Saturday, January 14, 2017

Trois Visages

We've been here at Borrego Springs for a few days and the view from my window has changed drastically, while still staying the same.

We arrived to find strong winds kicking up sand in the desert, holed up inside to escape a very rainy Friday and sat outside reading on a picture perfect Saturday.

Thursday we  managed to get out, between gusts, to check out our immediate surroundings and pick up a Julian pie.

A few miles past the entrance to our RV park we came across these huge creatures squaring off in the desert.

They are just a few of the whimsical metal sculptures, created by Ricardo Brecada,  that pepper this area.

A few miles further down the same road and we found ourselves driving through miles of citrus orchards.

Heavy rain started Thursday night and kept up pretty much all day Friday.   We stayed busy inside but enjoyed a wonderful hummingbird show right outside our window.

Hummingbirds are very territorial and this little immature Black Chinned boy spent the entire day zooming between our window feeder and his self appointed job at Beluga's mirror.    It was an exhausting job.

He'd drink, then fly to the top of the mirror to, presumably, digest for a second or two before energetically attacking the other black chin he saw in the mirror.

Back and forth, back and forth,   all    day    long.

I know....we're easily amused.

Today was warm and sunny, just lovely.   Since it's a weekend, and we don't generally like to sight see on weekends, we planted ourselves on our patio and enjoyed the day.

Well, two of us enjoyed the day.   Since it's a weekend, a holiday weekend no less, there are more than the normal number of pink bikes and scooters plying the paved roads in our park.    They make someone very nervous.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


We didn't get much sleep last night.   Lewis did, after he crawled into bed between us, but Dave and I laid awake listening to the howling, screaming wind.   The slide toppers weren't flapping around too badly, so we decided not to get up and bring the slides in.   The awnings unfurled and snapped back making awful noises.   Not a good night for sleeping.   This morning the sun was shining and the wind had calmed to a dull roar.    We're lucky, no rain accompanied the wind.

It was a short drive to our next stop, Borrego Springs.   We left Desert Hot Springs around 11:30 this morning, took roller coaster Dillon Road to Rt. 86., then drove along the mountains through date and citrus orchards.

We had views of the Salton Sea as we approached our turn off.

The road leading to Borrego Springs, S-22, is a terrible road.   It hasn't been resurfaced in....well, probably it has never been resurfaced.    It's bumpy and rattly and cracked,  it jumbles everything in the cupboards.     One must exercise patience and just go slow for the first 10 miles or so.   Let the idiots pass!

Last night's wind was forecast to return this afternoon so we were happy to have a short drive.

Sand drifts on the road, so much better than
snow drifts!

We're excited to be back in this area.   We love the desert here and the way the sun and clouds play over the mountains and badlands.

We're settled in to our site at The Springs at Borrego.   Ex pen is up, hummingbird feeders hung, happy hour enjoyed and dinner dishes done - we're in for the night.

The wind returned a little while ago, kicking up sand in the desert outside of our park, but we're snug and sand free inside Beluga, so let it blow!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

study in assorted colors

Yesterday (Sunday) we enjoyed just the most perfect desert weather.....70 degrees, bright sun, clear blue sky and light winds.    We spent the entire day outside and enjoyed it, every last minute of it.

It rained last night, all night and most of the morning.   I had a jeep road drive planned for today, into one of the nearby canyons so we waited until after lunch to try it.   We thought if the road began to get too muddy or flooded we'd just turn around and call it a day.

We took the roller coaster Dillon Road to Berdoo Canyon Road and proceeded off into the desert.     At the road's intersection we should have paid attention to the sign.......It told us, quite succinctly, what would be ahead.

And, if we didn't get the first sign, the second one should have made it much clearer......

We renamed this end of Berdoo Canyon, The Canyon of Assorted Colors.


and yellow

red and baby blue

gold and white

and day glo orange

shotgun shells, high powered riffle shells, 9mm Luger shells and 22 caliber shell casings -
somebody had a loud party!

