I headed out Friday about 2:00 PM in an attempt to find a camp spot before the sun went down. I met up with a couple friends at Stater Bros in San Clemente for some last minute “essentials” and then started making our trek south to the 78 and across to Borrego Springs, CA. We opted for the Julian route to Borrego…. According to Google maps, it’s a 2h 45m journey and a nice scenic route that drops in to the desert floor with some pretty amazing views.
As we came to and through Ramona we had to face some slight rain and then some serious hail that was coming down pretty good.
We stopped for some gas and then proceeded to go for Julian, not sure if we were going to get some snow.
As we were headed out of Julian for Banner we found some turkeys on the side of the road.
And then I decided to chase them, check out the video. http://ectoadventures.blogspot.com/2011/04/turkey-chaser.html
We stopped at a turn out on Yaqui Pass Rd just past Tamarisk Grove Campground (Closed) to admire some of the blooming desert.
As Yaqui Pass Rd winds down to Borrego Springs the views that you get are as far as the eye can see. The weather was looking to be perfect for the weekend.
As we passed through the desert I was telling my friend about a side route of the S22 called the Truckhaven Trail and we noticed an RV that appeared to be stuck. We took the next turn out to the trail and back-tracked to the RV and sure enough it was stuck. Tail and trailer buried in the sand wash.
As we started talking to the guy, he said that he had already been stuck there for an hour and not one person came by. I told him that we saw him and knew he was stuck and that was the reason we came down the road. After we had talked for a bit it was agreed that he should not continue down the trail and should turn around and head back to the main road. What we thought would be a quick recovery using both Jeeps turned into an adventure in RV U-turns on a Jeep trail using straps, shovels, and snatch blocks that lead into the dark of night.
Once we finally got the RV turned around, we hitched his trailer up to Johnny’s Jeep and escorted the RV back to the main road. The guy was very thankful that we had stopped to help him so he could get back on his journey…. And so did we.
We made it to our canyon of choice, Coachwhip Canyon, and set out to find our camp spot for the weekend. I think it was around 9:00 pm when we found the spot that we liked and was time to set camp and get some grub in our bellies. Dinner Friday was a delicious BBQ chicken, baked potato and salad, and after that recovery we had a big appetite brewing. And I gotta say it turned out on the BIG TASTEY side of all dinners. After dinner we had some chill time so I figured I would work a little on my photographic time-lapse skills for a bit.
We were in a great place to wake up Saturday morning. The skies were clear, the sun was peaking over the canyon walls and the wind was nil. I brewed some coffee and headed out for a quick early AM hike up a canyon to catch a view and some sun.
We packed up the Jeeps for our outing that day and headed for one of my favorite spots, Fonts Point.
Next stop, Calcite Mine Area off the S22. This is a really cool place to be on a clear day as you can see all the way to Salton Sea and around to Borrego Springs. You can even see the entire Ocotillo OHV area from here. This was my first time coming to this location and I will be coming back.
Here’s a 360 video from the Calcite mine Area Plateau.
We stopped for lunch down in a canyon where we had the best deli sandwiches ever made, and then headed over to the Ocotillo Offroad Park. This is a new place that opened that is “enter at your own risk and don’t get stupid.”
We were pretty well tired out after cruising around the desert so we headed over to get some gas and then headed back for camp to relax a bit before dinner.
Saturday night’s dinner was kabobs, corn on the cob, and more salad…. We had been eating like kings this weekend, and then it was time to watch the stars and enjoy some much needed down time.
Sunday was upon us and we weren’t ready to head home yet. I know, let’s go to Coyote Canyon and have some of those kick but deli style sandwiches again… so we did.
And that brings us to a close for the weekend in Borrego Springs Desert State Park. The desert bloom time is a great time to go see the plant life that seems dead year round. It is by far my favorite time to go to the desert and take in the views and enjoy the down time. I look forward to making the trip again next year.