Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Five Dollar a Day Challenge - Day 5

Bonnie provided the fixings for a couple of tasty sandwiches, and after a quick lunch we headed off in search of adventure in the Cuyamaca wilderness.  You never really know what you are going to find when you head out on the trail, but this little hike ended in something completely unexpected.  Somewhere near the top of Japacha Peak, on the eastern side, was one of the strangest monuments that I have ever encountered.  We set off on the West Side Trail, and after about a mile came to a marker for something called the Monument Trail.  After following this uphill for about a mile and a half, we entered a little clearing where somebody had dropped a 12 cylinder airplane engine! It was mounted on a stone and concrete pedestal, with a plaque that read, "In Memory of Col. F.C. Marshall and 1st Lt. C.L. Weber who fell at this spot Dec 7th, 1922."  A hive of bees had made their home inside of it, and they were buzzing in and out of an exhaust port.  The monument itself is a little piece of early aviation and military history - and it was a pleasure to find this by accident.  I would like to give credit to Mr. Alexander D. Bevil for writing a wonderful piece about this mysterious chunk of metal that is enshrined on a lonely and forgotten trail in the backcountry of San Diego.  You can click the quote below to see the full story.   

"Neither monumental nor imposing, the Airplane Crash Memorial on Japacha Ridge is a simple expression of three generations’ honor and respect. First in 1923, then again in 1934 and 1968, they built and improved the monument so that 'the present and coming generation' would honor the memory of the two pioneer military aviators who died on this spot while flying outdated machines through treacherous skies over forbidding terrain."

One thing that a nice long uphill hike will do, is make you hungry.  Feeling a bit nostalgic-like, I decided on making some Sloppy Joes.  This ended up putting over my budget for the day, as one pound of ground beef costs about $5 now, and that is just way too much.  Add the buns, Manwich sauce, and tater tots - and I was well into the next day's cash allowance.  I decided to try to conserve a little bit of money and use ground pork instead, since it was leaner and cheaper than beef.  Sloppy Wilburs, I called it.  While everybody involved agreed that it is better when you use beef, Bonnie still ate two sandwiches while I had three. 

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