Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Far side of the Lake

Most lakes I am used to, require some sort of boat to cross.  Fortunately, here in southern California, many lakes are dry, and a mountain bike or hiking boots is all you need!P1010611

I decided to go back over to the far side of Clark Dry Lake off Rockhouse Canyon Road, near Borrego Springs.  Motor vehicles are not permitted in this part of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, so it was a good way to distance myself from the hordes of Atv’s that come out into the desert from San Diego and LA on holiday weekends.  I don’t mind Atv’s per se, and the vast majority of these ones thankfully head for the designated off-road areas, but there were still enough of them roaring around to create huge dust clouds that almost blot out the sun at sunset.


It’s a long walk across the lake, but with a mountain bike it is a pretty quick trip.P1010607


Once on the far side however, it is almost eerily quiet, walking among the ghosts of past homesteaders and explorers, and the remnants of their efforts to tame this wild area.


I did not want to disturb the owls I had found previously in a large grove of old tamarisk trees almost buried in drifted sand, so I checked out some other ruins.P1010583P1010586P1010587P1010588P1010589P1010590

I had thought that Rockhouse road had gotten it’s name from a house built of rock somewhere, until I came across this likely explanation.  It appears that it was a Mr Rock’s house that was overwhelmed by sand at the other grove, and he had to rebuild in a spot more sheltered from the wind off the dry lake.


I know that those who drive Fords can be a little sensitive at times, but I just wanted to show some compassion and tell of the great respect I have for the quality of their oil filler caps.  It appears that this is all that remains of a Ford that attempted this road at some point.  Winking smile.



  1. Liked those old homestead ruins but not likely we'll get to see them without our bicycles. Stopped carrying them a couple years ago. Always amazes me how people survived in those harsh remote desert locations years ago.

  2. I have no info to verify the story about Mr. Rock's house, but there are most definitely old rock house ruins up in the Cottonwood Spring ares of Rockhouse Canyon. N 33.45692 W 116.37242 These coordinates are dead-on the rectangular rock house ruins, and are visible on Google Maps..