Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Realizing the Dream - Returning to Borrego Springs in the Motorhome

Imperial County, California is an interesting combination of flat desert, rocky hills, and acres of agriculture. Our Saturday drive is uneventful with the exception of another mis-direction by Randy, our GPS.

Fortunately we've been to Borrego Springs once before, and I checked our route on Google, so we drive right to the park.

Anza Borrego State Park is up against the mountain, has wonderful views, has large and level sites, includes very nice shower houses, and wait for it.....

.....full hookups!  We haven't found that in any public park since Boardman, Oregon. Although we were prepared for no sewer for our nine day stay, it is a great surprise - Happy Christmas to us!


Compared to our frigid southern Arizona temps, it is nice and warm here. Sunday is football and house cleaning. The two small bins of Christmas decorations come out and I put our few favorite ornaments out to enjoy. The wind is blowing so I wait for the outside pieces.

Several bloggers have inspired me in different ways. Al's Bayfield Bunch has long been a favorite. Not only for his incredible photography, but for his sharing-of-self that reminds me it's okay to be human in my writings. His mentioning my blog over a year ago brought 600+ readers to that post! 

So when I see that he and Kelly, and their pup Pheebe, are in Borrego, I reach out and they respond quickly with an invite to come on over. We plan for Monday morning.

Time flies with people talk and puppy play. We get a tour of their beautiful motorhome, and drool over the exceptional Amish-built interior.

Every bit as warm and "feel-good" as in the blog, Al and Kelly are a lovely couple. Pheebs is a sweetheart as well, and Tessa is so happy to have a playmate!

Bill, Al and Jodee - hard to tell what the temperature is :-)

Let the games begin!
So excited to meet one of my blogging heroes 

Pulling out a camera with Al is like pulling out a paintbrush with Rembrandt :-)  So I shamelessly "borrowed" a couple pics from his post of our visit. Thanks to Kelly for the pic of Al and I.

In the afternoon I peruse the nice Visitor Center and pick up a map of the whole park. The botanical garden and the exhibits on the tribal culture are my favorites.



Our first wildlife spotting. This one's for you Laura :-)
With a cloudy day forecast for Tuesday, we drive to Julian for Christmas pies. Montezuma Valley Road rises quickly through switchbacks that overlook the expansive valley below. Rocks and gnarly bushes, gusting wind and fog, rain and puddles - we love the harsh landscape. By the time we reach the Julian Pie Company in San Ysabel, the heavy rain is coming down sideways. 

This pie factory runs with efficiency and olfactory excellence. I think they keep the public area small so people can't just "hang out" and soak in the deliciousness for hours.  Kelly told us about "not so perfect" options, and I grab a pumpkin pie at half price. It looks perfect to me :-)

In San Ysabel, not Julian.

They are not kidding!
Up the road, Julian is a cute town that today is cold and wet. When I don't find a parking place on the main street we decide to head home, going out Highway 79. After all, we have our pie!

Forested hillsides give us very different views. Small rock and mud slides make the drive a bit more exciting, including a larger boulder that requires a slow drive-around. Stopping to take photos isn't an option.

How wonderful to have this gift of much-needed water for the Winter Solstice! Can't think of anything more perfect to celebrate the new beginnings of the season.

We leave the rain behind as we return to the valley, where the wind continues with 30 mph gusts. Back home we pull in the large slide when the topper sounds like it is either going to tear off or launch the whole rig. It calms with the setting sun, and we tuck in for the night.

Ezra update: he loves his toes!





30 comments:

  1. We'll be staying a few nights at Borrego Springs SP in Feb! Looks like a fun meetup with Al and Kelly. That little Ezra is pretty darn adorable!

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    1. You'll love it - hope the wind is gone then!

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  2. It was nice to have you folks drop around a few days ago. It was an honor for me to meet one of my very much most frequent commenters. And thank you for all those kind words...the check is in the mail:)) All the best to you guys & our trails may very well cross again soon.

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  3. Great stuff and Ezra is looking cuter everyday! Merry Christmas to you both.

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    1. We can't wait to see him on Friday :-) Merry Christmas!

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  4. It certainly is nice to be able to meet fellow RVers and bloggers on the road. What fun for sure!

