Our intentions were to head for the MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE but after checking weather for that area over the next few weeks we decided at the last minute we would sooner be in warmer air. Lots of sunshine at the Preserve but the 10 day forecast showed temperatures sliding into the low 60’s & high 50’s during the day with low 30’s at night. Figured February’s warmer temps would be a better time for us to explore that area. We’ve been on the cool/cold side in Congress for awhile now & it’s always cold in our house so we were both needing to just get away & feel some warmer air for a change. So where to go??
HAD US A SLEEPY LITTLE TRAVELER TODAY >>>
Last year we spent Christmas in the Kofa Mountains just south of Quartzsite Arizona. Christmas of 2008 was spent at Ogilbe Road west of Yuma but it was another favorite area calling to us this year. With lots of sunshine & temps in the mid 70’s we at the last minute decided on Borrego Springs California. Our travel plans came together rather quickly as we hurriedly loaded up the Big EEE Monday.
Thankfully a heavy gusting north wind in the night let up enough just before we rolled out at 9:30 this morning. A quick stop to top off our propane tank at the B&B garage & Congress was soon fading fast in my drivers side rear view mirror. As always it just felt good to be on the road going somewhere again. This sitting around for weeks or months on end in the same location just really gets me down. But let’s not get into all that. Let’s just get our travel hats on & head off down the road in search of some new adventures.
Not a cloud in the sky & hardly a vehicle on the road all the way to I-10 just east of Quartzsite Arizona. It was evident right away traffic was heavier that usual. About the same number of trucks but a lot more 4 wheelers on the road. Figured it was the Christmas rush because I saw cars going by us with stacks of gaily wrapped Christmas presents in the back seat.
ROLLING WEST THROUGH QUARTZSITE’S MAIN INTERSECTION
BIG NAME RV DEALERSHIPS ARE ALREADY HERE GEARING UP FOR NEXT MONTH
LOVE McDONALDS GREEN GRASS…A RARITY HERE IN THE DESERT
Thought we’d try out the newer Chevron gas station at the east end of Quartzsite to top off our fuel tank. Nice big spacious concrete area & I think from now on we will always refuel there when passing through this area. Much more big rig friendly than the Pilot station beside McDonald’s or Loves at Quartzsite’s north end. And oh now nice to feel warmer air again. Our usual stop at McDonalds for Wraps & coffee & we were once more westbound at the stroke of noon. Winds had picked up significantly blowing large clouds of desert dust obscuring distant mountains. Luckily it was hitting us on our passenger side rear corner & aside from a few gusts trying to land us in Mexico it wasn’t too bad.
HERE’S MY MCDONALD’S ‘CRISPY CHICKEN’ WRAP WITH ONE BITE OUT OF IT
I DIDN’T KNOW KELLY HAD SNAPPED THIS PHOTO OF ME WITH HER BLACKBERRY UNTIL I SAW IT ON FACEBOOK
BLOWING CLOUDS OF SAND & DUST
THIS UPCOMING 29 PALMS EXIT IS OUR SHORTCUT THROUGH BOX CANYON
Decided on the I-10, Box Canyon, Mecca route again only this time instead of heading down the east side towards Niland & Slab City we slipped over top the Salton Sea’s north end & picked up highway 86 heading south on the west side for Salton City. Always nice seeing all the green agricultural fields in this area. Grape Vineyards, cabbage fields, red peppers, lemon orchards, & all kinds of other leafy things we didn’t recognize.
SLIPPING THROUGH BOX CANYON FOR OUR 5TH TIME IN THE PAST 6 WEEKS OR SO
ALWAYS LOVE THIS 1RST VIEW OF THE SALTON SEA AS WE ROUND A CORNER OUT OF BOX CANYON
NO IDEA WHAT THIS CROP IS
We had tanks to dump & water to take on so we pulled into the big Arco station at the turn off onto S22 for Borrego Springs. Isn’t it always great when there’s nobody else at the dump station. Emptied our gray & black tanks & hooked up a hose to try out our black tank flush system. Never had that on an RV before. Seemed to work fine but unless one sticks their head down the toilet with a flashlight how does one know. Filled up our water tank & picked up some milk at the Dollar Store just a couple parking lots north of the Arco station. Between Arco & the dollar store we saw some building going on. A new ‘Jack In The Box’ is going up. Oh & by the way, water & dump are still free at the Arco station despite some rumors we had heard about having to pay now.
LOOKING EAST ACROSS THE SALTON SEA…SLAB CITY IS OVER THERE SOMEWHERE
TAKING ON WATER AT THE ARCO STATION
It’s only a 20 minute drive from Arco west on S22 to the Clark Dry Lake Bed, our destination. Always one of my favorite drives as the Borrego Valley opens up with it’s long sweeping vistas. Knowing where to look we began seeing slight pin point glitters of reflected sunlight far ahead in the desert. We knew these tiny points of light to be RV’s scattered about the desert floor on the right side of the highway. Closer we got the larger these RV’s became & we soon were able to identify 5th wheels, Motorhomes, Travel Trailers etc. Probably a couple dozen rigs scattered about. Wasn’t long & we were at our Rock House Road turn-off.
OUR DESTINATION IS DEAD AHEAD RIGHT WHERE COYOTE MOUNTAIN COMING IN FROM THE RIGHT MEETS THE DESERT FLOOR
Most RV’ers prefer the flatter low area east of Rock House Road & that’s where we camped out the first few years here. What we like about the Rock House area though is it’s slightly higher elevation with views of Borrego Springs at night. Internet reception can be a tad better as well but what I like most is it’s close proximity to the southern end of Coyote Mountain. There are easy close by hiking trails within walking distance & I like to hike up there in the mornings for the great views of this whole valley. It is also home to the great stone snake if you know where to look. Luckily I do so in the morning I’ll probably hike up there to see if it’s still around or has slithered away.
THE YELLOW GOLDEN GLOW OF TWILIGHT WILL SOON BE UPON US
Found us a fairly good spot & with any luck nobody will crowd in on us. We are soooooo happy to be here again. We’ve been coming to this Clark Dry Lake Bed area & Borrego Springs every winter for 8 years now. Our longest stay was about 2 weeks one time & our shortest stay was a couple days 2 years ago. For us, Borrego Springs is like coming home. We have so many great memories here. How great to see the mighty Santa Rosa Mountains again, to watch the sun playing across the mountain sides casting deep shadows into canyons & crevices. Spectacular sunrises & sunsets. It’s all here & I haven’t even mentioned the picturesque palm treed little town of Borrego Springs yet. But I’ll save that for days to come.
LONG SHADOWS INTO THE CANYONS
AND BY GOLLY THAT LOOKS LIKE IT COULD BE GAELYN FROM GEOGYPSY OVER YONDER
And how nice to be warm again, to sit outside in short sleeves. Outdoors after dark looking at all the glittering diamonds in the sky without having to be all bundled up against the cold. Ahhhhhhhhh yes how sweet it is……………
TONIGHT’S CRESCENT MOON COMPLETE WITH A GREEN LENS REFLECTION
GROANER’S CORNER:(( Now that they are retired, my mother and father are discussing all aspects of their future. "What will you do if I die before you do?" Dad asked Mom. After some thought, she said that she'd probably look for a house- sharing situation with three other single or widowed women who might be a little younger than herself, since she is so active for her age.
Then Mom asked Dad, "What will you do if I die first?"
He replied, "Probably the same thing."