Exploring the Desert

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This pic is from a few weeks ago when we were out looking for wildflowers in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area.  We had just turned off of the 78 onto Buttes Pass Road that goes to The Slot and Hawk Canyon.

Links:   The Slot    Hawk Canyon    Desert Lily

Beavertail Cactus Flower

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This pic shows a closeup of a beavertail cactus flower from Desert Garden in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (on the way to Coyote Canyon).  Photo credit goes to Jack Springer who was with me on this outing.

Links:  previous related post

Trona Pinnacles

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This past weekend I attended The Adventure Portal’s “Run to the Sun” event at Trona Pinnacles near Ridgecrest.  Over 100 groups of overlanding enthusiasts were on hand to make new friends, learn new skills at three excellent training seminars, and explore the interesting topography.  This pic shows the area where I was camped as seen through a hole in one of the rock formations known as “the portal”.

Links:   The Adventure Portal

 

5 Palms

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An interesting site between the Pumpkin Patch and Arroyo Salado campground in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is 5 Palms.  I think they look pretty regal sitting up on the hill.

Rattlesnake!

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While recently hiking the Clevenger Canyon South Trail, I came across this rather large rattlesnake coiled in the middle of the trail.  I was looking upward toward a large boulder in the distance and did not see the snake until that chilling telltale rattling sound reached my ears.  From that point forward I kept my eyes on the trail ahead!  This was but one of three snakes we saw on this hike, but was by far the largest and most dangerous.

Links:   Clevenger Canyon South Trail

Beavertail Cactus Flowers

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This beavertail cactus, at Desert Garden in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on the way to Coyote Canyon, was creating quite a stir with photographers lined up to snap a pic.  It was pretty spectacular!

Clevenger Canyon South Trail

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A couple of friends and I hiked the Clevenger Canyon South Trail this morning, which is between Escondido and Ramona just off Highway 78.  (A few weeks ago I posted about the Clevenger Canyon North Trail which is slightly farther east from today’s hike.)  One of the interesting features of the trail is the two metal chairs that have been cemented to the top of a large boulder, presenting a view westward down San Pasqual Valley.

Links:   Clevenger Canyon North trail

Desert Lily at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

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Took a quick day trip this week to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to view the wildflower explosion that is the result of all the winter rains that we had this year.  The wildflowers were truly outstanding and probably haven’t quite reached their peak yet.  The desert lilies were my favorite and this pic shows a beautiful example, which we found on Buttes Pass Road just before the turnoff to The Slot.  Click on the links below for wildflower updates.

Links:    wildflower updates

 

RC Truck Off-Road Course

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This pic shows just one of the obstacles at the RC truck off-road course just to the left of the Discovery Center at Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA).  I’m not sure who was having the most fun, the kids or the adults!!

Links:   Ocotillo Wells SVRA     previous related post

Discovery Center at Ocotillo Wells SVRA

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The Discovery Center at Ocotillo Wells SVRA is a great source of information about what’s available in the park, the applicable regulations, maps of the area, etc.  I was impressed by the displays of native animals and most surprised by the badger seen in this pic.  I was not aware that badgers lived in the desert!  The Center also has a balloon tired wheel chair available for loan so everyone can get out and enjoy the desert.

Links:  Ocotillo Wells SVRA