Tuesday, April 12, 2005

We are at Yaqui Pass in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (map). This spot is generously called a "primitive camping area," but it is actually a gravel parking area a short distance from the main road. However, we had the place all to ourselves last night, and we are surrounded by desert hills, which makes for a nice view. Also, Yaqui Pass road is relatively untravelled.

We arrived in the park yesterday afternoon after an uneventful and mostly pleasant drive up CA67 and CA78. We made a brief stop at the developed campground at Tamarisk Grove. It turns out that the length limit there is 21' (though we found at least one site that would fit Odyssey). The main advantage of that area is that it is in a small stand of trees, which provide shade that would be critical a bit later in the season. However, the restrooms there are under construction, and we did not want to listen to the workers using their pneumatic nailers all day. On top of which, there was a fee of $20 per night for dry camping, with no dump and no potable water.

Instead we drove a bit further along the road to this spot. While we are totally exposed and in full sunight here, it is much more quiet and serene. Also, the Governator has somehow missed a revenue opportunity, as all primitive and back-country camping in Anza-Borrego is free, at least for now. There is not even a day-use fee outside of the small handful of developed sites.

We came here hoping for a spectacular wildflower bloom, but it appears we may be a few weeks too late. I suspect that, as with Death Valley, a very wet winter coupled with early spring temperatures made for an early bloom this year. We did see some ocotillo in bloom on our way in to the park, and we still hope for some color as we drive around.

The photo immediately below is our current digs, at sunset yesterday evening.

We have not yet decided if we will spend another night at this spot, or move elsewhere in the park. Anza-Borrego is huge, comprising some 600,000 acres -- the largest park in the California system, and roughly the size of Rhode Island.


  1. Hi Sean and Louise. Are you heading towards the Bus Conversion Gathering? We were supposed to leave Denver Sunday to be in Phoenix for some consulting and the then on to the Gathering. I had to fly down and then back and we will head out next Sat.

    I noticed you had some DataStorm problems with a bird out of range. What bird are you on?

    Jim Shepherd

  2. Forgot to state the reason we did not drive the motorhome to Phoenix -- 24 inches of snow.

    We thought about you guys and your cruise experience. We just got back and did not have the "flb" problem you did.



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