Return to the Desert

by Chico

I loved the beach! — room to run, sand to roll in, lots of water — strange salty, moving water, but water all the same. And, in my mind, any place I can get off leash and run is a good place. There were a few too many dogs at the Del Mar Beach for my taste, and even more when we went to a dog park in Oceanside, but whenever I feel overwhelmed I just find some friendly people to hang with, sometimes my people, sometimes new friends I meet. Logan loved the park in Oceanside, he must have met twenty or thirty dogs that day. I mostly hung out with T and Nollind on a bench.

After six days on the coast, it was time to head back to the desert and we travelled inland to the Escondido area. It was hot there, over 30 degrees, and we found this great place to camp right beside a little lake. The plan was to stay only one night before heading to the Anza-Borrego Desert but it was so nice we stayed three. I wasn’t allowed to go in the water (I hate rules!) but I did enjoy watching all of the ducks and other water birds and walking the trail beside the lake.

When we got to the Anza-Borrego a few days later, there was a state park campground and a bunch of RV parks, but T and Nollind drove us right past them all, and pulled into this spot 7 miles east of Borrego Springs with about 20 other RVs parked in it. We’d arrived at “Pegleg” an area of the park where we could camp for free without any hookups — boondocking they call it down here. We had so much more room than we’d had in any of the RV parks and all around us there were just hills and desert…no buildings, no traffic, no lights. We weren’t able to run off-leash most of the time because of the cholla cactus in the area, but we did take a drive to Clark Dry Lake where they set us free for an hour. Usually I’d be pretty disappointed to go to a lake and not find any water, as I do love to swim, but this place was a happy sight for a dog who’d been spending way too much time on a leash. The cholla doesn’t grow on the lake bed which made for a great doggie playground. If you’ve never seen cholla, it’s a nasty thing, and it likes to drop little prickly nasty balls on the ground all around it. Step on one of those balls of thorn and you’re off to the vet!

We stayed 6 days at Pegleg before news from home sent T and Nollind to Palm Springs. Nollind had to fly home and Palm Springs had an airport and good places for the rest of us to hang out while he was gone. T seemed kinda sad, so I made sure I spent extra time with her, sleeping on the bed at night, hanging out with her when she was sitting outside reading or writing, and cuddling up when she was on her computer or watching TV. I think it helped. She took me and Logan for some great long walks way out into the desert and up into the surrounding hills every morning and there was lots of room on the bed at night. But I still missed Nollind, of course, and we were all glad to have him back a week later.

I hear we’re going further into the desert in a couple of days, back into Arizona. I hope there’s no cholla at our next stop!

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