“650,000 square acres… pick a place”

Last weekend our beach excursion plans fell through at the last moment so Liz and I woke up Saturday morning and decided to head out for the night.  We tossed a coin between a 7,ooo’ elevation forest two hours north or a desert several hours southeast.  After checking the weather forecast we decided to have L’s first trip to the Western Colorado Desert before the daytime temperature really heats up for the summer.

We didn’t leave until early afternoon, hit lots of traffic, and arrived at the ranger station two minutes before closing. We rushed in and ask the ranger where we could camp.  He looked at us, hesitated, and said “The Anza-Borrego State Park has 650,000 square acres.  Pick a place.”  So we did.  (There are a few rules about not making new roads and campfires but basically it’s wide open land with a lot of off-road trails).  We picked a road heading east toward the Salton Sea. Forty miles later the pavement ends.  Take a right up a flash flood wash toward sandstone canyons and that’s where we parked for the night.

Off season in the desert starts promptly at the end of Memorial Day weekend. The temperature is heating up and the tens of thousands of off-road enthusiasts have packed their toys away for the summer.  As we drove through the town of Borrego Springs CA at 5pm last Saturday it was a ghost town.  We saw two people.  Ocotillo Wells was boarded up.  By the time we arrived at Fish Creek Wash around 6:30pm we hadn’t seen another vehicle for a while.  There were a few college biology majors camping near us studying lizards and snakes.

Here’s proof we made the trip.

L asked for chairs as soon as we arrived to sit out in the last rays of Saturday's sun and "warm-up"

"Umm... honey... there's no cell service out here..."

Dusk in Fish Creek Wash, outside of Ocotillo Wells, CA

There were plenty of stars out later but I was asleep by then

Just checking on breakfast

It turned out just fine

On our way Sunday morning deeper into Fish Creek Wash to check out the Wind Caves

L asked for a pause on the way down Fish Creek Wash for a photo opportunity

Trail marker, desert version

Wind Caves carved out by the sandstone yielding to relentless wind

Anyone home?

Two city folks out in the desert

Ancient petroglyphs. NOT!



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2 responses to ““650,000 square acres… pick a place”

  1. Suz

    You know….. you are making the rest of us look REALLY boring…….. Yes, I’m jealous!

  2. It’s because the rest of you are getting older!
    I refuse to acknowledge it is also happening to us

    Do you think Gracie would run out of room in 650,000 square acres?

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