Weekend in Anza Borrego

Quinn has the whole week of Thanksgiving off so we decided to take a long weekend at Anza Borrego State Park which is north east of San Diego — about a 4 hour drive from us.
As we approached Anza Borrego we looped over the mountain and across this amazing vista.  This huge bowl made in the dessert that is 330 feet below sea level and was once the sea itself.  

We stayed in a great VRBO home for 3 nights.

Did I mention we brought the buddy?

Thanksgiving/Christmas scenes in the desert.

One of the reasons we chose to go to Anza Borrego is because it\’s a \”Certified Dark Sky\” location which means it has very little light pollution.  The night we arrived we went to a Night Sky Viewing that was run by the Park Rangers.  It was just incredible how many starts you could see in the sky.   A great kick off to our weekend.

On Sunday we went hiking in a Slot Canyon.  A slot canyon is a long, narrow,  and deep channel or drainageway with sheer rock walls that are typically eroded into either sandstone or other sedimentary rock.  This particular canyon was about a mile long.

Quinn was eager to find some rocks to climb.

 It\’s getting narrow!

Our skinny boy led the way.

It wasn\’t quite as easy for the not so skinny parents.

The suspended boulder.  

At the end of the trail it opened up.  A park ranger had told me that if we continue to follow the trail and climb up some rocks we would be rewarded with a view of the California Badlands.

Don made it up first and captured a picture of Quinn and I complaining down at the bottom.  

I decided to make the climb.

Then the kid walked up very begrudgingly.

Heading back down.

Tween Mood:

That night Don and I went out into the middle of the golf course fairway to see and shoot the Milky Way.   This time of year you can\’t see the Galactic Center (or big white areas) but it was still pretty impressive.

And a look down the fairway.   So many stars!!

One of the other reasons we chose Anza Borrego is because there are about 25+ metal sculptures all over the desert.   They were really fun to explore.

I really wanted to shoot the T-Rex and the Milky Way one night.  But in order to get here we had to take the dirt path near the chain link fence and drive about 1 mile down this dirt road and navigate to it.  Not something we would want to do in the pitch black in the middle of the desert.

But it was pretty great during the day too.

Then we drove about 40 miles out to the Salton Sea.  This is what\’s left of the sea that used to cover the entire valley.  It was an interesting drive out there through a moonscape like environment.  The area between Borrego Spring and Salton City seems to draw alot of campers with their ATV\’s and dirt bikes.

I had read and had people tell me that the Salton Sea wasn\’t worth our time but my curiosity was piqued.

Such an inviting sign.  At the end of this road was boarded up houses with lots of graffiti.  In St. John USVI there is saying.  The only people that live there are the wanted….and the unwanted.  I think the same could apply to Salton City.  Time to go home.

We dropped Quinn off at the house and Don and I went out geocaching.  We started with caches hidden in the sculptures and kept going until dark.

The most impressive sculpture was this Sea Serpent that is actually in 5 pieces.  3 on this side of the road and 2 on the other.

It was difficult to capture it\’s magnificence.

Don went off to collect a geocache and by the time we headed home it appeared that the serpent was breathing fire.  A spectacular end to our weekend.  

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