Each time we visit Borrego Springs, I see something new and realize there is a lot more to this little town than first meets the eye. For us, the (usually) pleasant winter weather and the proximity to dozens of desert hikes are a big draw, but the somewhat quirky nature of the town appeals to us, too.
While Odel was playing golf yesterday, I took the Jeep and GPS to tool around town, exploring. I enjoy driving slowly along unknown streets, turning here and there as whim strikes – an interest Odel doesn’t share, so best done on my own. I learned quite a bit more about the neighborhoods of Borrego Springs, and renewed my wonder at one of the oddest sights of the area: the giant metal sculptures of Galleta Meadows Estates.
Driving around the outskirts of town, both north and south, you will frequently see this sign… and behind it, huge, rust-red, metal sculptures of prehistoric animals and birds, horses, giant tortoises, and mastodons, some set well off the main road on winding, sandy tracks. The land is owned by Dennis Avery (Avery office supplies); the sculptures are crafted by Ricardo Breceda.
The sculptures are eye-popping and great fun to visit. In the few years we’ve been visiting, the collection has grown substantially – and on this trip, I found one I’d never seen before (as it turns out, it was completed just last July): a 350 foot long serpent that spans the road!
As interesting as the sculptures are, I am equally amazed by the generosity of Mr. Avery. Each of the Galleta Meadows Estates signs say the same thing: “Hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, photographing, bicycling – no motorized cycles, camping limit three days. Privately owned desert estate.” When was the last time you saw a sign inviting you onto private property? Inviting you to camp for up to three days? To stick around, explore, enjoy the interesting sights he has commissioned and installed for your pleasure? In a world of liability fears and “No Trespassing” signs, it seems miraculous. Borrego Springs has a great benefactor in Dennis Avery.