Altitude: 855 ft. Stoke level: 10 Temperature: 79-64 degrees Conditions: sunny, clear, calm
Today was probably one of the finest days I’ve ever had out exploring the desert wastes of California. I finally managed to get the motivation to pack up my campsite and head to town. I had some shopping to do as well as to upload my blog. As cellular signal in town is lacking, I needed to find a place with wifi to upload. I was craving a cheeseburger, so I found this place named Carlee’s that had both wifi and burgers! They had green chilie cheeseburgers (my favorite) so I ordered one. I ordered mine medium-rare and it came out pretty rare, but that was fine by me! It was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had, and the beer-battered fries were top-notch as well.
I managed to get my blog uploaded, got a few groceries and topped off my tank before heading out of town towards the east side of the park. I wanted to find a place to camp close to Font’s Point so I found a dispersed campground called Arroyo Salado close by. I found the campground completely deserted, which is a big reason I love exploring during the week! I followed a trail off to the side which led to a little nook which contained a couple of campsites with fire pits. I knew that this was the camp for me so I parked and set up shop.
I made a fire and got prepared to grill a steak over the coals. It was a calm clear evening with only the slightest bit of wind blowing. The temperature was perfect, I didn’t need the fire for warmth but it was nice to make a fire for the first time on this trip. It’s a pretty busy air corridor as I’m pretty close to San Diego and a few military bases, so there were a lot of aircraft flying around the sky. They are pretty easy to identify, with their red & green lights blinking and straight flight paths.
As I was grilling my steak, I saw a light appear over the mountains to the west. At first I thought it was a plane, even though I didn’t see any navigation lights on it. It was flying south to north in a straight line when suddenly it started to make huge loops and move in really odd ways. The speed at which it was making these maneuvers was impossible for a normal aircraft to make. I must have watched it for a minute when I realized I needed to be recording what I was seeing, so I pushed record and filmed what I saw.
It was an incredible thing to witness! It was easy to see with the naked eye but when I reviewed the film, the results were inconclusive. The mountains were set in relief by the light pollution coming from San Diego, so I had a visual reference to see the erratic motions of the craft. In watching the video though, you just see a light in the darkness. The camera can’t pick up enough light to show the mountain range in relation to the unidentified light. As I’m tracking the object with the camera, you can’t see the relative motion. I got on Google Photos and applied image stabilization which helped, but it blurred the light too much with visual artifacts. I then processed it with full brightness which helped see the motion of the object somewhat.
I can see it move around in loops and odd directions, but I don’t know if anyone else will be able to. Still, I saw what I saw, and this is the evidence I gathered. If I see something like this again I’ll stay zoomed out and not follow the light with my phone. It was a really cool thing to witness, that’s why I like stargazing out in the desert, you never know what you’ll see! The lack of light pollution results in an amazing display of stars & the Milky Way at night, so even without UAP’s flying around there is so much to see out here in the darkness.
At the end of the video, I stopped recording and tried to reacquire the light again with my naked eye. Within moments it just vanished, never to appear again. What it was, I’ll never know. I’ve never seen anything so brightly lit up move with such agility. It must have been moving hundreds of feet in the blink of an eye, moving at high rates of speed. There’s no way it was a manned craft to move so fast. The closest thing I can compare it to is an insect flying around a light source at night. Its movements were just so random! Plus it was lit up as bright as an airplane, so who knows what it was? It certainly was an exciting thing to see!
As I was trying to come to terms with what had happened, I saw movement from around the front of my truck. I shone my headlamp on the visitor to find a desert fox staring at me! It turned tail and ran away, I chased after it to look at it better. Every now and then my headlamp would illuminate its eyes with a blue reflection. It would have been pretty spooky if I didn’t know what I was looking at! With the UFO and now the fox sighting, I felt incredibly blessed by my choice in campsites. That, along with the delicious cheeseburger I had earlier and the perfect conditions gave today a 10 on the Stoke Meter without question. Days like this are why I go through so much trouble and expense to do trips such as these. So far this expedition has really delivered, I hope it keeps going this way!
Altitude: 855 ft. Stoke level: 9 Temperature: 84-70 degrees Conditions: sunny, clear, calm
I woke up late after staying up most of the night hoping the UFO/UAP would make another appearance. I orginally had intended to go explore Font’s Point while the crowds were away, but I didn’t want to take a chance on having someone claim this excellent spot while I was away…so I stayed put. I drank many beers while watching the video I made the night before. I did everything I could to try and show what I saw with my naked eye on video, but no matter what I did I wasn’t impressed with the results. With brightness cranked to 100% you can see the grain behind the image and that kind of gives perspective to the motion of the craft. In the end I was disappointed that it didn’t show what I saw with my eyes exactly, but it’s better than not having a video at all.
