We're Alive & Well- And Off To Borrego Springs!

Trip Start Dec 15, 2012
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Trip End Jan 19, 2013


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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

This morning is nice and warm with little wind- a great day to visit Borrego Springs. We head east on Interstate 10 to highway 86S. We travel the outskirts of Indio, Coachella and Mecca through irrigated fields of date palms and grape orchards. Soil unturned by plows looks like it has a white crust. Is that mineral or salt- or both? Eventually a body of water comes into view. It's the Salton Sea by golly!

Jil has had a hankering to visit the Salton Sea for quite a while. The sea was inadvertently created when floodwaters from the Colorado River overran the Alamo Canal in 1905. Water ran into the Salton Sink for nearly two years. The San Andreas Fault lies beneath the lake bed. The current lake surface elevation is 226 feet below sea level. Averaging 15 miles by 35 miles the Salton Sea is the largest lake in California. Its size is sustained by annual rainfall, snowmelt and irrigation water. We visit a little residential enclave that goes by the catchy name of Marina Beach. Looks like Marina Beach has seen better days as the "marina" is closed and the area looks a little depressed.

From Salton City we turn west on SR22. The first few miles of road are extremely rough. Hope its not like this the entire 29 miles to Borrego Springs. The road gets better as we travel from Salton City maintained roadway to Imperial Valley maintained road. The portion of State maintained road is very good, thank goodness! We travel uphill through wind and water eroded badlands and reach a dry lake bed. Mountains are very near to the north; the view south is across wide open desert. We climb once again then head down toward a large valley punctuated with green vegetation at the northern end.

Borrego Springs lies at the upper end of the Borrego Sink. The town is small at 3500 souls. Businesses are all located on the main road and there are not very many of them. It lies in a valley between two tall mountains.  Many farms are in the area which primarily grow date palms. The entire town is surrounded by the Anza Borrego State Park.

Dennis Avery is a hero to the people here in Borrego Springs. Mr. Avery passed away in July of 2012 at the age of 71. He was an heir to the Avery Dennison label and packaging empire. As a philanthropist he chose to spend his inherited millions helping others around the world, not on himself or his family. Locally he provided a little league park and lights for the football field. His love of the area and its people will be felt for years to come. Mr. Avery is regarded as Borrego Springs' hero. 

Avery bought 3000 acres near town to prevent its development and opened the area up to the public. He named it Galleta Meadows Estates. Everyone is welcome to enjoy this land with little
restriction. He had many metal sculptures built by artist Ricardo Breceda placed around the open spaces of the Estates for all to enjoy. The sculptures include life sized replicas of prehistoric elephants elephants, giant tortoise, camels, saber toothed cats, tapirs, raptors and dinosaurs that were at one time indigenous to the area as well as farm workers, mountain sheep, a prospector and his mule. Our favorite- the serpent.

The serpent is awesome. Its about 350' long, its head facing the sun as if heading towards the mountains. It undulates in and out of the sand as if plying through water. It spans Berrego Springs Road with the last segment of the "animal" flattening out- its tail has rattles like a rattle snake. It is spectacular!

We then head over to Anza Berrego State Park Visitor Center. It is built into a hillside so it is invisible from the parking lot. It sports a botanical garden containing native plants....... and fish!
What the? Pup fish are the only fish in these parts that can live in salt or brackish water that thrives in extreme environments so the park service has them on display in the garden.

Its past time to eat. It has gotten warm so the doggies can't stay in an unattended truck. A Mexican restaurant offers food to go. We order burritos which are not very well seasoned- as in NONE. Its our fist experience with bland Mexican food and it is not pleasant.

Its about 90 miles back to the resort so we head out backtracking our way to the Sands RV and Golf Resort. 

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