Monday, January 14, 2019

California camping [4]

This will be the last installment of this mini series from October 2002. We left Death Valley and headed even further south, through the Mojave Desert and on to Salton City and Borrego Springs. We had a campsite reserved in the Anza-Borrego State Park. Again, there were very few campers around and we had a great choice of site.

The rustic shade shelter and stone picnic table at our site, with the Jeep and Collette, of course.

Some of the sites available included beautiful stone shelters with log roofs for shade. Inside each shelter was a picnic table and a stone fireplace built into one of the corners. We chose a site with a view out over the valley to our east. By the way, our dog Collette loved riding in the car and sleeping in the tent. And, although having a dog along restricted what we could do, we wouldn't have had it any other way.

In addition to the fireplace inside the shelter, we had a steel fire pit surrounded by a circle of boulders on the oustside.

We pitched the tent at the edge of the site. There was nothing but desert to our north and east and it almost felt like we were the only people there. On our walks around the campground loop with Collette, we could see bighorn sheep up on the rocky slopes of the mountains that bordered the campground on the south and west.

Our shelter and tent on the edge of the campground.

After a few days in Borrego, visiting our friend CHM (who lived nearby), and even taking a ride up the aerial tramway in Palm Springs (we left the dog in the care of a friend for the afternoon), it was time to head back north toward San Francisco. We drove out through Los Angeles and headed up to Santa Barbara where we had a reservation at a beach campground for one night. The next day we crossed the mountains back into the Central Valley, visited a winery there, then drove home.

There are lots of old photos from this trip; the images I posted here are just a few. Ken's shots are digital, and I have slides packed away. It was a lot of fun to look through them again.Thanks for coming along!


  1. I've struggled to just get past the names of the places you visited. Names, I have heard of for a long time. US desert is rather different to Australian desert.

  2. That shelter and setting are beautiful.

  3. Was it that same year we went to the Painted Canyon? And was it at the same time dear Collette enjoyed rolling herself in some nasty stuff and you had to clean her with Joy and hose her down to get rid of the smell?

    1. There is an Ocotillo in the middle of the last photo.

    2. I don't remember going to Painted Canyon near the Salton Sea. Maybe you meant Box Canyon. Both are close to Mecca. The only Painted Canyon I remember walking through was in Death Valley.

    3. No, I meant Painted Canyon, near Mecca. We also went through Box Canyon, which is a shortcut to Joshua Tree National Park.
      I have photos somewhere; if I can find them, I'll send them to you. Same with a photo of Collette, but in Box Canyon this time. She was also with us in Painted Canyon.

    4. Oh well, neither of us has any memory of that Painted Canyon. Wonder when it was.

    5. I found a batch of photos dated approximately Feb. 15 to 18, 2002. In some of them we are in a canyon. Which canyon? Box or Painted?

    6. The Feb. 2002 photos are Painted Canyon. I found photos from Box Canyon taken in June 1997. They are scans of Walt's slides because we didn't have digital cameras back then. I may also have your photos from that trip, our first, to Salton City. I had to go back to old CDs to find them.

  4. I've enjoyed your camping episodes. The stone shelters are beautiful.

  5. Nice trip. Thanks for bringing us along.

  6. andrew, I'd love to see the Australian desert, but I'm not sure such a long trip is in the cards for me.

    mitch, and so few people made it even more beautiful. It was October, after all.

    chm, I'm not sure about Painted Canyon, but Collette rolling and being bathed in Lemon Fresh Joy was in 2003, on our way to North Carolina, and France. I expect that the ocotillo is a member of the ocotillo family... ;)

    evelyn, not every site has them, so I'll bet they're the first ones taken.

    chris, the internet makes traveling vicariously so much easier than it used to be!

  7. LOL, Walt! I mentioned the ocotillo because I was sure you'd remember which family it belonged to!


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