I made my first big blunder of the expedition so far. I noticed that my cooler was having trouble staying below 40 degrees during the heat of the day (it’s set at 32 degrees, actual temperature is 5-7 degrees above what the display reads). This is on ‘Eco’, which is the most energy-efficient setting. Usually this is fine at night and uses very little power, so it’s my go-to setting. I decided to set it to ‘Max’ setting to see how that worked out. At first, it worked out great, the temperature started to drop back down into the 30’s. I then made the critical error of passing out most of the afternoon. When I woke up around sunset, my energy meter showed I had way overblown my energy budget for the day. My solar battery was dangerously discharged. I had used more power than I had taken in during sunlight hours. I have to be careful about discharging my battery more than 50% in a day, it’s harmful to it if I dip below 12.2 volts. I got right to 12.2 at the low point last night because of my flub, that can’t happen again. I’ll have to take my chances at the ‘Eco’ setting and hope that nothing gets too warm & I get food poisoning.
It turned out to be another perfect night condition-wise. I made a big batch of Mi Goreng Indonesian noodles with snow pea pods, mini corn and fried spam. It takes a lot of prep to make such a meal, but it was worth it. As I cooked, I’d occasionally drop bits of food in the sand which I would throw away towards the perimeter of my campsite. At one point I thought I saw movement and shone my light in that direction. It was the fox, it had returned!
This time it showed no fear of me, and I got good film of him. He was running around gobbling up all the bits of food I had dropped making my noodles. At one point it got within 5 feet of me! I had never been so close to a fox before. At one point I thought he might possibly try and bite me, even though he showed no aggressive behavior and wasn’t foaming at the mouth or anything. He was just a brave little fox. I was honored to be visited by this desert animal. The desert appears to be barren but obviously there’s a lot of life out there running around. I take care on where I walk because I know there’s sidewinders and scorpions out here roaming around at night as well. Still, seeing some wildlife so close was a real treat. As I say in the video, it was a real ‘National Geographic’ kind of moment!
As far as sighting any mysterious crafts, I did witness a strange blinking red light going back and forth across the mountain in roughly the same spot as the object the night before. It would jump around a bit, but nothing like the object did the night before. I made a video, but it really didn’t show that much. I reckoned it could have been maybe a search-and-rescue helicopter looking for someone. I stayed out until around 10 o’clock but didn’t see anything else. There were little moths flying around everywhere, they constantly would fly into my eyes & ears. Eventually I got fed up with the bugs and decided to retreat into the relatively bug-free environment of my camper for the remainder of the evening.
As for tomorrow, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. The week is starting to wind down once again and the weekend warriors will soon be back. I really want to explore Font’s Point before the crowds show back up, but when I’ve found such a quality campsite I’m super hesitant to leave. I want to explore new places, but finding new campsites day after day is sort of a ‘hit-or-miss’ proposition. My main reason for coming down here is desert solitude, and not having to drive around having to burn expensive gas is a huge plus. Wherever I’m at on Friday is where I’ll have to spend the weekend though. I’m in no hurry to go anywhere, but if someone shows up at the other campsite here (weekend warriors love to get up in your space) it’s going to totally ruin this spot. It’s such a lovely campsite, free from the human stain. If a bunch of loudmouth yakkers show up it’ll piss all over my solitude. So I’ll see how it goes. It’s great not having a schedule and being able to do as much or as little as I want!
Altitude: 855 ft. Stoke Meter: 9 Temperature: 90-70 degrees Conditions: sunny, clear, slight wind
Nothing really happened today. No foxes or UFO’S made an appearance. It was a real hot day, and I was just completely drained. Still in high sprits though! I’ve always wanted to watch Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle so I started watching episodes of that show today. I’m pretty impressed with it so far. I’ll definitely be leaving my camp tomorrow. It’s been a great camp, one of my all time favorite places actually. It’s time to make tracks however. I need to let my solar battery recharge, I had another low voltage situation last night. When I’ve got the 12 volt cooler plugged in all day it can’t recharge properly under load. A few hours running off the starting battery should remedy that.
I’ve got a full plate planned for tomorrow. As it is Friday already again, (can’t believe I’ve been here a week!) the weekend warrior plague will be drifting back into town. I need to go do town stuff, as well as upload this blog, check out Font’s Point, and scout out another campsite. It’s going to be a busy day!