August 7, 2014 (Borrego Springs) – Tom Lemon sent in these photos of a “secret stream”, along with this description:
“I hadn't visited this stream in many years. Me and my sons went to Cuyamaca for brunch on Father's Day and then down Banner Grade to Borrego Springs. The weather was a bit like today with mild temps and a little bit of humidity but just great by desert standards. I did two laps around the "Christmas Circle" just for fun and then north on DeGeorgio Road to where the pavement ends. There's a good gravel road that any passenger car could drive.”
He adds, “In a few miles there's a seasonally locked gate to protect bighorn sheep and other wildlife, allowing them undisturbed access to water and food.We stayed for an hour taking pictures and exploring the stream...There is still a little known road from the desert floor to the Sunrise Highway that was used to haul hay from the Lagunas to desert ranches. The Vallecitos Stage Station carried the "Jackass Mail" and got hay for their stock from Mt. Laguna. I walked a little way up to take some pics and met a couple of mountain bikers. There is just too much local history for me to continue, please check the links:”
"Most stops along the trail were for only a few minutes to change horses and drivers. Passengers ate a good meal only once every 24 hours at what were called "Home Stations." Vallecito was a Home Station, and good meals were provided to the Butterfield-Overland travelers from produce and meat supplied by farmers on Mt. Palomar. Meals mentioned as having been served at Vallecito include beef stew, venison and sauerkraut. There were two coaches a week, and passengers could wait for the next coach, but the only sleeping accommodations were their own two blankets on the dirt floor."
Lemon also credits Jerry Schad, author of Afoot and Afield in SD County, for leading him to some "amazing places."