While high winds roared through Southern California last Monday, causing power outages and damage in Borrego Springs and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and dust storms in Arizona,* we were hunkered down in our Airstream Safari 4,200 feet above sea level in a pine and oak forest along the northern extremity of the Cuyamaca Mountain Range on our first full day in William Heise County Park after a 3 year absence. By the following day, the wind and rain had stopped and we set up camp and enjoyed beautiful sunny weather the rest of the week.
On Wednesday, our good friends Bert and Janie came up from Borrego Springs for a day of hiking, photography, feasting, conversing and having a good time.
Bert brought along his new Nikon D800E.* Bert and I promptly took our Nikon cameras on a hike on the Cedar Creek Trail, while Janie and Larry enjoyed chatting at our campsite. As soon as we got on the trail, we were happy to spot a couple of mule deer.
We enjoyed photographing the rich textures of this oak, pine and cedar forest and delighted in the play of light and shadows.
We returned to camp just in time for lunch that Larry was preparing: Caldo de Mariscos (based on a recipe by Chef Rick Bayless*), a medley of squid, catfish, shrimp, and baby Bok choy (Chinese cabbage) simmered in a tomato-based soup, seasoned with guajillo chilies.
This savory dish brought smiles to all.
We sipped on wine and shared our thoughts during this mellow afternoon. We celebrated our wonderful times together this camping season: at Agua Caliente County Park last October and then celebrating life with a lunch, hike and photo shoot in November. This truly was a mountain high* and we look forward to many more in the future!
*This is a link to a YouTube video.