Tuesday, January 06, 2009


There is never a shortage of things to do in Borrego Springs & surrounding area. To-day we decided to do a hike right on the southwest edge of town into a place called, Hell Hole Canyon. Figured we'd do the short hike but then decided to do the moderate one & see how far we could go. My legs are telling me to-night that we went tooooooo far!!

From the parking area it is a steady & gradual climb with each footstep a few inches higher than the one before. Within minutes we noticed the plant life changing around us & things becoming fresher looking. The nearby hillsides took on a slightly greener tone & we began seeing plants like, Beaver Tail cactus, Barrelhead cactus & Agaves plants. The Ocotillo were much larger & greener than on the desert floor behind us. Many kinds of shrubs with tiny buds ready to bloom in the spring. Some slightly flowering shrubs here & there with burgundy colored flowers. And a type of green ground cover in places. As we climbed higher the scenery just got better. Far ahead in the distant narrows of the canyon walls we could see more color so knew there were some kind of trees up there. We really didn't have a destination & what so often happens in the these kinds of hikes it that the canyon just keeps drawing you further & further in. The rocks became boulders & the shrubs became trees. And things just kept getting more interesting. And you just keep going & going & going. My kinda day:)) REST STOP ALONG THE TRAIL

Saw movement ahead on the trail & a minute later another couple coming down greeted us with a hearty hello, so we stopped for a chat. Said it was really pretty a little further up with some maple type trees & palm trees as well. Somewhere in the conversation the word, Canada came up. We said we were from near Goderich Ontario & with surprise, the fellow said his sister lived in a little town near there called Bayfield. We told him that was actually where we were from. Surprises all around. Small world huh!! So, Jennifer Smith from Bayfield Ontario Canada, if you ever happen to read this someday.....we met your brother on the Hell Hole Canyon trail in Borrego Springs in southern California to-day:)) Didn't get his name but he talked of being in British Columbia & I did get a distant picture of him as they were approaching us on the trail. You can find that pic in to-day's web album photos.....http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/ The higher we climbed, the rougher the trail became & we were soon scrambling over some fair sized boulders. A dry & deep gulley wash ran down through the area & we found ourselves criss crossing it as the path wended it's way upwards. Ahead we could see palm trees so set that as our goal. Of course they were farther than they looked which is so often the case in these desert & mountain landscapes. We kept plugging away & finally reached 3 palm trees & a grove of colorful trees that looked a bit like our maple trees back in Ontario, but different. They were in their autumn colors of yellows, golds, & greens. There was a larger grove of palms further up the canyon about half a mile but the terrain looked very rugged & we decided we had gone far enough. Actually, beyond that grove of palms the map says there is a waterfall.Had ourselves a short rest near the palm trees & Kelly made Al stand still for a few posed photos. Pointed our toes down the hill & started for home. Sure was a lot easier going down than going up, & a lot faster too. We continued our descent out of the canyon & finally reached our car about an hour after leaving the area of palm trees. Felt sooooooooooooooo great once again to flop into the comfortable soft seats of the car. We could sure feel the hike in our legs & feet. First stop was going to be a coffee for sure. Al was well past his 2 o'clock fix!!

Another nice thing about Borrego Springs is it's little hidden gems here & there & to-day after our hike we found another one of them & it was called, Calicos. Located in the mall on Palm Canyon Drive, Calicos is a little coffee shop that does all it's own baking & makes home made pizza's to die for. We saw some scrumptious looking things called egg pockets so decided to take a chance & split one. "WOW & DOUBLE WOW!!" Tasted grrrrrreat & we decided right there & then on the spot that we are going to stay in Borrego Springs forever & make egg pockets the sole purpose of our remaining lives. Coffee was great too & so were all the free cookie samples we could stuff down. Our next trip to Calicos will be for a pizza & I suspect we'll eat till we explode!! Would I recommend Calicos?? You betcha:))

The couple we had met on the trail earlier had suggested a good book on the area so on our way home we stopped at the Nature Center & picked up, All The Wild & Lonely Places...Journeys in a Desert Landscape by Lawrence Hogue. Last winter I read Marshal South & the Chronicles of Ghost Mountain so this winter it will be about the remote & harsh landscape of the Anza-Borrego desert. Looking forward to quiet times with a good book again. THE AWESOME SCENERY NEVER ENDS IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST

Back to the rig around 3 with sore feet & all. Fillmore came over to see Max, Checkers, & the Motormouse & even brought his Mom & Dad with him. JoAnn is really enjoying her stay here & has already signed up for one of the area tours of the Blair Valley area. Oh yes, & couple X has turned out to be Ken & Vicki from the Oklahoma/Arkansas area somewhere. I met Vicki this morning while she was out walking & was happy to hear she has taken a liking to the Borrego Springs area as well. Vicki & JoAnn were on the go this morning visiting the Anza-Borrego visitor center & the Nature Center downtown. I have a feeling they may also be visiting Calicos soon & loading up on egg pockets.............................................:)) CALICOS..... GREAT COFFEE & EGG POCKETS

And thanks to my Number 1 Son in Kitchener Ontario for spotting an error in last night's blog. The DVD we watched was, The Bucket List & not the Bucket Brigade. You can catch my Son Sean's band & website here..............http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Weak-Need/6503594559 You go guy:))

OUR PHOTO ALBUMS http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/


  1. Looks like a nice hike, great for this time of year. Nice photos, too.

    One of these years, we'll make it out to that part of the country, but not 2009 -- plenty of other plans.

  2. Your photographs of Anza-Borrego are wonderful! They really capture the beauty of the desert. There's a photo contest going on in Borrego Springs put on by Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute. You should consider entering your great pics. Check it out: www.theabf.org/photocontest.htm

  3. Hi Al and Kelly. I enjoy reading about your adventures in the A-B area. My question is what is an egg pocket?