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theksmith

Phoenix to Borrego Springs (Hauser Geode Beds, Imperial Dunes, Salton Sea, Anza Borrego)

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I headed out from Phoenix, AZ to Borrego Springs, CA a day early last week to run trails and see sights. I had to be at the Ocotillo Wells SVRA Ranger Station on Saturday morning for a Tread Lightly training course. Click here to find out about the Tread Lightly stuff.

 

so I hit the road about 7:30AM friday, leaving from north phoenix. the wildflowers were great the entire trip, even just along the side of the road.

 

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just west of Blythe, CA, is a dirt road (and State Prison, so no stopping for hitchhikers!) that will take you down to the 78, this is Milipitas Wash Rd.

 

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i wanted to hit this because there were a couple of rock hounding areas. there's the Opal Hill Mine where you can pay an interesting couple living in an old bus in the middle of nowhere $25 a day to dig for fire agate. they seemed like nice weird folk, but no time to stop cuz i was headed for something better. the Hauser Geode Beds just to the south west of there, where you can dig for free all day long every day for geodes! now i'm not really a rock-hound, but the idea of finding geode's brought me back to my youth rock collection where a geode from a road-side rock stand was my crowning piece!

 

this is what it looks like around the geode bed area where people have been digging...

 

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well after an hour of digging with a small pick, i was hot and tired and no longer nearly as excited... what can i say, i never claimed to not have ADD!

 

all i found was a neat rock that i took home for Brady,

 

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after connecting back to the 78 and heading west more, i reached the Imperial Sand Dunes.

 

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of course i had to stop, air down again and play. you have to have a whip and flag to play there, so i purchased one for $8 and zip tied it to the rear windshield wiper and roof rack to make a temporary mount.

 

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there's nothing like sliding sideways down a dune that you didn't make it up in your daily driver to get the heart rate going! all in all a good time though, haven't been out there in years.

 

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continued....

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continued...

 

 

next stop was Brawley for gas and a late lunch. Brawley is, well... it's... let's just say i didn't mind stopping there in the daylight anyway. after that was the southern tip of the Salton Sea. overall the place is just eerie. the southern part wasn't as weird as some other areas that look like post-apocalyptic areas, but still full of fish carcass and weird stuff.

 

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next i stopped at the Ocotillo Wells SVRA ranger station to make sure the class was indeed there the next day. then i went to the Tamarisk Grove Camground only to find it full. so i headed north to the Palm Canyon Campground and they did have a couple spots left for Friday night only, woo hoo!

 

here's some metal art in Borrego Springs, just before your each the campground and state park visitor center area...

 

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I setup my tent and then immediately left so i could get a couple trails in before dark. I hit Font's Point, an alternate lookout near there, several washes, and then The Slot right at dark. After heading back out to the 78 and airing up for the third time that day, i finally made it back to camp about 9:30.

 

14 hours of road and trails and not sure how many miles, all i could think about was a quick shower, a beer, and then went to sleep.

 

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The next day i was up at 6am and i briefly considered skipping the class and going wheeling, but i'm glad i didn't - i learned alot and made some new friends at the class.

 

on the way home the 10 was closed near Tonopoh and i had to head up to the 60 and was planning to go all the way through Wickenburg and come out on the 17, but last minute i decided to take Salome Rd back to the 10 and hope it was far enough past whatever the closure was due to. fortunately it was, but still didn't get home till midnight... 2 very long days, but a fun trip!

 

all the pics from the trip are available here: http://picasaweb.google.com/kristoffersmith/20100409TreadLightlyTripHauserGeodeBedsImperialDunesSaltonSeaAnzaBorrega

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also did my first QuickTime VR (i know, how very 1995 of me!)

 

but anyway, it's of the Salton Sea, check it out here:

http://www.theksmith.com/pics/SaltonSeaVR.htm

 

you need to have quicktime installed. give it a couple minutes to load, it's a large file, then pan left/right with the mouse. SHIFT and CTRL zoom you in/out.

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Great write-up & pictures. Salton Sea does look creepy! Thanks for sharing! d :rolleyes:

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Great write up!

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Good stuff K. George:cool:

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Looks like you had a great trip....I like!

 

Some kewl pics too...

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Thanx for sharing... Brings back memories of playing in the dunes, and in the Anza Borrego, back when I lived in Yuma...;)

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