Saturday, January 26, 2019

a couple more desert drives

One day last week Dave and I got into the Jeep and drove down the road next to our RV park.   We drove through the thick citrus groves, lemons and oranges, that line Di Giorgio Road and on past where the pavement ended.      It was a beautiful, sunny day and we wanted to see how far into the desert we could go.

We didn't notice very many wildflowers along this route, but we were amazed at how many beautiful, blooming Ocotillos we saw in every direction.

We're always delighted when we discover water in the desert and this route provided us with three individual water crossings.     None of them were deep, just deep and rocky enough to have a little fun!

Dave....did you forget someone?

At each one we took the time to get out and walk along the moving stream, just to see what we could see.

planes overhead always catch Dave's interest

A few miles after the last crossing our dirt track turned sharply up into the mountains and we followed awhile, until the going became extremely narrow and bouldery.    We knew this road would only continue a few more miles before stopping at a locked gate, so we decided not to push our luck on this section, and turned around for home.    Perhaps next time.

Yesterday, we (Pam and John, Dave and I) decided to make the long drive to the southern section of  Anza Borrego State Park and do a little more desert driving in an area we hadn't yet explored.    Anza Borrego State Park is the second largest park in the country and it's places of interest are spread out over many many miles.     From the time we left home until our turn off pavement onto the Mortero Wash, we traveled over an hour on local roads, sometimes through broad, flat valleys and sometimes on twisty mountain roads (S-22, S-3, Rt.78, and S-2).   

I didn't take many pictures on this drive, but we had a very good time'll have to take my word for it.

We came to a long, defunct railroad track (completed in 1919 and connecting San Diego and Yuma, AZ)  and it's remaining water tower.

Nearby is a hike to one of the oldest Native American Campsites in Anza Borrego State Park, and further along the tracks another hike leads to the Goat Canyon Trestle, one of the largest free standing wooden trestles in the world.   In fact, these old tracks once moved it's trains over 14 trestles and 21 tunnels.     Doing some research on this area, Pam discovered that the Goat Canyon Trestle has been recently (October) closed to any visitation - darn!    I also found out that hiking along these old tracks is illegal but often facilitates illegal immigrants escaping from Mexico.

After exploring the tracks and its surrounds we continued along their path, looking for a cave with pictographs - Pietra Grande.

get out of the way John, here we come!

The road went up and down a fair bit and we made a few miss starts eventually ending in an extremely narrow and rocky canyon.    Since we had one more spot we wanted to investigate, a few miles away,  we turned around at that pinch point and made our way back to the highway.       

not enough room for us anymore.....

Lots of beautiful rocks and cactus along the route.

Our next stop was down in Canyon Sin Nombre.   We decided it would be a perfect place for lunch.

This is a favorite place.   It's walls narrow, the path rocky and sandy and the fantabulous (that may or may not be a word, but it really fits) rock formations and shapes shot through with twists of pure white, black and shiny gold.

John tries to climb the "waterfall"     Oh John......

Today is Saturday, and by next Saturday we'll be in Tucson.   I can't believe a month has almost gone by.  It's always hard to leave this area, there are so many more places left to explore.....and rounds of golf to be played.    We'll do our best to make the most of our remaining few days.   Stay tuned and stay warm to our dear friends in the frozen east.


  1. Love the blooming ocotillo and the WATER!

    I have hiked to the trestle before, it is a challenging hike. I wonder if the trestle is closed due to folks getting hurt on it, or perhaps due to big horn breeding season???

    1. The trestle, tunnels and tracks now in the hands of the Baja California Railroad Company, a private company. I was able to hike the trestle from both the north and south ends back-in-the-day when the tracks were available.

  2. Sure do miss my old trusty Jeep CJ5 I had years ago... I miss more when we are out west simply because there are lots of old roads out there I would love to explore...

  3. You were so close to Pietras Grande! 6mi RT on foot, or you can cut that by more than half using a different approach for the Jeep (4x4 rqd).
    It's hard to believe that all the sediment were laid down flat. The uplifts and anticline folds make for some really unique geology patterns.

  4. Looks like fun adventures in beautiful weather. Love the leafed out and blooming ocotillo! Enjoy your last week in Borrego Springs—and then on to another gorgeous desert locale! What a glorious year in the desert with all of the water.

  5. Wonderful pictures and fun times with great friends. I can just imagine the ocotillo in bloom and how the red lipstick colored flowers are dotting the desert.
    Time passes by when having lots of adventures and places to explore while in the desert especially when it has been watered recently.