Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I begin my day investigating this tiny snap together house situated in a stand of tamerisk trees. No mortgage or foreclosure problem here. The builder/owner seemed cozy and contented with his domicile.
The mighty Imperial Dunes--they stir strange yearnings in me. A gargantuan sand box where a hundred thousand come to play,
Exquisite form and feature--reminded me of Ester Williams.
Holtville hot springs---perfect temperature, flowing freely, cleaned regularly--and free to the public.
That barely visible vehicle on the right in the distance is smoothing this roadside to be able to detect alien footprints.
There were more than a hundred of these marvelous sculptures scattered across the desert near Borrego Springs, Ca.
Desert loving, off road sub culture--bigger than you ever imagined.
Ahhhh----I'm Home---down there with my family---The wandering WINs


A day on the road

I once asked a hobo when he was happiest. He said: “When I’m sitting in a boxcar headed out of town.” I can identify, because moving day for me is more exciting than arriving. Many of my companions feel differently.

Anyway, here’s a more or less typical travel day, as I moved from Yuma, Az to Borrego Springs, Ca. to spend Thanksgiving with my travel club, the WINs (Wandering Individuals Network—

My first stop is at the extraordinary rest stop dead in the middle of the gigantic Imperial sand dunes.(six miles wide, 70 miles long) It is much beloved for its good water supply–fresh and free to all. Off road dunes people fill up here for their weekend adventure. Surprisingly it is located within the median of Interstate 8.

This six mile dunes crossing required incredible feats of engineering. For years the only way to cross it was by a difficult plank road. Even more difficult was the All American Canal which also crosses the dunes here. The easy route for the canal would be a few miles south but that would dip into Mexico and give others some control over the precious water. America paid the price, dug through the dunes and now 90% of the Colorado River is diverted 40 miles west to the green fields of Imperial Valley, where 10% of the nation’s vegetables are grown.

My next stop is at Holtville hot springs, a fine tub of hot flowing water; hot enough to do you good; mellow you out. Boondockers cluster here for the winter, building rituals around daily soaks. Canadians seem to be over represented. On this day a lovely Hispanic lady with curves more graceful than a racehorse posed for my camera.

In El Centro Wal Mart I supplied myself for an extended desert stay. North on Hwy 86 I pass through a Border Patrol checkpoint. (Always located at strategic choke points) The officer always wants to hear you speak. You can imagine why.

West on Hwy 78 I stop to investigate a huge cloud of dust. The Border Patrol is dragging a smoothing apparatus down the roadside. They do this so that footprints of illegals crossing in the night will show.

I stop at Ocotillo Wells to appreciate the vast subculture of off road recreation.

I stop again to photograph the art works scattered across the desert near Borrego Springs. A rich guy (Avery) bought up the desert and commissioned the sculptures.

Settling in among my friends in the Anza Borrego desert. It’s been a good day and unlike tourist, who just see the sights, I see what I see.


wisesongbird said...

Thanks for the adventure - once again. Wonder if the sculptures are new since I was in the area but could just have missed them, I suppose. Amazing to come upon all those beautiful horses in the middle of nowhere! And the hot springs, another surprise for me. Keep travelin' and writing. Love the blog.

Anonymous said...

Hey - this is a great blog. Good descriptions and pictures.