Saturday, February 9, 2008


At 600,000+ acres, Anza Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. So how do you account for the fact that, while out hiking on Saturday, we ran into a couple of friends of ours??

Odel and I got a late start heading to the Palm Canyon trail. As we walked from the Visitor Center to the trailhead, Odel asked if I recognized the guy staring in our direction from the cab of his truck... and about that time, the truck started honking. The road they traveled bisected our trail and we soon recognized Diane and Jim, Boomer friends.

They, too, were in Borrego Springs for the first time, and were planning to hike to Palm Canyon. What a great surprise!

We all took off on the busy trail together. We retired folk usually plan our activities for weekdays, but our time in Borrego Springs was limited and we didn't want to miss this hike. We are experiencing our first "shorts weather" of the winter, and the sun was plenty warm - but we weren't complaining.

There was water in the canyon this time of year, and the palm oasis was cool and green. We didn't linger long, as we had special plans for sunset...

...and look what we saw on the way back!

We had been told that bighorn sheep were frequently sighted in the canyon this time of year, but I imagined they would be high on the hillsides. WRONG. About a quarter mile from the parking lot, we saw a large herd of bighorn sheep on a hillside, and soon realized they were crossing the trail ahead of us.

They posed patiently for several minutes, listening to the click of cameras and observing us with interest. They seemed totally unafraid.

As I stood below the posing platform, three of the bighorn decided to cross the wash where I was standing. In this picture, you can see the horns of one of the sheep directly behind the other. I snapped this just before I froze in place, as these two sheep passed to the left and another passed to my right. I am sure I was way more tense than they were.

Soon we were back at the parking area and, once we explained to Diane and Jim how to find our boondocking spot, we took off for home and showers - and then it was time for our sunset trip.

Just outsite of the town of Borrego Springs (which is surrounded by the state park) is a large, desolate, beautiful badlands area. Font's Point, accessible by driving 4 miles up a sandy wash, overlooks the badlands, and is "The Place" to view the sunset. Definitely not to be missed.

So, all of us piled into the 4WD vehicles: Jim and Lynn, Richard and Marlene, Jim and Diane, and Odel and I. Those of you who know Odel will be surprised to learn that we took OUR car - a long, fun drive up a sandy wash to a small parking area.

We grabbed a few stools, a blanket, several bottles of wine and the snacks we had brought and walked to a flat spot on the point, perfect for a happy hour spread while we watched the light and shadow play on the badlands as the sun sank behind the mountains. Yeah, look at that - SHORTS! SHORT SLEEVES!

The sun sank down, we headed back to the cars, and off to a delicious Italian dinner in the company of friends. It couldn't have been a better day.

We took off this morning, and I'm writing this from a full hookup park Gila Bend. Once again, it is the post-boondocking routine: dump the holding tanks, recharge the batteries, refill the fresh water tank, toss all the trash, clean out the refrigerator, do the laundry. Tomorrow we leave for a rally in Casa Grande - seminars and socializing.


  1. I love that photo of the sheep on the rock. Isn't it amazing how well they blend with their surroundings?


  2. it looked like a great time for all

  3. Oh, those sheep are GORGEOUS!!!!!! And so is that beautiful, warm,sunshinny desert!!!

  4. Thank you so much for the sunshine and shorts!! We have now made the weather channel for breaking the snowiest winter record here and it's only Feb!
    Madison, Wis