Monday, 27 March 2017

Day 4: Anza-Borrego State Park Desert, Assorted Creatures, and Trainer Cat Kom

Yesterday a friend remarked after viewing the latest blog that I made everyday into an adventure. Today was no exception. I am not sure that I have much to do with it other than having a spirit of curiosity and wonder.  Dad, do those words sound familiar?

One item on my sister's To Do list was to visit the Anza-Borrego State Park (link).  Due to recent heavy rainfall the park experienced a super-bloom which was last seen in 2005. This park is located about 2 hours east. Our drive took us through a variety of terrain.  Our reward was many interesting sights the culminated in stunning displays of blooming cacti and flowers in a typically desolate landscape.

It became evident that riding in Cat Kom's 5:30 pm Spin Sculpt was a distinct possibility. Good thing I hedged my bets and packed my riding shoes!

Allow your gaze to scroll over a few of our more interesting curiosities that we encountered today.

What is THAT!?  It was the Balloon Safari experience offered at the San Diego Safari Park.  This tethered balloon has no apparent source of heat.  Maybe it is full of helium?

Being the tourists that we are, an orange orchard caught our interest. 

Are those blossoms a separate plant growing through this tree or are these 'ever bearing' orange trees?

I neglected to mention our encounter with a kindly gentleman at the Seaside Market in Encinitas last night. My Canada hat has been a great conversation starter with strangers throughout this trip. At the end of our friendly chat in the deli department he strongly suggested that a Julian Pie was in order.  How could we resist?  Peach Apple crumble it was. Imagine our delight when we stumbled upon the actual bakery in the middle of nowhere on our way to the Desert!  Here is Marianne at a bistro table about to enjoy her slice. Yum!

The descent into Borrego takes us through some bouldery territory complete with many hairpin turns.
Alex you have much better passenger seat picture taking skills than Aunty Marianne. Less windshield, more scenery. She is coming along though :). 

Down in the windy flats approaching the park. 

It was a Monday; however, the crowds were still thick at the Visitor's Centre. Many beautiful examples of blooming cacti right outside the door. 

The Visitor's Centre is a fitting, low profile building with a walk-over roof to provide a bird's eye view of the desert. 

We were provided with a small map of the town and a circular route to check out the highlights. They have rather unusual metal art scattered about in sand fields. 

Most sculptures were about 10-15 feet tall. 

There is a very large round about in the centre of this small town that was thoughtfully designed as a park. 

This irrigated oasis was the perfect place for lunch. We truly had no appreciation for how barren this area usually is until we saw the satellite image from Google Maps.  

The hills surrounding the town are simply bursting with these yellow flower bushes at every turn.  Typically, the slopes are dusty rock with dry cacti. 

There are two little cacti growing horizontally out of a crevice in the rock.  

Lady Bug.

We had fun picking our way over boulders to get to the new pink blooms. Watch out for snakes!  

While most of the flowers are passing their prime these ones are newly emerged. 

Our selfies in the wind need a little work.
Sasquatch?! No, that is a few more miles down the road. 

There is no way to capture the grandeur of the hillsides with a camera. Some things are best experienced in-person. 

We commented on how these mountains looked like left over piles of boulders set aside for another day as God created. 

Alrightie, then. 

On the way back through Santa Ysebel, right by the Julian Pie Company, we stopped at a grocery store right beside Dudley's Famous Bakery [link]  Who knew so many good things originated in this small corner of the world?

Since we viewed desert flowers in record time I was able to ride in Cat Kom's 5:35 pm SpinCore class!

Cat Kom about to ride the stuffing out of me. Bring it!

Before you know it, we are 'in for the night' and Marianne brings me Egg Salad on sour dough. What a sister :).