A Little Desert Weary

It’s been my kind of travel these past twelve days – one campsite, plenty of walks, off-leash freedom, and minimal truck time. We’ve been camped here at Anza-Borrego State Park since February 25, well technically just outside the park near Clark Dry Lake. It’s been just about perfect, we even had some cool, rainy weather for a few days which suited me just fine. It’s turned hot the past couple of days, around +30 in the afternoon, which is too hot for this black dog. If we were home I’d go lie in the basement on my futon in this kind of weather. Here I lie under the trailer but, unless there’s a breeze, it’s not nearly as cool as that basement I’m dreaming of. I think I’m starting to feel a little homesick, missing my farm and my daily routine there. I hope things haven’t gotten too out of control without me there to keep order. I hope my girlfriends across the road haven’t forgotten me. What am I saying? Of course they haven’t.

Borrego campsite

The walks here have been rocky so they’ve been putting boots on me every day. In case some of you are thinking I’m soft, here’s a picture of what we walk on each morning in the hills for an hour or two. Not sure how my little red friend does it without protection, but my pads just won’t stand for it. I’m looking forward to going bootless on the prairie, or maybe even before then if we travel to places with friendlier soil.

Ruffwear boots made for ruff terrain

We did find one little reprieve from the harsh desert, Christmas Circle Park in Borrego Springs. After weeks of mostly sand and rock, green grass felt like the most luxurious of carpets to lie on. We spent an afternoon listening to some live music in the park and were back again for a market a few days later. I wasn’t excited about the market idea, too many people, but it wasn’t so crowded that I was getting stepped on and many of the people seemed interested in saying hello and giving a pet. And, of course, there was that lovely grass and plenty of shady places.

An afternoon at Christmas Circle

At the Farmers’ Market

I’d have to say they’re generally pretty dog friendly in the town of Borrego Springs with a couple of the restaurants even allowing us on their patios. On market day we had lunch at El Borrego, a Mexican restaurant just off Christmas Circle with a huge, shady patio that welcomes those of us with four legs. The patio even has a carpeted floor and it doesn’t get much dog friendlier than that. The people were nice, and apparently the food was good. I’m not much of a shrimp taco or bean eater so I passed on any of the offered bites. Chico, of course, sat and stared through Teresa and Nollind’s lunch and then went to the end of his leash and stared down the neighbours after that. I don’t know why they take him out in public. In the photo at the market you can see him pulling toward something, very likely a food vendor.

On the patio at El Borrego Restaurant

The Anza-Borrego State Park is much less dog friendly, not allowing us on their trails even with a leash on, something about us scaring the Bighorn Sheep away. I suppose it’s possible, but I doubt it given the number of coyotes in the park. We hear them every night and I’m sure the sheep do too. If canine types were going to chase them out of the park by simply walking on their trails, they’d be long gone by now. And, from what I hear, big cats are a much greater threat than any of us from genus canis. But anyway, the rules is the rules and Teresa always scouts out places where we can walk.

Play time on Clark Dry Lake

The day we were listening to music in the park we bumped into a friend of Nollind’s from the sailing club who happened to be travelling through Borrego with his wife and baby on a two-month trip. They were sure surprised to see each other. Frank and Mel and the little guy brought their trailer up to Dry Clark Lake and camped a short distance from us, they shared a couple of meals (including steaks which was great for Chico and me) sat around the fire and went off on some hikes. I’m not normally a big fan of tiny humans but, you know, this one was alright. Usually I find their movements and sounds too unpredictable for me to be comfortable but this guy was always held by one of his parents and was mostly quiet other than a few burbling sounds. Apparently humans are pretty helpless (and therefore harmless) at four months. I’m not surprised.

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Mel and her tiny human

Two days ago it was bath day followed by a short drive to the State Park campground where they dumped and filled tanks. I’m thinking that means we’ll be headed out soon. It’s been great here but between the hot temperatures and the piece of cactus I picked up this morning, I think I’m ready to move on. I’m hoping for a cool, shaded oasis with sandy trails and a place to swim.

Ouch!

 

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