Saturday, December 12, 2009


"Bagdad Cafe" is perhaps my favorite movie--the story of a hapless tourist who stumbles into a small desert truck stop---experiencing transformation---and causing transformation. I'm ever on the alert for such a place--to remake myself AND make myself felt. Borrego Springs calls to me though I have not yet answered. Could it be your "Bagdad Cafe?" (note the Salton Sea in the distance) A glance at the map will reveal a unique feature; It is completely surrounded by the Anza-Borrego State park---California's largest--and thus cannot expand its city limits.

Chatting with several locals---all from elsewhere---suggest it was their transformation place. Pictures of the town itself would only distract from my intent---instead, I'll show you this one distant shot, two of its setting and finally, the artwork of one of its citizens making himself felt.

Down there is the town sleeping in a gloriously dry valley. Beneath is a vast reservoir of fossil water---much fought over, because when it's gone--the city is gone. Citrus farmers, given free rein would use it up quickly. (I love and respect farmers but they are notoriously irresponsible regarding water use--especially here where there should be no farming at all.) Only legal force can make the water supply sustainable----but I digress.

Just outside town, at "Pegleg Smiths" campsite, my friends and I settle in for a quiet Thanksgiving.

A side trip to the nearby Salton Sea where the King of Kodgers displays his Barrymore-like profile.

Here's the Borrego Springs Badlands with the Salton sea in the distance.

Now here's how a local citizen is making himself felt---in a very big way. He has the money to comission a hundred sculptures such as these and to purchase extensive desert tracts on which to display them. Furthermore, he allows campers to stay for 3 days free anywhere nearby. Tourist are flocking in to drive around enjoying them---spread as they are over several miles.

An incredible variety of creatures, extinct and extant---Here's an ancient elephant ancestor.

With its descendent a few miles away. (I'm 5 foot 10 inches tall)

Borrego rams poised to clash---the ladies they seek to win are just downhill.
You can google Borrego Springs sculptures for the full story.


Anonymous said...

Great shot of those badlands!

But, say, about that Barrymore profile. It really seemed more Moses/Charlton Heston-like, with that wooden pole in the photo serving as your staff.

With a change of wardrobe, it would be easy to imagine the King of the Kodgers waving the salty seas apart, and leading his persecuted tribe of RVers across to safety, with the BLM (aka, Pharaoh) in hot pursuit. And then, on to the promised land. The Slabs.

Jane said...

i couldn't agree more with anonymous! Great job on the blog. Always look forward to receiving it. Jane

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving.

Brad said...

Hey Randy!
Looks like you're losing some of the weight you were working on when I saw you at Boulder Beach! Good on ya!