss) and I made a trip to Palm Spring today to snowshoe up to the summit of Mount San Jacinto. I didn’t really know you could do any snowshoeing in SoCal, so I was jazzed when he invited me to go. I rented a pair of MSR’s from REI and scrounged up some of my winter gear (which has been packed away since I move to San Diego). Just south of Plam Springs is the Palm Spring Areal Tramway which takes you from the valley at 2,643 feet up to the Mountain Station at 8,516. The tram goes up through the Chino Canyon and is somewhat of a unique tram car in that the floor rotates as you ascend so that you can get the complete view.
Stepping out of the tram in to a completely different climate was quite a trip. From the mountain station, we hiked over to the ranger station at the beginning of the summit trail and checked out with them. At that point we just b-lined it for the peak. There really aren’t any trails to speak of in the winter, you just go where you please. The acense was probably about 2300 feet through variable conditions. Just before the top we found a summit shelter hut, which was nifty. From there we made the last push up to the summit where we grabbed some lunch and enjoyed the view.
We took a significantly different route on the way down, which included a torpedo butt slide dow the steepest part which was to steep to practically snowshoe down. We meandered down the stream back to the ranger station, checked back in, unstrapped the shoes and headed back to the tram station to get a drink. We chilled out there for a little while and then caught the tram car back down.
All and all the trail took us about 5 hours. It was beautiful, relaxing, and some hard work that got the blood flowing. Not a bad Thursday. Check out the site here: http://www.pstramway.com/
Here are some photo’s of the day:
So something happend this weekend that hasn’t happened in a long time. I flew two days in a row. The first flight on Friday was my first flight of my official instrument rating training. Glenn and I went up to get some pitch and power settings for N739MH (a Cessna 172N). We also briefly touched on the instrument scan, instrument preflight, and I did my first VOR check. It was good to get up and finally start the next phase of my aviation aventures.
The on Saturday, I went up with Kurt in N6253V. The trip started out fairly normal with quick trip down to Brown (KSDM) for some gas. I decided it was going to be a VFR day. I figure I will be getting enough IFR time over the next several months. I realized on the way down how little time I have spent looking outside while flying in San Diego. I still have no clue where anything is.
While on the ground at Brown Kurt suggested we do the “Harbor Tour” on the way back up. We headed to the south end of San Diego Bay. We called up North Island and requested the Harbor Transition. It was really cool. We flew right up the middle of the bay. The route takes you over the Navy Ship Yard and the Coronado Bridge. You get to see all of Coronado (Hotel Del, etc) and you basically buzz the downtown skyline and snag a nice view of Petco Park as a bonus. From there you head up and around where you get to see San Diego International and the North Island Naval Base along with all of the Sailboats in the Harbor.
On the way out you fly over the Submarines parked on the south side of Point Loma. As an added bonus, there was an Aircraft Carrier right of Point Loma that we got a great view of as well (see below). From there you head north up the coast at about 500ft AGL. While on the way up we saw a few dolphins and got a view of Mission Bay, Crystal Pier, and La Jolla. From there we gained some altitude and headed back in to Montgomery. It was the most interesting flight I have had in San Diego thus far. A big thanks to Kurt!
Brian and I did a 5 mile loop up at Miramar Lake Reservoir. I have been mainly running around my neighborhood, which is better than the treadmill. But running at the lake was definitely much better. I didn’t even know this place was here, but it’s only about 10 minutes from my house and much more aesthetic. It was a great run, and great to find a resource so close to home.