It was word of a super-bloom that had a friend and me heading west into the Colorado Desert of southern California. Fortunately, we were smart enough to take camping gear, because half the nation must have gotten the same super-bloom alert.
Anza-Borrego, which I shall now abbreviate as ABDSP, is less than 100 miles from the California coast, so it's understandable there would be an overabundance of people wanting to see an overabundance of flowers.
The park is huge, some 600,000 acres, and the terrain ranges from badlands-type sandstone gorges to palm groves. In the middle of the park is the town of Borrego Springs, population of less than 3,000 people and the hub for information, eateries, shopping and lodging.
As in many trips I've taken, the journey to and from the park was as exciting as the destination. Traveling from the Phoenix area, we made our first stop near Quartzite where we spotted a plethora of purple flowers covering the hillsides to the north. Off we scrambled from the I-10 to find a series of dirt roads that got us close enough to the purple masses to get some shots.
Once over the California border, we took a road called the Box Canyon Road that connects the I-10 and State Highway 111 at the town of Mecca. The easy two-lane route, which we will have taken on the return trip as well, was lined with budding wildflowers over a sandy terrain that bumped against the low range of mountains called the Mecca Hills. Dramatic rock formations were around every corner of the winding 8-mile or so road.
Our two full days were filled with wildflower shooting, a pretty cool slot canyon, a collection of full-sized metal animal sculptures, a highlight of Borrego Springs, and oh, yes...hunting down a camping spot to rest our weary heads. After being sent on a wild-goose chase, we ended up in a delightful, though primitive, camping spot in Blair Valley. We were quite content, happy actually, but wanted closer into town the second night where we got in at the Roadrunner Club's dry camping area in Borrego Springs.
The Roadrunner Club is a first-class RV Resort and Golf Club, so, having no shower or electric amenities the night before, we felt much like a couple of dirty oafs fresh off the hillbilly wagon. But we slept well.
See what we saw through the photos on this page. The ABDSP is a pretty remarkable spot to visit.
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