The small tourist town of Borrego Springs is right in the middle of Anza-Borrego State Park, about 40 miles north of the Mexican border (in California). We came here because we’re basically dilly dallying around the southwest for the winter, trying not to get to our “destination,” Yuma, so early that we’ll be bored there before we can drive north again. So, here we find ourselves in the largest state park in California that’s surprisingly interesting.

The desert here is flat and unremarkable, except for during the super-bloom times. Every spring brings cactus blooms, but some springs are “super blooms,” when the wildflower cover here is legendary. Because we’re here in the winter, the only abundance is evidence of humans: tire tracks in the sand everywhere (and no cacti where off-road vehicles are driven the most), trash, human waste, and random trailers that look abandoned but you don’t want to get close enough to verify.

Tracy and I drove up the road quite a bit here peering off into the desert, looking for areas where we could park that seemed like the sand wasn’t so soft we’d get stuck, but that were also not crowded. Tracy did a great job finding this spot near one of the only trees around, right near the Peg Leg Smith memorial marker: he’s a prospector who’s supposed to have buried his treasure around here. We’re out in the desert with just a handful of trailers in sight, but we’re not holding our breath it’ll stay this quiet through the weekend. Right now though: quite nice.

It’s full moon season, so the entire desert is bright enough that we can sit outside in the evenings without any light at all.

And when there’s any cloud cover, the sunsets are spectacular. Those are the Santa Rosa and Sam Jacinto mountains, between us and the Salton Sea (I believe).

This is our daytime view. We’ve been getting up early to go hike and leaving Banjo in the trailer; in the afternoons she bolts out like she’s freezing to death in there and plops herself right in the hot sand, where it’s about 85 degrees. She’ll get up to lie under the trailer every now and then to cool off, but she always goes back to the sunshine for the rest of the day, until sunset when she’s ready to move her nap to the couch inside.

Banjo likes the desert. There’s not a lot to smell and no water, she’s all into that direct sun. I’m happy with the quiet here, and Tracy’s satisfied with the hikes, but we’ll see how many days we last before we get bored and move on.

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