Marion Mountain Campground, San Bernardino NF - September 21-23, 2007

The weather forecast for this weekend was scary: a freak September storm coming from the Artic. Lows in the high thirties, a Saturday high in the low forties, chance of precipitation Friday evening through Saturday afternoon about 70%, and to top it off a snow level that could reach as low as 5,000 feet (our campground was at 6,300')! But even with such an ominous forecast we decided to still give it a shot (hey its camping right?). So Mark and Michelle Vander Pol, Beth Toeset, and Anna Vander Pol went up into the storm.

We took a little different route up to Idyllwild than what we had taken in the past. This time we took Hwy-79 through Temecula, then Hwy-371 through Anza, and Hwy 74 to Mountain Center. This route goes behind Palomar Mountain and up to the San Jacinto Mountains from the southeast. This photo is looking back on the mountains around Palomar. This drive was really nice and scenic and will most likely be our standard route up to Idyllwild.

We were expecting to have to set up our tents in the rain Friday night, but thankfully that didn't happen. Saturday morning was cold and dreary but a fire and some coffee brought light to the day!

Even though it didn't really rain much, most of the day Saturday was foggy with some heavier drizzle at times. The fog came into the campground and made it look really surreal.

More fog.

Still more fog.

We went to the Fuller Mill picnic area to walk around. The stream was hardly flowing, but the little valley was quite lush in vegetation and looked more like Western Washington at times.

The girls in front of a big rock.

There is a small lake (Lake Fulmor) that we walked around. Unfortunately the fog was really thick so we could hardly even see the other side.

Anna looking at climbing the rock over the water.

Mark and Anna made it up!

We pulled into a scenic vista and looked down into the valley below underneath the clouds. The lake in the top of the photo is Diamond Valley Lake.

Michelle and Anna at the scenic vista.

Warming around the fire.

Sunday morning was quite cold (Mark's little therometer said 35 degrees!) Getting out of the tent we could see why it was so cold, there was not a cloud in the sky! Here the sun is beginning to hit Fuller Ridge.

Mark and Anna sitting by the fire.

Beth cooking a breakfast of eggs and bacon.

We went for a short hike on the Marion Mountain Trail Sunday morning and looked down again into the valley below the clouds.

Michelle and Anna walking back into the campground.

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day - too bad we had to leave! Overall it was a great weekend in the mountains. We all stayed dry and relatively warm. If you have any questions just e-mail memark(REMOVE)

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