Vivian Creek Trail -- Memorial Day Weekend

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Re: Vivian Creek Trail -- Memorial Day Weekend

Postby Sose » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:19 pm

Hikin_Jim wrote:
Sose wrote:Thanks for the solid info Jim! Excellent map work on your site. I especially like your trail corrections. Most topo maps are based on 1977 or earlier surveys and often not accurate due to overgrown unused trails, washouts and landslides changing routes, or being plotted incorrectly in the first place. Thanks for your service!
Thanks, Sose, and you're welcome. For whatever reason, I just like compiling all this kind of stuff. And I notice when a map is wrong. If I'm watching my map on a hike, and the trail does something different than what the map says, I usually know it. Map errors bug me, so I tend to record that kind of stuff.

HJ

My dad was a cartographer and aerial surveyor in the military and when he retired in 1966, he continued that work as a civilian. In the early 70s, I worked for their company as a spotter (the kid who would do anything) finding old survey markers, marking them with a white tape X for the flyover( no paint allowed) and returning to retrieve the tape. Did some work in the western end of the San Gabriels and Palomar, Anza area for a government contract. I think 1977 was the last full scale boots on the ground survey. Some of the medallions were from 1927, a large amount 1939, and a few fron 1949 & 1957. They were not always where indicated on my map. Sometimes 500 feet down a rockslide or disappeared altogether.
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Re: Vivian Creek Trail -- Memorial Day Weekend

Postby Ed » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:10 am

Fascinating history, Sose, thanks for sharing it with us. And a good reminder that precision is not the same as accuracy.

I preferred the older 15' maps, I thought they gave a better tradeoff between detail and coverage than the 7.5' maps that replaced them. Too bad our government doesn't provide us with 1:50k maps, as most do.

I'm a strong believer in carrying a good topographic trail map and compass, and knowing how to use them. At the same time, I think that advanced map and compass techniques are rarely useful, due to considerations such as terrain, vegetation and visibility. For example, there aren't many places in our mountains where we walk very far in a straight line, and if you rely on summits as landmarks, they are often difficult to see or distinguish from other bumps on a ridge. On the other hand, a map and compass can be useful, to put it mildly, if you simply know which side of a trail, road, ridge or stream you are on, and can steer a rough course with a compass. People who don't learn the basics because think they have to master the full set of techniques are selling themselves short.
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Re: Vivian Creek Trail -- Memorial Day Weekend

Postby jfr » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:27 pm

Hikin_Jim wrote:Please do post pics of the Santa Rosas. The Santa Rosas sound really cool, but I know very little about them.


We took a drive up there way back in November 2010. We drove the dirt Road (Santa Rosa Mountain Road) that goes all the way to both Santa Rosa Mountain and Toro Peak. There is a rough side road to the very top of Santa Rosa (4WD) and there is a gated road to the top of Toro. There are antennas on Toro, and it is on Indian Land, and is posted "No Trespassing." Vicki and I parked below the gate and walked around to the south side of Toro (avoiding the summit) and were treated to excellent views south into Anza Borrego. Very nice.

But the view got us thinking: If you were an incredibly amazing hiker (trail runner, really), you could begin at Toro Peak and traverse the long ridge south to both Villager and Rabbit Peaks, eventually arriving on the desert floor near the town of Borrego Springs; even in winter this would be an extraordinary hike. No water whatsoever the entire way.

Other than that, there aren't a whole lot of hiking trails up there. But it's still a nice way to spend a day in the mountains. Because of the radio towers, the road itself gets maintained to some degree, as trucks have to have access to service the radios and provide fuel for the generators. So your car should make it OK.

Here's my photo-laden trip report: https://hikingtales.com/non-hiking/toro ... mber-2010/

Obligatory photo:
Image
View north to Mt. San Jacinto from the Stump Spring area, near the Toro Campground
My (collected) trip reports: http://hikingtales.com/
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Re: Vivian Creek Trail -- Memorial Day Weekend

Postby Hikin_Jim » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:40 pm

Sose wrote:My dad was a cartographer and aerial surveyor in the military and when he retired in 1966, he continued that work as a civilian. In the early 70s, I worked for their company as a spotter (the kid who would do anything) finding old survey markers, marking them with a white tape X for the flyover( no paint allowed) and returning to retrieve the tape. Did some work in the western end of the San Gabriels and Palomar, Anza area for a government contract. I think 1977 was the last full scale boots on the ground survey. Some of the medallions were from 1927, a large amount 1939, and a few fron 1949 & 1957. They were not always where indicated on my map. Sometimes 500 feet down a rockslide or disappeared altogether.
Now that's cool stuff. I've found a number of old survey markers out there over time, including this one in the Mojave from 1919:
Image

And this one in the back country of the San Jacintos. They're not always easy to find!
Image

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Re: Vivian Creek Trail -- Memorial Day Weekend

Postby Hikin_Jim » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:53 pm

Ed wrote: People who don't learn the basics because think they have to master the full set of techniques are selling themselves short.
Exactly right, Ed. Just learning how to orient the map properly (magnetic vs. true north) alone is a valuable technique. Then learn terrain association and how to take "center of mass" bearings on canyons and ridges. The "advanced" stuff like intersection, resection, etc. is super useful, but only rarely so. I've used the advanced techniques maybe three times in the last 15 years. The rest is all basics.

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Re: Vivian Creek Trail -- Memorial Day Weekend

Postby Hikin_Jim » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:12 pm

jfr wrote:Here's my photo-laden trip report: https://hikingtales.com/non-hiking/toro ... mber-2010/

Obligatory photo:
Image
View north to Mt. San Jacinto from the Stump Spring area, near the Toro Campground

Pretty fascinating stuff, John. I remember your mentioning this trip before. I need to get out that way. I'm particularly intrigued by that apparently well travelled trail you found near Toro Peak.

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Re: Vivian Creek Trail -- Memorial Day Weekend

Postby David W » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:28 pm

I intend to be there a lot this summer if you'd like a tour, Jim.

There may not be a lot of hiking trails (5E03), but there is plenty of off trail and old logging cut rds.

I really enjoy just poking around looking at flora and fauna, climbing rocks and trees with the kids...BEING in nature, not just knocking out miles on a trail.
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Re: Vivian Creek Trail -- Memorial Day Weekend

Postby Hikin_Jim » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:32 pm

David W wrote:I intend to be there a lot this summer if you'd like a tour, Jim.
I most definitely would.

Is 5E03 the Sawmill Trail? Not much else out there hiking wise except the Cactus Spring Trail (5E01). Map: http://caltopo.com/m/RQ60

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