Heading to Borrego Springs via RT 78 South we drove through the southern end of the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness near Glamis, California. Approximately 45 miles long by 6 miles wide the most popular theory of the dune’s origins is sands blown in from the long ago and long gone, very large Lake Cahuilla. Divided into 3 basic areas the part we crossed allows ROV/ OHV (Recreational Off highway Vehicles/ Off Highway Vehicles) access and there were lots of folks racing around these beautiful mountains of sand. Personally I was hoping for Sean Connery galloping down a hill on a beautiful Arab ala The Wind and The Lion….ah well, a gal can dream 🙂
From the dunes we crossed miles of barren big rolling hilly desert most of which was BLM (Bureau of Land Management) property as well as the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreational Area. The number of RV’s and campers and people racing about on OHVs was amazing. The sheer size of the amount of desert being rutted and permanently altered by this activity was mind blowing. Even more staggering was the constant dust haze hanging in the air downwind!
Arriving in Borrego Springs which backs right up to the Santa Rosa Mountains we drove up S22 out of town and up into these stark mountains of rock. Steep, twisty and winding with an incredible wind blowing the ride was spectacular and a bit scary.
We were heading for Culp Valley a boon-docking (no electric/water/sewer hookups) area at which we hoped to camp. High up at 4600 ft. and tucked into a kind of small rocky meadow we loved the place. There are only a handful of spots and the only one we could fit into was so out of level we just had to give up. Disappointed we headed back down the mountain to the Anza Borrego State Park Campground. In hindsight it was just as well, the temperature dropped way down and the wind howled all night and while the night sky would have been wonderful, that high up the cold and rockin’ & rollin’ from the winds would have made for a VERY long night!
Scattered about the desert around Borrego Springs on the Galleta Meadows LLC property of philanthropist Dennis Avery (deceased) are 130 metal sculptures by Ricardo Breceda. After a bad accident Breceda could no longer do construction work and started selling exotic boots. Trading a pair of boots for a welding machine he started “playing” with it. At the request of his daughter to make her a life size dinosaur he discovered his hidden talent. Dennis Avery found him and together they have introduced some of the original “livestock” back into what is of course now desert. Lots of fun to see!
The calm of morning after a night of howling winds at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. They started back up around mid morning.