Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has a special place in Steve’s heart. This is where his parents used to boondock in their RV every winter for years, and he visited them several times during their stays. Our last visit here was a decade ago when we flew down to spread his parent’s ashes in the desert that had been their beloved winter home. Now we were excited to return with an RV of our own.
This state park is the largest in California. Located about 80 miles northeast of San Diego, it encompasses more than 600,000 acres of mostly desert wilderness and is framed by many rugged and beautiful mountain ranges. It takes its name from 18th century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and borrego, the Spanish word for bighorn sheep.
This wondrous and wild place with its sweeping vistas offers lots of surprises that beg to be explored, and because it’s so huge our two week stay wasn’t enough to cover it all.
The borregos did not disappoint, as they were there watching and waiting for us to pass so they could cross for their drink of the clear water:
To get off the beaten path and experienced the desert in its most primal state requires a high clearance vehicle. So weren’t we lucky that our friends (and Jeep owners) Dave and Sue of Belugas Excellent Adventures were also in the area and offered to share with us what they had already seen and experienced. Our first drive was to the Wind Caves through Split Mountain. The drive itself was a journey through a geological wonder, and we made several stops to gaze and ponder how time, weather and geology have created so many interesting formations here.
At the Wind Caves, the wildly eroded pockets were such a lure to be explored that Steve and I instantly became kids and started scrambling in and out wherever we could. After lunch we all spent a few more minutes listening to the stillness of the desert and just enjoying the peaceful scenery.
One of the best places to get a look at the Badlands’ surreal scenery was from Font’s Point, at the end of a 4-mile sandy primitive wash. The point has a commanding view of the Borrego Valley and Borrego Badlands below.
We should mention that Jeep owners Dave and Sue, John and Pam, Joe and Gay and Bob and Dee Dee are very kind to us CRV folks. Not only have we enjoyed seeing places we otherwise wouldn’t, but we’ve loved hanging out with all of them as well. A Jeep might be in our future, but what’s the hurry when we have such great folks to take us to these spectacular places?
Two weeks was just too short to thoroughly explore this amazing place. We’ve seen quite a bit, but plenty remains for a return visit. Who knows, we may have a Jeep of our own when we return 🙂
Finally, while driving around we caught glimpses of prehistoric creatures casting a shadow on the desert. Some, like the one pictured below, will be featured in my next post:
Next up: Sky Art in the desert