Back from a week in Florida, it was time to take the other set of “horses” out for a ride. 240 horses to be exact!
Rumor had it that the desert wildflowers were in full bloom in, well, the desert! Heading out with Audry, we drove south on the 15 to the 79, eventually hitting the S22, which took us into the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. After two hours of driving, our first priority was to eat. Armed with some eatery suggestions from mapquest, we headed for Main Street and headed right back out! Disneyland’s Main Street is longer!
Turning around twice, we finally discovered “The Mall”, which consisted of 5-8 store fronts – including a second hand clothing store, salon, restaurant, and realtor – and decided to eat there. Palm Springs this ain’t! Refueled and ready to go, we found the Borrego Springs information center, and strolled around looking at the desert plant life. There were some flowers, but we were mightily disappointed in the display. The weather forecast was calling for rain, so the clouds added some interest to my photos. Lord knows, the flowers were not that inspiring.
I traipsed through the visitor’s center and gift shop where I bought a new sweatshirt. I have a million of them, but of course, I forgot to bring one. While I was reading up on some of the discoveries that had been made in the park, Audry was chatting with the docent to find out where all the flowers were. She mentioned a few places where we could walk 6-10 miles to see the flowers, but at this point, that was about 6-10 miles too many for me to be walking. She gave us directions to an area we could drive (a convertible) through.
Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!
Following her directions, we were so far disappointed in what we were seeing. A few yellow flowers here, a few purple ones there. Audry suggested we might turn around, but the road we were on was heading in the direction of home.
Good thing we kept on it, for not more than 100 yards down, we were smack dab in the middle of wildflower heaven!
(you can see more photos at http://flickr.com/photos/vitasenzalimiti/sets/72157604137950985/ )
After strolling through fields of flowers, with me merrily snapping away, we got back in the car and headed to the Salton Sea. What a depressing site! It is just a reminder of how devastating man can be to nature. There are plans to restore the Salton Sea, but it is a 75-year effort and the clock hasn’t even started.
The only photo I took here was of the “golf course”. A friend of mine has photos here http://www.flickr.com/photos/redinkphotography/sets/72157594557158477/ and stories of the Salton Sea. He finds a beauty in the area that I just cannot see.
The weather started to take a turn, with the threat of rain even more ominous. It was time to be heading back. It’s not much fun to be caught in a downpour when you’re driving topless! Heading back home the way we came, we watched the rain move ever closer, until I figured it was time to pull over and batten down the hatches. Even with our new sweatshirts and the top up, it was necessary to put the heat on! Driving up through the 5,000-foot elevation, we finally were hit with the rain. However, the rain turned out to be snow flurries! Slowly making our way down to the lower elevations, the flurries became icy particles stuck to my wiper blades! Eventually we were low enough and it all changed to rain.
Or so we thought! I do not usually take my car out in the rain, mainly because it is not made to handle wet, cold roads. Nor, for that matter, am I. Having never been out driving and caught in a torrential downpour, I thought the rain was making a huge racket for being only rain. If you have ever been camping in a tent when it rains, then you know what it sounds like in a rainstorm in a convertible.
This sounded worse. It was so loud in the car I could barely hear Audry. As I looked directly at the rain hitting my hood, I discovered it was HAIL!
Beach cities and sunshine, deserts and wildflowers, rain, snow, ice and hail all in one day! Now that’s Southern California living!