On January 3rd Corey & I arrived at San Diego – Imperial Beach. We spent 2 days at a Holiday express near the beach. This area is amazing but… way to many people! We stayed off the highways in the mornings and afternoons as the traffic here is crazy (12 lane highways!). On January 5th, we headed out on CA-78. It leaves on the north side of San Diego. It was a drizzly day (figures-it never rains in California…except when I want to ride a bike!). The rain got worse as we topped the hills (elevation over 4200’). We had some obstacles with the worse being an accident. It didn’t involve us but we helped out with traffic control. And it delayed us about 1½ hours. Because of the rain and delay (safety), we drove the last several miles to the campsite. Strange weather here; we came to the border of Anza-Borrego State Park (still in San Diego County) it was drizzling. We arrived at the campsite less than 5 miles away…no rain, clear skies, desert! I cannot emphasize enough how weird that is!
Anza-Borrego State Park – A beautiful desert state park. It is large with all the things you’d expect in a desert. During the day, we did some hiking and exploring with temperatures around 70. But at night, it dropped to the low 30’s! My Pretty-Good sleeping bag was beginning to seem like Not-Quite-Good- Enough sleeping bag. We are still at 2000’ elevation which probably aided the colder temps. Heard coyotes (very similar to the eastern coyote in sound.) and some owls. Wildlife is sparse but the scenery is spectacular. I did get into a fight with a barrel cactus… and the cactus won! The thorns stuck into my leg almost like porcupine quills. And when I pulled them out blood spurted out! Don’t mess with cacti! They all have thorns 😝
So talking with the Park Director, we found out she was born in Eastport, Maine. Small world. She gave us some insight on what to see out here. When we were leaving the campground, a car pulled up to take pictures of the mountains. I offered to take their picture and noticed the Arizona lic
ense plate. After talking with mom & daughter noticing the out-of-state plates, she informed us it was a rent a car. They were really from Maine! What are the chances? Talked with 5 people in the last 2 days and 3 of them were from Maine! Maine people get around! Note: they were from Falmouth.
Pretty barren landscape with its own beauty.
These are everywhere!!
Stopped at Blu-In Roadside stop. (I’d tell you it was on CA-78 so as not to be confused with the other roads here…THERE ARE NO OTHER ROADS HERE!) It was in Ocotillo Wells, CA…the only spot for miles. And this place is the ATV capital of the world! A playground for families and lovers of off-road riding! Camping cost if you stay in the near-by park…but you can camp anywhere in the desert if you want –FREE! We had a hot lunch, which was awesome. As we ate, one of the young riders (boy about 9), came up to me and it was clear he wanted to say something. I introduced myself and he began… His eyes looked up towards my forehead and he preceded to tell me about his favorite football team. And how his Denver Broncos decimated (his word, not mine) the Patriots last year. He must have noticed my Patriots hat J. After a little jousting, we had a great conversation about football. Gotta love kids 😀
Blu-In RV and roadside stop – ATV capital of the world…the desert is your playground!
For my friends back at RES, what kind of plant life lives in the California desert? I mentioned some. Can you think of others? How about animal life? I bet Ms. Broderick can help you research that! By Monday, we hope to be camping on the river that separates California from Arizona. Do you know what river it is? (I had a picture of it…and the Grand Canyon it created, on my wall last year.)
Our plans are to camp near Salton Sea (a salt water lake!) on Saturday night (tonight). Our next overnight will be camping at the Imperial Sand Dunes on Sunday and hope to be at the river for Monday night. Stay tuned, Arizona soon! 😊
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