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!|
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.
|So excited to meet one of my blogging heroes |
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.
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.
|Our first wildlife spotting. This one's for you Laura :-)|
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.|
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!
|They are not kidding!|
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!