Things are wrapping up here in Anza Borrego. After three glorious weeks of basking in the desert sun, tomorrow we’ll be moving on…to more desert. It constantly surprises me how much we love the desert. What is it about this vast, rugged, seemingly inhospitable, landscape that enchants us so much? Maybe it’s the wide open spaces, or the eerily dark night sky? Or maybe it’s how little things like a cactus about to bloom, or the tiny green leaves that magically appeared on the Ocotillo outside our window, are so delightful out here amongst the brown ombré landscape. Whatever it is, we’re hooked.
Last weekend we ventured out for a little desert exploring with Leigh & Brian. One of the things we love about Anza-Borrego, and the reason why so I suspect so many people return year after year, is that the amount of places to discover is nearly infinite. Even though we spent three weeks here last January, it only took a minimal amount of effort to seek out some previously unexplored areas. One of those was a very cool abnormality called the Pumpkin Patch. This small patch of desert is home to hundreds of pumpkin shaped rocks that have “sprouted” out here in the desert.
To get there we took a 4-wheel drive road through a truly barren landscape of sculpted sand and rock. It was like driving around the moon.
The next day we ventured over to Hellhole Canyon for some hiking. This ~5 mile hike led us through a spectacular array of desert diversity and up into a canyon filled with native California Palms.
The California Fan Palm (washington filifera) is the only palm tree native to the western US. These palms grow in areas where natural water sources occur. Which explains the presence of them here in the canyon. Even though at this time of year the stream that flows down the canyon is reduced to a mere trickle, the palms all appeared happy and healthy with some new baby palms sprouting alongside the giants. At certain times of year there is a rushing waterfall at the end of the trail, but right now it’s more like a water dribble. Even without the waterfall we enjoyed the hike and stopped near the end to munch on snacks and pose for a group photo that you can see on Leigh’s blog post.
Our daily social gatherings have continued this week with the arrival of fellow Airstreamers, Mali Mish. The last time we saw this traveling family of five was during our caravan to Canada last fall, so it’s been great to catch up and hang out again.
We have also been hanging out with another traveling family from Alaska. Shannon, Dominic, Elli & Charlotte spend half the year traveling, and the other half running a restaurant in Alaska. They’ve joined our crew for happy hour several times and then yesterday we all trudged down to their little spot of desert for a pre-dinner fire and drinks.
All this socializing naturally leads to the sharing of good food. Which brings us to our last day here in Anza-Borrego where we are vey much looking forward to hosting a potluck gathering of all the people I just mentioned- and maybe more! Luckily great produce is easy to find here in this tiny town, and for the third week in a row I ventured out to the Friday farmers market this morning to stock up on fresh fruit and greens. The best finds this year are the super sweet strawberries and the mountains of sugar peas that we have been eating almost non-stop. I also stopped at the fruit stand on the edge of town and scored a humongous bag of grapefruit for only 3 dollars!!!
That about wraps it up here in Anza-Borrego. Tomorrow morning we’ll hitch up and travel to Quatzsite, AZ for a the big RV show. It’s our first time attending and from what we’ve heard it’s quite the scene. Stay tuned….