Dyar Springs Hike

I picked last Saturday’s hike because of my knee…it was supposed to be about 5 1/2 miles with very little elevation gain/loss. The knee doesn’t like going downhill at the moment. So we went out to Dyar Springs in the Cuyamacas. I’m always amazed by how many hikes there are out there. I’ve been on so many hikes out there and there are always new ones.

It’s a typical California landscape…

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I always imagine native people hundreds of years ago tramping across the landscape and what they would see.

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It’s August, so it’s warm even in the mountains…it hit the 80s really quickly.

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Some of this area had been hit by the fires over the last 10 or so years…but also bugs have killed some of the trees…

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But those rolling, brown, grassy hills are what I see in my mind’s eye when I think of MY California…

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With pines in the distance or oaks…

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There was wildlife…a California horned toad (aka a horned lizard)…cute little creatures, aren’t they?

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And a stick insect…

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He had some plant life tangled around his head? Is it a HEAD? We tried to pull it off, but he wasn’t having it. Fought it the whole way. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen one of these in the wild. Belongs on WTF Evolution.

We hiked off trail a bit for some reason. I don’t remember what.

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And then back towards the springs.

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There wasn’t much in the way of springs…mostly mud. We stopped for lunch here, near these oak trees and rocks.

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Those old California oaks are part of my sense of home too…

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There weren’t a lot of flowers around this late in the season…

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And some of the trees looked a little worse for wear…

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Hard to know if they’re still alive sometimes, especially at this time of year…

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This was the view back the way we’d come…

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And here’s where we set up our potluck picnic…

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Lots of good food and debating how many calories we’d burned so far and how many more we’d have to burn after eating everything that was laid out for us.

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The path back was that typical mix of grass and trees…

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Mountains in the distance…I think that’s Stonewall Peak to the left.

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More dead trees from the fires…

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Some monuments to the destruction that keeps this area alive.

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And then? Strangely? A patch of watermelons. No water to be seen around. No reason for them to be there…WAIT! My loyal reader Julie (who is a bit of a native plant expert, certainly more than I am) tells me this is calabazilla (which is the funnest name around), aka buffalo gourd or more interestingly stinking gourd (glad we didn’t figure out why). It has a great Latin name, for sure: Cucurbita foetidissima. I’m always looking for the word foetid involved with food.

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We kept hiking…

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It was good. It was peaceful. It was 7 3/4 miles instead of 5 1/2. Oh well. And there was dirt and mud and I sunburnt the BACKS of my knees (nope, didn’t even think to sunscreen those). And my knee hurt briefly…but that’s it. Good.

One Response to Dyar Springs Hike

  1. Rebecca says:

    OK, a fun new site to peruse (WTF, Evolution?)

    Do you suppose somebody ate watermelon there, spat the seeds, and it rained at just the right time? What a surprise!


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