Fortunately for me, the Bayfield Bunch has toured many of the sights around Borrego Springs, and posted great photos and descriptions of the area. So I have been following in their footprints and tire tracks as I visit some of the same areas.
We visited the ‘Slot’ one day, just as a large, organized tour was departing, but with no shade to park a truck and cat in, decided it was best to give it a pass this time.
Not so for the ‘wind caves’, however.
Based on Al’s photos, I would have gone for the drive alone, up Fish Creek Wash.
There was a nice shady place to park, as long as I didn’t take too long on the hike. It was almost cool in the shade of this vertical cliff.
The trail to the caves climbs over a ridge up to the caves themselves on a breezy side hill.
But, unlike on Al’s visit when he was the only one, this was a weekend and there were a number of other vehicles parked at the trailhead. Interestingly, there was another Alberta vehicle there, with a licence number fairly close to mine. They were Calgarians, of course.
Closer to Ocotillo Wells, there is another short hike to view a very rare (in these parts) elephant tree. Guess I forgot to take photos of it, but I was not going to miss these cactus starting to bloom!
At the end of Split Mountain Road there is a quarry. I liked the part of the sign that says you are not supposed to drive on or off the roads! I wonder where you are supposed to drive?
Inconsiderate people and noisy generators!
Even though there are about ten million acres of parking space out in the desert, some people must be scared to be alone, and have to be close to someone else. My camp spot was pretty average, but a Class A decided to pull in a mere 80 yards away from me. That was fine with me – till they decided to run their noisy generator right through a beautiful sunset that I was trying to enjoy. Now I don’t mind a little generator use if required to run a microwave or coffee maker in the morning, or if it is raining or cloudy, but it bugs me when people make no attempt to use any of the very free and plentiful solar power here, and depend only on a generator to keep their batteries up. And if you must have a generator (I do), try to have one that is very quiet at least. I try to never use mine, but if I do, I try to make sure that no one else can hear it. And I certainly don’t move in beside someone and fire it up.
So, the next day, I arrive back from an excursion somewhere, looking forward to enjoying a cool beverage while sitting in my lawn chair taking in the scenery and sunset, and find that not only is the noisy generator running, but there is no one around the rig at all. So making a polite request is not even possible! Well, I left a nice note on their door, and put on my hearing protection (that I use with my chainsaw!) to await their return. But even with earmuffs on and inside my own rig, I could still hear that noisy generator aimed right towards me! The people did return eventually and were very nice (!); the lady came over to explain that their cat was in the rig – which somehow was supposed to explain the generator? I brought out Hailey in defence, and told her that leaving the windows open would have been sufficient. I had photos and description of their rig that I was prepared to post, but since they were nice about it and seemed to limit their use of the noisy thing later, that will not be necessary. Thankfully, they moved on yesterday morning.
But I still cannot believe that many RV’ers do not even attempt to use all the free, silent power that is available out here? Sure you might need to supplement that sometimes in poor conditions, but if you need a noisy power plant to enjoy the desert, why not stay home in the city? And if you insist on being noisy, find a spot all to yourself and not pull in beside someone who may not share your enjoyment of noise and fumes!
I always was of the opinion that California prided itself in being a leader in the environmental movement, so I was shocked last year when I was stopped in a long construction line-up of 20-30 vehicles on the California coast, and I appeared to be the only one who turned their engine off to wait. End of rant.
I have certainly not run out of things to do or places to explore in the Borrego Springs area, but I have to save some highlights for next time! Hailey and I are keen to get back on the road and search for some new territory and new adventures up the road. With the arrival of the 80F+ daytime weather, we might even tempt fate and begin to inch our way northward a bit without having to resort to jackets and long pants. Who knows where we will turn up next!