Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Biking in Borrego

This was my 9th visit to Anza Borrego State Park and the weather couldn't have been any nicer - mid-80's all week, sunny, and hardly a wisp of any winds. On this trip, Mike Broderick, Herb Lee and I joined about 15 other Sac Wheelmen on their annual winter Zodiac trip to the desert. We enjoyed four great rides and completed two hikes over a 7 day period.

Mike and Herb at Palm Canyon

The Posse at Palm Canyon Resort where we spent the week

Dick Bagbaum at Yaqui Pass

Mike and Sandy Fox approaching Yaqui Pass

Dick at the top of Montezuma Pass

Nic Hourigan cresting Montezuma Pass, a 4,000' climb over 10 miles

Dennis "Sasquatch" King, our ride leader, at Ranchita Store

Wheelmen who completed the big loop over Montezuma and Yaqui Passes - Dale, Dick, Sandy, Mike F., Herb, Mike B., Nic, me, and Sasquatch

Post-ride treats at Carlita's, a super eatery in Borrego Springs

Prehistoric Beasts of Borrego Valley

An AMAZING display!!

Scattered around the desert surrounding Borrego Springs, are more than 50 giant metal sculptures of birds and beasts that used to roam the desert valley.

A collaboration between property owner Dennis Avery and metal artist Ricardo Breceda has created a surreal scene of dinosaurs, saber-tooth cats, sloths, elephants, turtles, camels, horses, and raptors that inhabited this region thousands and millions of years ago.

These creatures are located helter-skelter on various parcels owned by Avery. The wonderful thing is he allows public access to the pieces and you can walk right up to them.

On two of our riding days, we rode around Borrego Springs searching for as many beasts as we could find. Here is a sampling of the ones we found. How fun!!

Palm Canyon Hike

The signature hike at Anza Borrego is the 3 mile hike to Palm Canyon. This is a hike I do every time I visit since it is easy and convenient to the town/campground. The trail follows a creek (usually dry) until you approach the palm grove where water suddenly bubbles up from a spring.

A grove of about 50 native California Fan Palms are huddled at the end of the canyon. Before the devastating 2004 flash flood, the palm grove numbered over 300. Signs of new growth abound so the future outlook for the grove appears promising.

We run into Dennis at the trail-head

Trail meanders up-hill along the dry creek bed toward the palm grove

Suddenly water appears and quickly disappears into the desert

Jaws! - stark evidence of the 2004 flash flood

Nearing the main grove

Small waterfall below the grove

Remembering Patti - standing where she once stood

Mike standing in the middle of the shady grove

Great views of the valley from the high-trail

View of Borrego Springs from the high trail

Zooming in on Fonts Point lying across the valley

Taking a break on a natural rock bench

Evening view of Rabbit Ridge (far ridge) and Coyote Peak ridge (middle foreground)

Slot Canyon and Wind Caves Hike

The Port-Hole

Another great hike is Slot Canyon and Wind Caves which lies near the Borrego Buttes east of town. We did a loop hike dropping down into the slots and out the other end and returning over the wind cave hills to the trail-head.

Heading into Slot Canyon from above

Traversing the slots

A perfect key-stone!

OK Mike . . . just a small dinner salad tonight!

Colorful hills as you exit Slot Canyon

Pot-marked wind cave hills

Wind and erosion over the eons created the caves

Badlands and Fonts Point lies across the valley

Mike attempts a little spelunkering

Pretty rugged country

Around the Park
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