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Adventures in Accidental Off-Roading

Borrego Springs, California: Yesterday was a cold, windy, rainy day in Borrego Springs. The mountain tops were again covered with snow. We dashed-out between rain storms for our jogs, but the rest of the time remained hunkered-down inside the cozy Magna Peregrinus with our radiant tile floor heaters set to 90°. The stormy weather afforded us an excuse to be total couch potatoes: we watched The George Washington University (The Lovely Lisa's alma mater) lose at home to Temple University, listened to the Ducks lose at home to Stanford on the XM radio and watched the National Indoor Track & Field Championships live stream from Albuquerque on the internet.

So we were extremely delighted to wake this morning to clear skies, no wind and warm temperatures. We had our coffee outside in the sunshine! What a difference a day makes in the California desert. After we ran, we spent time in the great hot tub and swimming pool at the resort and then headed west (up the pass) to see the snow.

The highway west in/out of the Borrego Valley is a ten-mile steep curvy engineering masterpiece, with several great vista points along the way. The sky was so clear, it was easy to see all the way to the Salton Sea - the largest lake in California.

I made a little guided tour of our view - quite the metropolis, eh?

(Are you impressed with my considerable Photoshop skills?)

Just a few miles out of Borrego Springs, we could see snow on the side of the road and by the time we reached the top of the pass - 10 miles from town - we found four inches of the white stuff on the ground!

Ranchita, California sits at the top of the pass. This community of 300 people has a General Store and a library (housed in two Tuff Sheds). There is no librarian. You can check-out a book and leave a 25-cent donation. If you don't have a quarter, that's okay. You can return the book, or just keep it - this library is quite forgiving of those pesky late-fees. The store caretaker made this snowman - but the fiberglass Yeti is there year round.

Interestingly enough, there were a lot of people up on the pass today - mostly families who drove their kids east from San Diego to play in the snow.

On the way back down the pass to Borrego Springs, we took a sand road that passes through a pretty meadow. Several times previously we have seen coyotes in this meadow - and we saw a nice fat coyote here this afternoon. The road looked interesting, so we continued to a pretty viewpoint where there was a trailhead. It was easy to see the Salton Sea from this point.

We walked up the trail a bit and found patches of snow in the shade, jack rabbits and squirrels. We also found a spring filled with reeds and noisy frogs. There were several Bighorn Sheep tracks around the spring!

We had no idea where we were, but really enjoyed this pretty part of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

There is so much color in the desert.

Well, not everything out in the middle of nowhere is fun. I walked around this "puddle" and declared it safe for my Honda to traverse.

Not one of my better decisions.

Think of it as an under-carriage cleaning?

With a free engine steam-clean?

Luckily, there was no damage to my hardy little car, but I don't think I will be allowed any decisions regarding depth of water again.

Until my next update, I remain, your lucky correspondent.

RV PARK: The Springs at Borrego RV Resort & Golf Course. One of our very favorite RV parks on the west coast. Sites are large and each has a nice cement patio and picnic table. Cement 50 amp pull-throughs will full service. There are also different varieties of citrus trees all over, so you will never be lacking for a cocktail garnish in the winter. Slow wifi. Fabulous warm pool and many hot tubs - all from their own hot springs! Fitness center, library, community rooms. Regulation 9-hole golf course. Recycling. Huge fenced dog park! We are paying $64 per night for a "premium" site.