Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Day in Anza Borrego Desert State Park...

We agreed on a 10am meet time. It was a later time than usual, but since it was Sunday we all wanted to sleep in a bit. Robert and I met our friends Frank and Heather at the Anza Borrego Desert State Park Visitor’s Center. We decided the Visitor’s Center would be a good starting point for our latest adventure into the 600,000+ acre park.

After checking trail conditions at the Visitor’s Center, we drove east on S-22 to Palo Verde Wash. We stopped briefly to deflate our tires and take some pictures of wildflowers. Although it was rather late into the blooming season, the desert was still awash in vibrant colors of yellow, pink, and purple.

We headed south on Fault Wash and came across some rather strange looking rock formations.

And then a quick jaunt on the Cut Across Trail took us to Military Wash. We hiked around an area that had been used in the early 1940’s as a shooting range for about an hour. The wash was littered with shell casings, bullets, and other debris left behind by the Military. Lots of Desert Sunflowers were still in bloom, but were being eaten right before our eyes by huge flying wasp-like insects. It was an interesting place to explore.

We eventually reached Buttes Pass Road where we found the only shady spot around – under a Desert Ironwood – and had a delicious lunch of bologna sandwiches. Of course we had to take a group photo in front of our vehicles. From there, we back-tracked to Blow Sand Canyon, where Robert played on a big sand dune, continued along Goat Trail and then back to the other end of Buttes Pass Road.

From Goat Trail we could see down into Hawk Canyon and thought it looked like a good place to stretch our legs and explore. In the canyon we found the beautiful Desert Five Spot and Ghost Flower. Unfortunately the wind was gusting pretty good, so we lingered only long enough to take a few pictures and then it was back in the Jeep.

After Hawk Canyon we crossed over Highway 78 towards the Cactus Garden. The wind was still blowing, but Heather had never been to the Cactus Garden before. We wandered around a bit, before the wind became too unbearable.

As with other trips we’ve taken with Frank and Heather, we ended the day back in Borrego Springs for a delicious dinner. We dined at Assagio Ristorante and over pasta and wine, mapped out our next adventure into Anza Borrego.