Day at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA - November 2015

T and I really needed to get away from LA for a bit and it was our 2-year wedding anniversary so we headed south to spend some time near Palomar Mountain, Julian and Anza-Borrego.

As we drove the 3.5 hours south from LA the weather started to turn stormy and by the time we got to our Bed & Breakfast in the mountain town of Julian it was dark and raining and cold. We found the only restaurant that was still open and after eating retired to our room for the night. We didn't mind going to sleep early since we planned to get into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in the morning before sunrise.

Here's where we were:

We overslept a bit (if you can call 5am oversleeping!) and as we drove east down the mountain on the 78 into Anza-Borrego park the sun started to come up. Not wanting to miss it, we pulled over and took some photos.

It's such an impressive landscape with Ocotillo and Teddy bear cholla cactus plants. The colors are divine. We even saw a rainbow.

Here's a part of the park map:

Once we arrived down in Borrego Springs we explored some of the metal sculptures by artist Ricardo Breceda. There are over 130 of them scattered around the desert town. You can get more information and locations of them here.

Near the Red Ocotillo cafe where we stopped for breakfast we happened upon this Roadrunner who was puffing out his tail and posing for me.

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)
We enjoyed driving around most of the park but didn't get out much to hike because it was VERY windy and there were scattered dust storms.

However, we made an exception to explore "The Slot" which is, as you may imagine, a slot canyon in the southeast section of the park. More info here. Very cool! Once we got to the section that was super narrow we turned around (T was wearing a wrist cast so not easy to maneuver).

After that we went back into Borrego Springs for another meal and killed time until the sun set by walking on the path near the Borrego Palm Canyon Visitor Center.

T was hoping to take some photos on film with a long exposure to capture the stars and Milky Way. The wind and our lack of preparation (in terms of flash lights) thwarted most of our attempts, but he was able to get a couple of shots and learned what he'd need to be prepared for the next time he wants to shoot the cosmos on film.

I hadn't been to Anza-Borrego since the first time I went with V way back in the spring of 2010 when we came on a wildflower excursion. This time of year there wasn't as much color in terms of flora and the strong winds made it hard to explore outside, but it was still nice to wander around and see parts of the park I hadn't seen before. Definitely worth another trip.

You can see more of my photos from Anza-Borrego in the Flickr set.

The next day we headed up into Palomar Mountain State Park.