I got together with a few friends from San Diego DSLR and we took a drive out to Anza Borrego Desert State Park on Saturday for some exploring and photography. We started out in the northern part of the Park, and checked out 17 Palms Oasis and 5 Palms Oasis. 5 Palms is down to 4 these days, but 17 Palms seems to have a few than it's name would suggest. It was sunny and clear out there, but with a lot of dust in the air from all the activity over at the Ocotillo Wells OHV Area. Here are a couple from 17 Palms.
5 Palms is just a single clump of trees, from a distance you can't really tell just how many trees there are.
The ground all around 5 Palms, like much of the Borrego Badlands, has the look of elephant hide. It's a very soft layer of dirt several inches thick. When it falls away it looks almost like it was a skin.
From the oases we traveled east over to an area called the Pumpkin Patch, inside the OHV area. Unlike the State Park, which was pretty quiet, the OHV was bustling with activity. There were dirt bikes and ATVs everywhere. It was loud, dusty, and quite festive. Some of the quads looked like they would be a lot of fun to try.
After a brief stop we turned back towards Anza Borrego State Park, and wound up passing through one of the most barren parts of the Badlands that I've seen yet.
After a bit even the fairly sparse vegetation seemed to disappear, and for a while it seemed like maybe we were driving on the Moon.
After a while we came out of the Badlands and turned south towards San Felipe Wash. From there we drove up very sandy Blow Sand Canyon and onto a little ridge route called the Goat Trail. It was getting late in the day, and the sun was low in the sky, which made for some very nice views. All the sand and dust in the air pretty much blocked out the details in the distance, but the weather was perfect, so we weren't all that bothered.
This next shot really is straight out of the camera, no manipulation. The sun was very low in the sky and illuminating this one bush, but all of the ground behind it was in shade because of the low angle.
Here's my Xterra on the Goat Trail.
We had a brief bit of color in the sky after the sun went down.
Here's one of the last photos of the day, on the last trail of the day, on the last day of the year. It's time to start planning for 2012 trips.
Weather wise it was a pretty spectacular day out there, except maybe for all the dust and haze in the air. Still, with no wind, and temps in the mid-70's, it was very nice.
Click here to see more images from Anza Borrego Desert State Park on Saturday, December 31, 2011.
And, Happy New Year everyone!
Photography . . . Travel . . .
- Frank B. Baiamonte
- San Diego, California, United States
- About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.
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Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.