Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hiking in the Torrey Pines State Reserve

Two men hiking
Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

Brian Borg of San Diego has worked as a human resources and risk management professional for nearly two decades. In his free time, Brian Borg enjoys taking day hikes in popular San Diego County locations, including Torrey Pines State Reserve. 

A coastal state park situated near the community of La Jolla, California, Torrey Pines State Reserve is the perfect destination for those who enjoy both hiking and relaxing at the beach. The six hiking trails found in the park vary in length and difficulty, meaning there is a hike for all ages and ability levels.

Those in the mood for a relaxing, scenic hike will want to check out the Guy Fleming Trail. This 2/3-mile loop is relatively flat and easy, but it features two great lookout points with panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding landscape. Despite its short length, the Guy Fleming Trail also features the greatest diversity of plant life found throughout the reserve. 

If you're looking for more of a workout, you'll want to hit the Broken Hill Trail. This trail is made up of two paths—one 1.2 miles and one 1.3 miles—and each offers a somewhat strenuous, uphill climb. Once you reach heightened points on the trail, however, your hard work will be rewarded with great views of the beautiful reserve land below.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Mississippi John Hurt - Country Blues Artist With an Enduring Legacy

Antique Guitar
With a home base in San Diego, Brian Borg is a hiking and nature enthusiast who has explored many of America’s national parks. Another of Brian Borg’s passions in San Diego is music. He particularly enjoys pre-war blues artists such as Son House, Robert Johnson, and Mississippi John Hurt.

The latter artist was known for his subtle fingerpicking style forged in rural Mississippi of the early 20th century. Self-taught, Hurt started playing guitar at age nine on an instrument called Black Annie, and he paired up with fiddle player Willie Narmour on a series of seminal Okeh Records sessions in the late 1920s. 

Following three decades of relative obscurity, Hurt’s unique blend of blues and gospel was reintroduced to the public in 1952 with inclusion of “Spike Driver Blues” and “Frankie” on the Anthology of American Folk Music by Harry Smith. With a new generation of finger style guitar enthusiasts taking notes, Hurt was finally brought to the live stage through early 1960s appearances at the Philadelphia and Newport Folk Festivals. 

This led to an extended residency on MacDougal Street at Greenwich Village’s fabled Gaslight Cafe. At the epicenter of a growing folk music movement, Hurt hung out with and influenced artists as diverse as Buffy Saint Marie, John Sebastian, Dave Van Ronk, and Pete Seeger. This in turn influenced the course of rock, folk, and blues music throughout the 1960s and beyond.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Pinnacles - A Unique Californian Granitic and Volcanic Formation

Based in San Diego, Brian Borg maintains a strong focus on family and parenting in his daily life. With a love of the outdoors, Brian Borg has visited natural areas in San Diego and across the state, including Yosemite National Park and Pinnacles National Monument.

Situated in Central California to the west of the Santa Lucia mountains, Pinnacles forms a distinct geological boundary at an active fault line. West of the fault is a granitic basement rock that formed gradually as huge masses of molten lava gradually rose through the Earth’s crust and cooled and solidified about 80 to 100 million years ago. 

East of the fault is a volcanic formation, with rhyolitic magma extruded and deposited 23 million years ago on top of the original granitic basement. Over the millennia, fracturing, faulting, and wind and water-caused erosion have resulted in vertically sculpted rock layers that form cliffs, spires, and pinnacles that can reach hundreds of feet in elevation.

The unique breccias or layered rocks that form the Pinnacles are also found in one other spot, 195 miles to the southeast. This represents a long-term displacement by the San Andreas Fault, which is bringing the Pinnacles north at a rate of 0.59 inches each year.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

All About Torrey Pines State Reserve

The recipient of a bachelor's degree in philosophy from San Diego State University, Brian Borg is a human resources professional who enjoys hiking in his free time. One of Brian Borg's favorite places to hike is Torrey Pines State Reserve located in La Jolla, a community in San Diego, California.

As a State Natural Reserve, Torrey Pines is a designated area of preservation for the Pinus torreyana, which is the rarest species of a pine tree in the United States. The tree, which once covered a much larger area, now only grows in Torrey Pines and on Santa Rosa Island. The park also preserves one of Southern California's last waterfowl and salt marshes. 

Camping and picnicking are prohibited, but those who visit Torrey Pines for the purpose of hiking can expect scenic views characterized by deep ravines and high broken cliffs overlooking the ocean. Trails are carved through the park's wind-sculpted pine trees and the visitor center is a memorable pueblo-style structure and former restaurant that is nearly 100 years old. 

Admission to the park ranges from $10 to $25 on any given day based on demand. Its busiest hours are between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Features of Joshua Tree National Park

Nature enthusiast Brian Borg spends much of his time with his family enjoying the outdoors near their home in San Diego. Brian Borg is a frequent visitor to several parks in and around San Diego, including Joshua Tree National Park.

Located at the junction of the Colorado and Mojave deserts, Joshua Tree National Park offers visitors a unique landscape dotted with an unusual array of desert plants and animals. One species at the center of the park’s ecosystem is its namesake, the Joshua Tree. 

Joshua trees are in the same family as orchids and grasses and are known for their bare, spindling branches topped by a tuft of durable leaves and flower buds. Joshua trees thrive in the park’s arid climate. 

The park's landscape also contains formations of wind-shaped boulders and shrub-like cacti. Inspired by the otherworldly scenery, several artists and architects have constructed unique buildings and art structures throughout Joshua Tree National Park.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

NASA's Golden Record - The Legacy of Blind Willie Johnson

Brian Borg of San Diego, California is a human resources and risk management professional who has over 17 years of experience in his field. Musically, Brian Borg is a blues fan. One of his favorite blues musicians is Blind Willie Johnson.

Somewhere, out in intergalactic space, there is a record containing some of the most important and influential music in human history, including a track from Blind Willie Johnson. The “Golden Record,” launched with NASA’s Voyager 1 probe in 1977, serves as one part of a greeting to any potential alien life that may intercept the craft. Aside from Johnson, the record also includes music from Mozart, Bach, Chuck Berry, and many others. 

The committee that chose the music for the record included famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan, who wanted to choose a song that represented all of humanity and the human experience. He eventually settled on Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground,” saying that the song’s haunting hums and slide guitar evoked a situation Johnson and many others had faced, “Nightfall with no place to sleep.”

In life, Johnson had it rough. He was blinded by his stepmother as a child and eventually died of malaria after his house burned to the ground. In death, however, he’s one of a select few musicians whose legacy may one day include contact with an alien race millions of miles from his home.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Pinnacles Helps Support Wild California Condors

A summa cum laude graduate of San Diego University, Brian Borg has more than two decades of experience in risk management, human resources, and business analysis. Personally, Brian Borg enjoys traveling with his family from his home in San Diego to visit some of the state's natural areas, such as Pinnacles National Park.

First inhabited by native peoples and then Spanish missionaries and settlers for centuries before its designation as a national park in 2013 by President Barack Obama, Pinnacles National Park encompasses approximately 26,000 acres of land formed by the eruption of several volcanoes. Visitors have the opportunity to hike numerous trails through the quiet wilderness and learn about the area's flora, fauna, and geology.

Pinnacles National Park began serving as a release site for the California condor in 2013. The species had disappeared from the wild by 1987. In response, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with the Ventana Wildlife Society in order to make a coordinated effort to save the California condor. Over a period of 15 years, they set roughly 20-30 condors free each year in Pinnacles.

Today, park staff at Pinnacles work with scientists, interns, and volunteers to watch and protect the park's resident condors. Visitors can also see the spectacular birds of prey soaring over the park.