Monday, April 7, 2008

Anza Borrego Desert State Park: Blair Valley

We spent the last day and night of our trip at Blair Valley. Also a primitive backcountry campground, Blair Valley does offer vault toilets, but who needs that when you have Tater? It is located at 2500 feet (second highest elevation of the Anza Borrego campgrounds) and is 32 miles south of the Visitor's Center. However, just 2 miles away is the town of Shelter Valley (pop. 340). From Blair Valley, we saw the pictographs (left behind by the Kumeyaay Indians) and did some dirt-biking around Little Blair. Little Blair actually seemed quite large, despite it's name. Ben also took off on a solo mission (my nerves could only handle so much dirt-biking through cactus fields) but unfortunately he didn't bring the camera with him (or maybe fortunately for the camera). Here are some pictures:

Tater at the campsite

On our way to the Pictographs


A view from the trail beyond the Pictographs

Another view from the same trail

Taking a break

Another view

From inside a cave

Ben on top of the cave

Ben & I relaxing on top of the cave

Me @ Little Blair

An egg-shaped cloud we spied on our way to Borrego Springs

We would have gotten to Borrego Springs quicker if there wasn't such a strong headwind!

A view on the way to Borrego Springs

A view from our campsite in the morning

Lola @ the campsite

Another view from our campsite

Anza Borrego Desert State Park: Yaqui Pass

We spent the first two nights at a backcountry campsite at Yaqui Pass. These primitive campsites are free and offer no hookups or running water. Some of them have vault toilets. This one did not. (Lucky for us, Tater has a toilet of his own.) The elevation at Yaqui Pass is 1730 feet - the third highest of the 14 campgrounds in Anza Borrego. It is 12 miles southeast of the Visitor's Center (meaning it is 12 miles from civilization aka Borrego Springs - pop. 2900). From Yaqui Pass, we explored the Kenyon Trail on foot, then Mine Wash and Buttes Pass on Mule. Here are some of our pics:

A view of Tater from the top of the hill

King of the hill

Me & Lola

Ben taking a spin on Mule

Lola chasing Ben

Tater & Mule at the campsite

Me in front of the only Bar in Borrego Springs

A view of the morning sky from our campsite

Tater in the morning

Ben & Lola hiking on Kenyon Trail

Lola quenches her thirst on the trail

A view from Kenyon Trail

Another view

This is a view of the mountains across the desert... Taken from the top of Kenyon Trail

To add some perspective, the horizontal(ish) line at the bottom is Route 78

Another view from the top of Kenyon Trail

Mule on the Mine Wash Trail (Off Route 78. Flash Flood Area)

A View from Buttes Pass

This Cockatoo belongs to a Borrego Springs local. Lola doesn't know what to make of a bird that (1) is bigger than her, and (2) doesn't fly away from her.

Anza Borrego Desert State Park: Wildflowers

We just got back from Round Two in Anza Borrego Desert... this time to check out the wildflowers. We were a little late for most of the flowers but we got some nice pics anyway. I will post these in three parts since we are photographaholics! (Yes, I make up my own words). And remember, no matter how beautiful they are, they are cacti. Look, but DON'T TOUCH!

First, we have two shots of the Barrel Cactus

Here we have the Beavertail Cactus (my personal favorite)

Lean like a Cholla ;) (but whatever you do, don't lean ON a cholla!)

A White and a Yellow Desert Dandelion

The pride of the desert...The Ocotillo

It's not gross, it's Yucca

The Beavertail and some Desert Marigold