Now well into our second week of this New Year, our days are spent slowly decompressing, quietly adjusting to less stimuli, reacquainting ourselves with these familiar desert surroundings, though they are ever changing. Each year with the rain and wind, paths erode, trails take on a new direction, or just disappear. The town of Borrego Springs, about 7 miles west of our boondock location, is not as busy as we would expect, though the Center Market in town and the Friday Farmer's market at Christmas Circle are well-attended, and stocked for winter visitors. Neighbors are scarce and spread out over many square miles of brown desert. So many shades of brown contrasting with brilliant blue skies.
|And here we are...Week two|
The clouds forming over the mountains that surround us play with the moving sun, producing a light and shadow show of momentous proportions. The mostly cold temps, until today, usually drove us inside by late afternoon, but tonight we stayed out by a roaring fire and barbecued the best hamburgers, and watched the stars. Heaven...and free for all!
|Clouds, shadows...and shades of brown|
|At sunset on a cloudy day|
Today's temps made it into the 70s, and no wind; oh glorious delight! We had an email from friends from Half Moon Bay days of old, and they were parked out near Clark Dry Lake in their '73 Airstream trailer. This morning we headed out for a walk to find them and they were exactly 1.4 miles away. We haven't seen Larry and Debby for 7-8 years. Larry, among other artsy/crafty items, makes cigar box guitars, and plays them beautifully. They are refurbishing this classic trailer which cost them an initial investment of $1200! Ahhh...this is what the lifestyle is all about, folks.
|Friends discover our happy place!|
We check out the orchards for grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, sold at a couple of outdoor fruit stands, and bagged and sold on the honor system. When nighttime temps fall below 30 degrees there is a chance that whole crops can be severely damaged or wiped out, thus hurting the local economy and small-town growers. But these beauties are looking healthy and tasting very good.....We enjoy fresh morning orange juice!
|Oranges looking good|
Next on the yearly itinerary is a tour of the larger-than-life sculptures created by Ricardo Brecedo and commissioned by local landowner and philanthropist, Dennis Avery who sadly passed away last July. These incredible creations are not to be missed. So best to pick-up a map at the chamber of commerce for directions as there are many both north and south of town. We had not seen the serpent before, but the Chief, the Padre, and of course, the jeep are favorites.
A drive up to Font's Point, overlooking the Borrego Badlands, is another annual must-do, though usually we try to plan this around a full moon. However this day's cloud cover promised a great sunset though we dallied too long but did get some shots of a nice after glow. The 4-mile sandy drive, often soft sand, is doable in a 2-WD or passenger vehicle, though make sure to stay on well-traveled surfaces. It is reached off S-22 heading east toward the Salton Sea; perhaps 9 miles from town.
|Font's Point in an afterglow|
|Badlands view from Font's Point|
We're trying to increase our hiking distance and elevation gain as exercise is much needed after the holidays. So on a nice day, with no excuses, we set out to challenge ourselves. These trails are rock-scramblers and inevitably we get lost, or off trail, due to so much erosion.
|S-22 heading toward town|
|First signs of life on this old Ocotillo|
The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is worth the $7 dump/water fee every 10 days or so, as it includes a day pass for hiking and lunch. We take our time and enjoy...
Our normal 5-6 weeks stay will be cut down to two weeks. Though not a major incident, just a minor inconvenience...our 5 year old batteries are fading, right according to the warranty. Howard was cleaning and testing and found a dead cell, thus accounting for the decline in our recent capacity. He disconnected two of our 6 wired-in-sequence 6-volt batteries and we will have to replace soon in order to fully maximize our boondocking experience.
In addition, we need to get situated for a month-long trip to Roatan, flying out on January 31st. Tucson proved to be a cheaper departure location than Phoenix and we have great friends there who found us a "funky" little RV park in the Tucson Mt. area for a very reasonable fee. The owners are going to let us leave the motorhome there, unhooked, for a $1 a day; no moving into a storage facility necessary. Plus we have lots of maintenance items to check off, and some great hiking trails on Tucson Mt. and the Saguaro Nat'l Park nearby.
We are incredibly excited and will be sharing more trip details with you soon....Please stay tuned!