Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park - Day 3

Sunday had even more adventures than Saturday. Don and I were up before the sun - first drinking our coffee in sweatpants and sweatshirts, then gradually losing layers as the sun warmed us up. It was so peaceful.  Have I said before how much I love the desert?  I do.  Utah, California, Arizona, Nevada - you name it. I love the desert.  Of course, there's no fishing there, but it sure was nice to hear Don say, "I think I would love to come back here a lot."  Next winter, for example - if we see the weatherman predict a snowstorm coming in, we can just leave!  I'd much rather experience some rain in the desert instead of a snowstorm up here in the mountains.

After breakfast we packed a lunch and left on our days' travels.  First up was a short drive up the mountain to Culp Valley, and a hike to Pena Spring.  We ended up going way past the spring, down to the end of the valley where there was a wonderful view overlooking Borrego Springs. Then we hiked back up to the spring, which was actually running. The miniature stream was about 6 inches across, and ran for 25-30 yards before it seeped into the ground.

Max at the beginning of the trail.

Don, Patty, Max, and Patrick coming down the trail.

At the pour-off/viewpoint.

Patty, Don, and Patrick looking out over Borrego Valley.


The lower part of the "stream" coming out of Pena Spring

It doesn't show up that well, but that's running water.

I have no idea what kind of berries these are. They look pretty good!

The spring is in the center of the photo, behind the large green bushes and in a stand of small trees.
After we finished the hike, we headed up the hill in order to make a loop outside the park and back in. On the way we made a potty break at the little store in Ranchita.  Sitting outside the store is its famous statue of Bigfoot - the "Rancheti."

From Ranchita we took the S22 over to the S2 and drove back into the park. We then took a left on the 78 and went about 6 miles to the Mine Wash Road. There we went south about a mile and a half and parked next to a large pile of rocks (reminiscent of the rocks at Joshua Tree). In the late 1800s there was a Kumeyaay village, so we walked around to see what remnants we could see.

Large mortero rock with a metate still on it.

An even larger mortero

The bloom at the end of an Ocotillo branch

Patrick and Max climbing on the rocks
Once we finished walking around the rocks, we headed back to our campsite. There I took a short nap, then enjoyed sitting out in the shade for a while. It was Patrick's night to cook, and he'd had some beef curry cooking in the crockpot all day. It was pretty interesting - beef, potatoes, onion, in a curry sauce with some coconut milk thrown in. They served it over rice and with some toppings (mushrooms, hard-boiled egg, and green onions).  I was leery, but ended up cleaning my good-sized bowl.

I think I've fallen in love with Anza-Borrego.  All these years I've lived in California, all these years I've heard Patrick talk about it, and this was the first time. For some reason I thought it was all a giant OHV area.  Since I really don't care for the OHV crowd, I'd never gone. But the park and the Ocotillo Wells OHV park are two separate areas - and you can't OHV in Anza-Borrego. So, we'll be back!

1 comment:

Merikay said...

Good to see you are taking trips even if you can't go full time.