I didn't realize that all of the good stuff is only accessible by off-road vehicle. I didn't do much research before this adventure. I really just wanted to drive away from the city while I have a couple days off and clear my head.
Over three hours of this kind of driving visibility.
This weather brought forth lots of accidents. Most of them were fender benders until highway 79. On 79, there were two flipped vehicles, and one head-on collision between a motorcycle and a car. The car won. This resulted in a shut down of the entire road for almost an hour.
79 had so many great looking things that I really wanted to stop and look at, but I was racing the sunshine. Wrong time of year for a 3 hour day trip. The sun and rain battling back and forth in the distance made for some epic scenery.
As mentioned, I didn't research anything for this trip. I had planned on buying a map when I got in to town and also assumed that the park was more like Joshua Tree. I had no idea that Borrego allowed for free range off-roading. Nor did I realize that free camping is fair game as long as you're 10 foot from the road.
As soon as I saw a open path I decided to just drive aimlessly into the desert. In this case relying on my compass, but still managed to get lost. I thought for sure the roads would connect back to the highway.
Getting lost wasn't so bad, but I was a little worried about a sudden flash flood. The ominous rain clouds in the distance were rapidly changing shape and color, but never really made it my way. The sporadic signs warning of flash flooding made for some unsettling feelings.
Did I mention I love the desert?
Sometimes the desert reminds me of reef.
There weren't a ton of animal sightings beyond a Road Runner, Jack Rabbit, some unidentifiable birds, and this dude who I became good friends with. Apparently it's Tarantula breeding season.
Being in this element always brings out the kid in me. This shy lil tarantula REALLY brought out the kid in me.
There sure are a lot of shells laying around for a place that doesn't allow guns.
I see your front door...
And I see your tracks, but I don't see you Mr. Tortoise.
Dunno what these are. Kit Fox?
After about 20 miles of driving through the desert, I realized that I wasn't certain where the road would lead. Anza Borrego has 500 miles off available dirt roads, and they all start to look the same. Time to turn around.
Somehow I found my way out.
Desert People. Desert person.
When I finally made it into town, I met a nice old woman who pointed me in the direction of the most epic setting of the entire day. I bought a guide book and headed 5 miles down a sandy dirt path to reveal this intense scene.
It just kept getting better. I don't know that I can describe how this felt in person. It was as if someone threw a giant tarp over the entire sky and shined epic lights through it as the wind blew it about in slow motion.
Thankful for fog lights. I could have done this all night and probably should have. I suppose I will keep the FJ and maybe get some recovery materials. I've been considering selling until this trip.
This day trip only allowed me to scratch the surface of what there is to offer out there. So much left to explore. Not to mention it's close to one of my childhood dirt bike dream spots, Ocotillo Wells.
See you again soon.