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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Desert Safari

Rick Morgan

I have to admit, it was kind of hard leaving the familiar territory of Palm Springs, yet exciting to go into the desert to explore and discover new surroundings and adventures. 

Initially we were going to dry-camp, or boondock, as it is commonly referred to in the RV circles, in the desert, but after the “virus crud” struck we lost some time, and decided to head for Palm Canyon Campground in Anza-Borrego State Park located in the “artsy community” of Borrego Springs, CA

(One of the attractions of  boondocking for us is solitude- interestingly enough the boondocking sites both inside and outside the park were pretty crowded at this time of year.)

 In addition, the fun and exciting news was our friends and fellow camp-hosts from Glacier National Park, Griff & Pam Griffiths met us at the State Park, and together we explored the area for a couple of days. Good thing, as they had a four wheel drive Jeep to navigate the sands and roads less traveled. Our little FIT would have quickly and easily been buried.

You often wonder what the desert has to offer or I should say….I wonder what the desert has to offer but if you just stop, and look closely, it has so many things to say, and do in it. There is hiking, biking, camping, rock hounding; seeking out historic sites and points of interest and so forth...but one of the last things you would think of is a desert safari.

Yes, complete with sloths, camels, horses, mammoths, serpents, tigers and the like. Galleta Meadow Estates is a fascinating and remarkable vision of Philanthropist Dennis Avery and Perris Jurassic Park Sculptor Ricardo Breceda. The owner of the Galleta Meadow Estates, Dennis Avery owns many acres surrounding Borrego Springs and has been responsible for bringing the artwork to the desert. No fencing and he allows the public free access to the artwork. Mr. Avery hired Ricardo Breceda to create free standing art sculptures that would be on display in the desert for all to enjoy.

The photos do not really give justice to the work but will give you a good idea about the surrounding area and the sculptures.

And…BTW…who knew there were Badlands here? Yes, the Borrego Badlands with views from Fonts Point which in our opinion, are equal to those in some of the National Park’s in Utah.

After our visit to  the Badlands we stopped at 7 Palms - who knew you could get mail in the desert? We also stopped at the pumpkin patch.

Of course after all of this exploring, it makes one hungry so what else to do but to ride to the beautiful, apple belt community historic Julian, CA for lunch at the Julian CafĂ© and Bakery. We had been here many years ago and it looked and felt the same. Quaint and charming are the best words to describe this mountain town – and without a doubt, here resides the best apple pie ever!!!!

After we were sufficiently nourished, we headed out to what we thought would be the Wind Caves.

After Griff navigated the horrendous wash areas, we arrived only to discover it was a two-mile round trip hike up some steep and bolder strewn cliffs to the caves. Deciding it was too late in the day, we wandered around the area enjoying the geology. It was time to head back to camp after a full 7.5 hours and 135 miles of adventure. Pam & Griff took off today for parts unknown and Rick left for a hike in the mountains – so I am here writing and enjoying the scenes of this peaceful, relaxing, beautiful place. The desert….ahhhhhhh!!!!

Lots more photos here.