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Road Trip to Anza Borrego

This post is a few weeks out of sequence but just in case you haven’t browsed to the portfolio of the photos from the trip I’ll do it again here.

Anza Borrego was new to Lisa and I. Inspired by friends who had made the trip and news coverage of the super bloom that was taking place, we made the commitment to hit the road. Having heard that the crowds of flower stompers were immense, we decided to head for the very southern end of the park by way of the quaint little mountain town of Julian. The area around Julian seemed to be the southern cousin of the Santa Ynez valley near where our cabin is located. We had the Palm Spring campground plugged into the GPS which actually took us down a very remote road, not to the campground, but to the edge of a wilderness area which was perfect. The over powering quiet and solitude was most welcomed after several hours on Southern California freeways. The light was getting nice, so after a snack we set out with cameras to discover the variety of desert flowers that grew there.

Next we headed back out to the highway to the Carrizo Badlands overlook for some more photographs of the sun setting. We would have been rewarded for staying there a while longer by a gorgous sunset, but we were weary from the driving and had more driving ahead of us to get to Indio where we spent the night so we hit the road.

Up before dawn the next day, we headed over to the northern end of the park to take advantage of the early light and hoping to beat the crowds for some photos of the vast blooms. We first stopped at the campground at Arroyo Salado as a few were just climbing out of their tents. The main attraction here was the desert lilies and amazing early morning light. From there we headed to the Truckhaven trail that held one of the largest blooms in the park. The light was quickly becoming harsh even though it was still early so we headed out, being careful not to stomp, and enjoyed photographing the multitude of amazing wild flowers the were growing there.

Our plan was to head next to Ocotillo Flats for more flowers and the hope to find some mountain goats. What we found was that the stompers had created a traffic jamb on the road by parking in the middle. The rangers were flying overhead announcing over a loud speaker for everyone to park off the side of the road. Gone was the deep silence of the desert and the desire to be a part of the zoo, so we took a few more photos and headed out. For an hour of our drive away from the park, we passed in the opposite lane, bumper to bumper traffic trying to get to Borrego Springs which was already completely filled.

We intend to return in the fall to explore other parts of the park and perhaps get in some astral photography as Borrego is one of the darkest locations on the planet. Without the draw of the flowers, the vast desert will be waiting to caress us with its quiet stark beauty.

Enjoy the photographs!

Hover over to change photos or even better, click to view larger photos.

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