SATURDAY DEC. 22/07
It is so nice to wake up, look out the window, & not see anybody. We can open the door & let the dogs out without fear of having them bark at somebody walking by. We could go outside in our pyjamas & not be afraid of having someone yell at us about "not having proper clothes on!!" We can see for miles across the desert floor to the mountains without having another rig parked 20 feet away obstructing our view. It has taken us a long time to reach this state of independence from the RV parks but we have finally arrived at the boondocking way of life........& we love it:))))
Our doggy walk led us out to another couple rigs in the desert where we met the folks who had brought us the firewood. Nice couple (Rich & Marilyn) from Alberta & another fellow from Riverside California by the name of Butch. Rich & Marilyn showed us their solar set-up & propane heater arrangement in their travel trailer before they pulled out heading east to-wards Yuma. Butch has been coming to this area for years so offered to show us around Anza-Borrego State Park starting with a hike in Palm Canyon just on the outskirts of Borrego Springs.
Took our car & the 3 of us headed into Borrego Springs where Butch was able to show us all the spots like the laundramat, dump station, water, good eating place, post office, gas station, grocery store, etc. Takes a lot of guess work out of things when you have someone who is familiar with everything.
We started the hike about 11 & it wasn't long before Kelly heard something on the mountainside to our right & we spotted a herd of about a dozen big horn sheep quickly making their way across the the totally impossible steep rocky terrain. http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy Luckily I had brought binoculors & we were all able to see them clearly.
The hike up the canyon ascended a gentle rock strewn landscape with some easy walking sections & a bit of rock clambering here & there. Because of recent rains some of the plants were in bud & Butch said the canyon had really greened up since the last time he was there a couple of weeks ago. A lot of lavender plants, ocotillo, some barrel head cactus, arrowhead weed, & bristel bush were but a few. After about 30 minutes we caught sight of the first palms another half hour ahead. Water began to appear in a small stream from a spring & the banks slowly turned greener with various grasses.
The oasis of fan palms are well over a hundred years old & the small grove was much larger until a freak rainstorm four years ago caused a massive flash flood which devestated the palms, washing many of them down the canyon & out onto the desert floor. That flood wiped out many campsites in the park as well. As we approached the palm grove it became apparent how truly big & massive these trees are & once we reached the grove & walked into & underneath them we realized it was almost like being in a cave labyrinth. Huge palm fronds everywhere. Truly a magical place. We exited the grove on the far side, crossed a small creek, climbed up on some rocks & sat down for a water break & some trail mix. Another couple came by & it turns out they were Canadians from Picton, Ontario. We headed back through the palm forest & I kept expecting King Kong to come bellowing through the fronds at any moment. Butch said this grove of fan palms is one of the few original groves in all of California.
The hike back down the canyon went smoothly & we met a number of hikers coming the other way. We reached the parking lot & car by 2 o'clock.
On the way back to our campsite we stopped in Borrego Springs for a coffee at the fudge shop. Sat outside on the patio in the warm sunshine & couldn't help but think what it was like back home in Ontario with all the really bad weather they have been having. Snow, rain, freezing rain, high winds, blizzards, & cold temperatures. I almost felt guilty sitting there in short sleeves with my cimmamon roll, sunglasses, & coffee. I said......"almost!!"
Back out to the desert & dropped Butch off at his rig. He sure was a big help to-day in showing us all around. To-morrow he is taking us to a slot canyon west of Borrego Springs.
To-night the desert floor is flooded in moonbeams & we can see for miles in all directions. We are two very, very, lucky people................................. :))
THERE ARE OVER A DOZEN BIG HORN SHEEP VISIBLE ON THIS MOUNTAINSIDE