This week was the grand finale of our exceptional two-month caravanning adventure with Ted and Katherine. Our next-door neighbors in the campground were Ashland friends and fellow musicians Cynthia and Kyle, who greeted us with open arms and soothed our ruffled feathers from our crash landing in the park. We enjoyed dinners together and music around the campfire when we weren’t blown indoors by high winds sweeping through the canyon. We also spent a lovely evening with more friends from Ashland (Sue, Doug, Karen and Larry) who set up camp for a month at a nearby RV park in their cool retro Airstreams (I wish I had photos of their awesome glamped-up site, but unfortunately, it was too dark). And we were delighted to meet up with fellow full-time RV’ers and bloggers LuAnn and Terry (Paint Your Landscape). We felt an immediate camaraderie with them, and enjoyed hiking together, potluck dinners at camp, and great conversation. Once again, we were reminded of just how fortunate we are to have such loving, generous, fun, and supportive friends. They make everything in life better, enhancing the good times and easing the rough times.
Anza Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California—and it’s also one of the most remote. There’s a rugged beauty here that’s called us back several times over the past decade. We’ve hiked many trails in the park, biked the little town of Borrego Springs and the backcountry, and gone on far-flung expeditions to distant regions of the park. This time, we kept things pretty simple (although we did have one unique all-day adventure; coming up in the next post).
Here, in addition to lots of socializing and planning trailer repairs, are our adventures in Anza Borrego this trip:
• Hiking In The Park: Located within the campground, the Borrego Palm Canyon trail is one of our favorites. At just over 3 miles round-trip, it leads through a beautiful landscape of boulders and spring flowering desert shrubs to the third largest palm oasis in California. Not only is the trail convenient, it’s also a good place for wildflowers, so we hiked the trail on several different days. The trail is also one of the best places to see the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, and we were fortunate to encounter them on three separate occasions.
• Hiking With A Naturalist: The terrific Anza Borrego Foundation offers a variety of guided hikes for a minimal cost. We joined a naturalist for a hike in Cool Canyon, where we learned more about the desert plants than we could possibly remember.
• Sculpture Tour: More than 140 animals, historical characters, and fanciful creatures (including a 350-foot-long serpent) are scattered across the picturesque desert landscape in Borrego Springs. The enormous metal sculptures are a gift to the public from philanthropist David Avery and are the work of artist Ricardo Breceda, who has taken the art of welding to creative new heights. You can pick up a map from the Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association and explore at your leisure.
About the campground: Despite that big bad boulder and the tight turns in the campground, we love staying in Borrego Palm Canyon campground in Anza Borrego. Although full-hookup sites are available, we always choose a no hook-up site because they’re more spacious and prettier (our favorites are those that back up to the canyon wall—this is also where the mountain sheep might cruise through your campsite). Water faucets are located throughout the campground, there’s plenty of sunshine for our solar panels, and there are very nice bathrooms and private showers in the campground. Most of the campsites have a fire pit, picnic table, and shade structure, and some even have their own CCC-built stone ramada and fireplace.
The excellent visitor center is biking distance from the campground. The films and exhibits about the desert are well done, and the staff provides up-to-date tips on the best hikes and where to find the most prolific wildflower blooms.
Next up: A very special day on Ghost Mountain[portfolio_slideshow]