We passed a few cars/trucks parked along a paved section of the road.   Their occupants were shooting at assorted targets, bottles, chairs, etc. with rifles and pistols    We continued on for a few miles, following a rough partial road.    Sometimes the road simply "went away" so we dropped down into a damp, sandy wash to continue.  

this section gave new meaning to the term "road narrows".....

I understood that this trail would intersect with the Geology Tour Road in Joshua Tree National Park about 20 miles ahead.   Twenty long miles ahead.

It was fairly late in the day, clouds gathering to the west so we decided to call it a day.    Besides, we had to pass those two guys and their big pistols again on the way out.......

line of clouds hugging the distant San Jacinto Mountains

Nope....probably won't try that way into Joshua Tree National Park again.....

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Fun Saturday gone to the dogs

  I discovered that the country's second largest dog show was being held right here in the Palm Springs area so guess where we went today!

Instead of taking busy I-10 to the Empire Polo Club grounds where the dog show was being held, we opted for the quiet but "exciting" Dillon Road route.   We chose this route for two reasons.   First, it would take us past my favorite date farm, Sam Cobb's Date Farm, and second, Dave loves to drive on it!    One must keep the driver happy.

my driver gets a crazed smile on his face when faced with this roller coaster road
"Hang on", says he!

Sam's farm stand is only open on the weekends and we're only going to be here one more of those so a stop was mandatory.    He has been a farmer since he was 15 years old (he has a picture of himself on the wall at that age) and says he'll never retire, he loves what he does too much!

Sam's big smile says it all!
  Most places sell Mejool dates and so does Sam but what I like about his little place are his experiments.    They are experiments in the sense that he plants different date palms to see what he'll get, but the fruits of those experiments aren't ready for harvest for 20 years!   He'll stop when he sees a palm growing somewhere, dig it up, plants and nurtures it in the hope he'll get something interesting and different.       My very favorite "experiment" is one he calls Candi (after his daughter).   He found that palm on the side of the road many years ago and loved what it eventually produced so he takes the little suckers each mature tree produces and makes new Candi date trees!

he shows us the suckers as he explains

After we made our purchase we wandered a bit in his beautiful date orchard before continuing on to the dog show.

paper bags and sacks shelter the fragile, ripening fruit

I couldn't resist a peek under the skirt

So, back to the dog show.    It was held at the incredible Empire Polo Grounds in Indio.    There were 36 rings, with a different breed of dog being judged in each one.     I understand that this show attracts 10,000 contestants and spectators each day of the three day show.

Pointers wait their turn

one of our favorites, a ring full of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

  Tents and tents and tents full of dogs being groomed and washed and rested before their turn in one of the judging rings were placed on the perimeter of the field.

Dandie Dinmont on the table

An enormous fixed building held vendors of all things dog.      Spectators and anxious owners stood ringside to watch their dog or favorite compete.    We walked and walked, trying to take in everything from the conformation classes (think - beauty pageant) to the agility (think - dogs on a prescribed course at a playground) and obedience classes (think - perfectly trained dogs walking alongside their owners, doing whatever is asked of them, immediately).


(while the judge looks on)

Here are some highlights, dogs that caught my eye.

a miniature wirehaired Dachshund
(Hi Glory!)

a beautiful blonde Saluki

Who could resist that face!

A Chinese Crested being silly

a Borzoi on a sit-stay in the obedience ring

Some were serious and were dedicated to doing their jobs, some couldn't care less where they were and snoozed quietly amid all the hub bub, and some had a really good time!

sometimes a guy needs a little reassurance

A Great Dane waits
(no, not you Nina)
its tiring to be a champion


This Doberman brought his own fun

a game of tug as a reward for doing a good job

playtime with a passing friend

these two Italian Greyhounds got hopelessly tangled
while playing together

Some were bored.

Some just did what dogs do.

a white Bull Terrier reads the paper

Beagles doing what Beagles do best

Some were groomed within an inch of their lives and some were left au natural.

the ridge on a Rhodesian Ridgeback

a Pointer peeks

Mom, can't you put the phone down and play with me awhile?

The little guys in this pen were very anxious for a friend (out of the picture) to notice them.....they erupted like popcorn kernels every time she looked over at them!

Look at me, look at me!

Yea!   Here she comes!

Today was a very good day!