The Babad Do’ag Trail is surrounded by flowers and green! I am more familiar with the trail in winter when the hillsides are shades of brown and tan, amazing to see it so green – but the trail is quite low on the mountain and, even with a few clouds and a little wind, the heat was… oppressive…
In April of this year the General Hitchcock Highway was briefly closed due to the Molino Fire. News reports at the time indicated that the suspected cause of the fire was recreational shooting. Ultimately the fire was fairly small – around 80 acres – and after the summer rains/growth it is hard to see the fire’s impact. The fire did touch the Babad Do’ag Trail – but only lightly, occasional burned agave mixed in with new growth.
By mid-day the highway had re-opened – low on the mountain there was no sign of yesterday’s storm – but somewhere before Bear Canyon snow started covering the ground. There was more snow higher on the mountain – and an impressive display of ice on the roadcut above the pullout for the Ridgeline Climbing Area.
The past several updates have talked about the collars dropping off as the batteries run out – 3 of the collars failed to drop off, but “This does not create any added potential risk to the animals since they are mature adults”.
Since the end of 2013 there have been published updates on the project every two weeks – starting in March the plan is to go to once a month updates: “With the continued positive indicators on this project (including a successful November 2015 release and 2013 collars now dropping off as anticipated) the Catalina Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction Project is running smoothly and requiring less intensive management. Coupled with this milestone is an anticipated reduction in the frequency of the current routine bi-weekly project updates. Beginning in March we intend going to a monthly update schedule (issued on the last Friday of each month).”
Sahara Mustard threatens to bring a real “Silent Spring” to the Anza-Borrego Desert and other deserts of the Southwest. Sahara Mustard quickly multiplies to overshadow, poison, and rob water from the wildflower fields and blooming cacti that bring so many visitors from around the world to see the. Eventually, Sahara Mustard can kill even tough creosote, cholla and barrel cacti, literally taking over the desert and turning it into a mustard wasteland devoid of the biodiversity needed to sustain desert wildlife
Close to the highway, not notably long or strenuous and without a dramatic ending the Babad Do'ag Trail is sometimes overlooked – but the short ridge before the end of the trail is a fun section of trail, the sunsets are great and with a bit of extra work and skill there are several off-trail destinations in easy reach – the highpoint just above the end of the trail, Point 4780 east of the trail and the cross-country journey over to Soldier Trail to name a few – certainly all worthy small adventures!