Until this weekend, I have been in or on the edges of the desert for close to two months. Winter in this country can be a surprise. It may dip below freezing at night. It makes me very happy to have my propane heater and warm blankets. With the day time temps in the 60’s and 70’s hiking is enjoyable. The areas are lush.
This past week I have been in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. It is part of the California desert. When I arrived, I was welcomed by a fierce wind, up to 50 mph wind gusts. It was cold at night and the wind made me want to stay close to camp during the day. The following day the wind had died down and the temperatures began to climb. I quickly became thankful for my Roadtrek. It has provided me shade when I sit outside. The interior is a welcome relief when I weary of the sun and the heat.
This year the desert is experiencing a “super-bloom”. Southern California has been the recipient of rain, a lot of rain for this area of the country. The rain made it to the desert and the wild flowers have shown up. These little flowers need just the right amount of rain at the right time. Many of them need the tumbling of water on top of the desert floor to scrape their seed pods open so they can germinate. The flowers have arrived.
Over the weekend the population of southern CA and beyond have come to the desert and the town of Borrego Springs, a small town sitting right where the blooms are most abundant. I noticed on Thursday there were more people in town and out in the desert. By Friday there was a traffic jam in this town. And it was hot, in the 90’s.
Between the people and the heat I gave up. I decided to leave the desert behind for the weekend and climbed to almost 4,000 feet. I am camped in the oaks with running water nearby. It is in the 80’s during the day and cool enough to close the back door and windows in my RV at night. I did a long hike yesterday and enjoyed the cooler temperatures and all the running water in the streams and rivers. Water at the top is running downhill, anywhere there is a place for it to go.
I don’t enjoy the frenetic pace of too many people. I am glad they want to see little buds of such beauty, yet the number of people quickly overwhelmed me. One of the delights of this class B motor home is that I can pack it up and leave. In the desert one hour, in the mountains the next.
I am going back to the desert later today or maybe tomorrow morning. I am not done with the flowers. Each day it changes. I am hoping to catch some of the next event after the flowers peak.
Nature is fickle. It is interesting. Nature plays a game with the small wild flowers of the desert. First they need rain. Then they bud and bloom. Within a few weeks all these blooms will be gone for another year.
Some years, 2016 for example, the Swainson Hawks arrived during their annual migration and gorged on the caterpillars. Last year their were over 700 hawks. It was amazing to see them all, especially when they lifted into the air en-mass. It was a banner hawk year. It made the papers throughout the United States. I was in the desert and got to witness this amazing event.
It is soon time to pack up and head back to the desert. Well, maybe another night in the mountains. I am only about an hour away.
Right now I believe I will head to the river and look for frogs.