On March 4th, I pack up camp at Borrego Springs, CA and head east to Ehrenberg, AZ. The drive on Borrego Salton Seaway towards Salton City is punctuated by a large ATV gathering that slows traffic considerably. Ah yes, now I remember why I try to avoid traveling on weekends…
Going north to Indio on 86 is pleasant enough. There are some neat rock formations on the way and in Indio I stop to get groceries.
Along I10 patches of small purple and yellow flowers are blooming, but they’re too small to really catch while in the truck. The sky is overcast which is nice as it keeps the temperature down. Plus traveling on a cloudy day means I’m not missing out on potential solar power. That makes the whole traveling on a Saturday thing more palatable.
Ehrenberg is a place I visited last year. It’s certainly not the prettiest part of the desert, but after over a week in Borrego Springs with a non-existent signal, I need to catch up on blog and online stuff and Verizon is good here.
Water, dump station, shower, and propane are all a short drive away in town, it’s a convenient place to boondock. Normally there are ample walking options too, but a couple days after arriving highs start getting into the 90’s. Since I need to do computer stuff inside in the morning before it gets hot (there’s no working on my computer outside and no staying in the Casita in the afternoons), walks get pushed until after dark when there’s nothing to photograph. With the moon being as full as it is this isn’t a problem. Afternoons are spent on my “patio” outside lounging in my camp chair in the shade and reading.
One evening I do catch these pretty purple flowers in bloom. There aren’t any at my campsite but other spots out here in the desert are loaded with them.
Several Rubber Tramp folks are camping out here, and occasionally I join them for at night for campfires. One night this little rodent comes scurrying right up to the fire bold as you please and investigates around our chairs. It hangs around long enough for me to get a picture of it. I think it’s a kangaroo rat. It doesn’t seem bothered by our voices, movement, or the flash of the camera and even goes into the fire ring right up to the coals. Eventually we shine a flashlight on it and it leaves.
As for the sunsets, well, they certainly aren’t bad.
Soft pinks are the typical theme for the week and a half I’m out here.
I break out a new toy one evening just before sunset, a mini tripod purchased months ago while I was working at Amazon, I’d almost forgotten I had it. Setting it on the ground looking up at the Casita makes for a pretty good picture. If I set a delay on my phone, I can get in the picture myself.
This thing was only $8 on Amazon, is folds down very compact so it can be brought along on hikes and advertises as fitting any phone. For that price it probably won’t last too long but it seems sturdy enough for now. As a solo traveler, it’s going to make getting pictures of myself so much easier, a worthy purchase in my book.
After several days in the 90’s with no relief in sight, it’s time to be moving on. I need to head north where temperatures are cooler, but there’s one more social visit to make. My friends Tammy and Aaron are work-camping in Maricopa just south of Phoenix. They have a spot I can park for a couple nights with electric(!) so I can run my A/C while catching up with them. On the 13th I depart Ehrenberg.
There’s a hillside along I10 east of Ehrenberg that is just loaded with the purple flowers! So many that they’re clearly visible through my dirty windshield from a distance. It still looks more impressive in person where it’s easier to make out the individual flowers. The Brittlebush is also blooming and their clumps of yellow add a nice counterpoint.
Dinner is cooking in the crockpot when I pull in, turkey with this lemony sauce over a bed of pasta with green beans. I don’t make these kind of meals for myself so it’s quite a treat.