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    1. It's becoming one of our favorite parts!

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  5. Thanks for the spider! Xoxox! Happy Winter Solstice.

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    1. Of course my dear :-) Solstice Blessings to you too!

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  6. Oh, how wonderful that you're at Anza Borrego SP for the holidays! We've spent time there many winters and always love it. How fun that you met up with some of your favorite bloggers, too. I always enjoy the Visitor Center and the botanical garden -- did you notice the very cool bighorn sheep door handles at the entrance? Be sure to ask to see the film on Ghost Mountain -- I think you'll enjoy it. Ezra is totally adorable! Wishing you both a cozy and joyful holiday. :-)

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    1. I love the door handles at the VC! If it weren't for the killer winds it would be absolutely perfect here. Hope you and Eric have a dry and fun holiday way over there on that other coast :-))))

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  7. So much fun that you were able to meet up with Al and Kelly, Jodee! Pheebs and Tessa really appear to be having a good time!

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    1. We sure did - and those two were hysterical chasing each other around their campsite!

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  8. Spent many camping trips with my family at Anza Borrego SP and loved it there. My last time in Borrego Springs you gave me some very wise words about riding a 3 wheeler. You said "You are letting the bike control you, you need to control the bike"! And so I did, the only difference being it is now a 4 wheeler! I don't get much time to read your blog but when I do I enjoy it. Have a very Merry Christmas with your family and a safe and healthy New Year.

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    1. That was a great trip! How fun to know you occasionally follow our adventures :-) Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.

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  9. So glad you met Al and Kelly, wonderful folks. Hope our paths cross sometime this winter. I see I'm going to have to check out Julian and the pie place if I get to AB next month.

    Merry Christmas!!

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    1. The pie factory is a must-do when here. The little bags of pie crust cookies with a cup of coffee - heaven!

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  10. Borrego Springs seems to be the place to meet new friends. We've met more people there during our visits. Fun times meeting Al, Kelly, and especially Pheebs:) If you need another pie or want one for the road, the coffee/ice cream place in town has a freezer of Julian pies that you take home to bake!! We bought three while we were there. I have an Apple/Cherry in the freezer to bake Friday for our daughter. Wishing you, Bill, and Tessa a very Merry Christmas:) Enjoy the rest of your time in Anza Borrego State Park.

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    1. There are a couple other bloggers camped out by Al and Kelly, none that I follow regularly but I can see how this would be a place to run into folks :-) May have to pick up a couple of those pies for the freezer before we leave. We can't wait to dive into the ones we have on Friday!! Merry Christmas to you and John and Jessica.

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  11. Still hoping to camp there right after the first on our way to Q. I didn't know they had full hookups. Bonus! How is internet/cell? Meeting up with other RVer/Bloggers is great! Your grandson is just adorable with those big beautiful eyes!

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    1. We have 4 bars of 4G pretty consistently. Internet not super fast on our MiFi (AT&T), but enough to post blog with pics so pretty good. We're in #34 which is fairly level with great views around.

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  12. HI! Love the blog! Merry Christmas!! Nice to see Tessa making doggie friends too! Tina Garner

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    1. Great to have you and David joining us on our travels! Merry Christmas to you both, and to Steven and Adam. Tessa is in heaven when she can run with other doggies :-)

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  13. Yep we are looking forward to our return out west next year...

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    1. So much to see here, we could spend every winter exploring the area :-)

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  14. Wishing you a Merry Christmas. I'm enjoying reading each of your blog posts. Our winter in Mazatlan is going along great. Hope you are doing well.

    Russ Ranger

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    1. Hi Russ! Think of you in Mexico often and glad to hear it's great. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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  15. Well you are now in a place I have just longed to go. Serious envy here AND you've met Al and Kelly which I would love to do. You can just feel what nice folks they are through his blog. I finally fired our GPS for too many insubordinations and rely on Google maps now much much greater success! Hope you had a wonderful Yule.

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    1. You and David would love it here - minus the wind. Authentically nice people, they both feel really good. As frustrated as I get with the directions sometimes, I do like the the miles to go and the elevation and the speed limit changes on the GPS, so I just make sure I know the final leg from Google!

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