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Messing Around In Orange County's Back Roads

January 15, 2005


Our plan was to go to Tanaja Falls but we wanted to get there a new way via Ortega Highway instead of the Interstate through Lake Ellsinore. Regrettably Ortega Highway, which starts near San Juan Capistrano and heads east through the Santa Ana mountains to Lake Ellsinore, was closed when we got to it because of damage from the recent rains. So we had this idea we'd four wheel over the Main Divide from Silverado to Tanaja Trail and get to the falls. But, the Main Divide was also closed! So we decided we'd hike to Holly Jim Falls in Santiago Canyon instead with a stop at O'Neal County Park for lunch. We had lunch then headed up toward Holly Jim Falls through many wash outs, mud and more and got as far as the truck could go and then set out on foot, packs on and walking sticks in hand. We did not make it far as Santiago Creek was very deep up the trail and it was late. We decided to head back and on the way found a truck stuck in the water that we pulled out with our truck and tow strap and the help of some other folks. After night wheeling in the water and the washes, playing in the mud and rocks  we headed to civilization in Dana Point for dinner.

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