It was a really good call to head back to Anza Borrego following Buckskin Mountain. We love this park and it feels already like a familiar happy place. We also got to spend time with the Lindas, which we missed out on before the Altogather due to winter storms and time constraints. The weather turned warmer and there was full solar in the non hookups sites. Cell service was strong in the park and I got a chance to catch up on blogging. All wins.
Rather than drive straight back, we took a less direct route that took us through Joshua Tree. I really was curious about seeing it with snow on the ground, but hadn’t been curious enough to camp there with icy roads and freezing temperatures. This was a way to get a taste, and though it made for a long day, it was worth it.
After hitting the road, we ended up meeting back up at the Oasis Visitor Center. We got good information about road conditions and where to go to get pretty views. I also got to see Roadrunner up close and that was one of the highlights of my whole trip. Those are really fun birds to watch. I’d caught a couple of glimpses of them before, but they are legit fast little buggers and disappeared right after spotting them.
We headed into the park and ended up regrouping near the Jumbo Rocks campground. We were not the only people who had this idea and it was really hard to find a place to pull over.
We grabbed a spot first, with the Lindas arriving shortly thereafter, and we all got to take some faceys in the snow. All around us were other folks, throwing snowballs and making little snow people. Once we’d had our fill, we kept going to find a place to turn around with trailers. On the way, we were treated to a truly other worldly view of a snowy desert wonderland. The snow at that point was quite specific to the higher elevations in the park. As soon as we began descending, it disappeared and gave way to the more typical cacti covered golden valleys and hillsides.
It was a long day by the time we reached the southern edge of the park. We stopped briefly at the visitor center located in the Cottonwood campground and found it to be very small and pretty crowded. Onward we pressed, through Box Canyon and into the Salton Sea valley once again. We replenished propane while Linda with dogs arrived at the campground ahead of us, only to find they had screwed up her reservation. She was able to stay in her site for that night, but unfortunately, had to move the next day. That was a big ReserveCalifornia fail there.
We spent the rest of our time chatting, regrouping after a lot of social time, and just relaxing in the warm sunny desert. Temperatures were in the 70s and all was lovely, including the sunsets and night hikes. We got dinner at Carlee’s, which seems to be the popular hangout in Borrego Springs. It’s your typical burger menu, but Linda without dogs got the biggest plate of shrimp pasta we’d ever seen. It looked like four meals, easily.
We were both sad to leave. Not only was it hard to leave a happy place, but it also marks really the end of winter break. This one was awesome. It was the perfect balance of new places and old. New friends and good friends. Relaxing times and “at least you got a story out of it” times. Nothing better.
Total miles from Buckskin Mountain (going through Joshua Tree): 262.9, 15.5 mpg, 6 hours 5 min. Site 70 no hookups. Great solar, strong LTE for both. Nice bathrooms (no spiders this time). Direct access to visitor center paved trail.