Saturday, January 17, 2009


Just over a hill to our west is the RV area that a lot of Canadians frequent during the winter months. It is called Peg Leg Smiths & there is actually a monument there to the man himself. You can read about Pegleg's lost gold mine here...

From our campsite to Peg Leg is only about a half mile or so & this morning we hiked up the hill that separates us. Nice view & I took some pictures for the web album from atop the rocky hill. A lot of Canadian RV'ers come to this spot each year & it was actually an RV'er from Peg Leg that told us about this area when we were in Slab City a year ago. Borrego Springs is only a short drive so it's an ideal spot for the Canadian snowbirds.


Kelly's ankle is getting stronger so we figured on a hike south of Ocotillo Wells. Book said an easy 1 mile loop trail leads to a rare elephant tree. We had been looking for elephant trees in the Mountain Palm Canyon area earlier & that was where Kelly originally hurt her ankle. We had heard of Ocotillo Wells before but had never been down around that area. Ocotillo Wells is only about a 25 minute drive & there really isn't a town of sorts there. It is known as a prime off road recreation area & each year hundreds of thousands of kids descend on this place with their dune buggies, dirt bikes, ATV's, Jeeps, & just about anything else that has a motor. RV's, tin shacks, adobe huts, some nice houses, & a lot of tumble down places are scattered for miles across the desert floor. Luckily for us everything was peaceful & quiet this morning. We headed south out of Ocotillo Wells for a few miles until we came across the turn off that lead to the Elephant Tree Trail. The sandy road started off ok but got very rock infested by the time we reached the trail head. Good thing we brought water because it was very, very, hot. We had been told that rattlesnakes will come out this time of year if the weather is hot to sun themselves, so that was foremost on our minds as we hiked up the sandy wash & onto the rocky trail. No snakes but I did see 3 small lizards skittering about. About 15 minutes of walking finally brought us to the elephant tree. Not a very big tree as far as trees go but when we looked at the trunk section it was easy to see why they are called Elephant Trees. It had a very sweet aroma to it as well. We took a few pictures & then headed back for the car. Just too hot to be out tramping around in the desert this morning & Kelly had a headache by the time we got back to the parking area. MAX, ON OUR MORNING WALK

We were hoping to drive to Split Mountain & hike to the Wind Caves a little further down the road as well but it was not to be. Turned off the highway at the marker for Split Mountain & headed up a sandy wash for about half a mile. Sign had said 3 miles to Split Mountain but I didn't like the feel of the soft sand grabbing at the tires. Our Hyundai Santa Fe is only a 2 wheel drive & the sand was definitely feeling like 4 wheel drive country to me. Didn't want to take the chance of getting stuck way back in there because not many vehicles pass this way, maybe no cell phone coverage in this remote area, & in the heat of to-day we just didn't want to make any wrong decisions. Turned around & headed back to the highway, back through Ocotillo Wells & eventually back to Borrego Springs. It had been a nice way to spend the morning because we got to see some new territory & it got us out doing something. My favorite days are out exploring new roads or trails. I don't mind sitting around the rig once & awhile but I sure get bored fast if I don't have something to do or a challenge in front of me. That's why I've never understood people who just spend the entire winter months in one place sitting in their rigs. And each year they go to the same place & do exactly the same thing every day that they did the day before & the year before that. But, it's different strokes for different folks & that's what makes this whole thing work.

Before we reached Borrego Springs we stopped at the Borrego Ranch (formally, La Casa Del Zorro) near the little community of Montesoro. We weren't sure what it was but there was a lot of greenery & palm trees so we drove in. Wow, what a swanky-do place. We ended up for nearly an hour in there driving & walking around looking at how the rich folks spend their time. I took a lot of pictures & will post them to the web album sometime Saturday but not to-night. To-nights pics will be from the Ocotillo Wells area. We couldn't help but notice the lack of people in this posh playground to-day & that's probably why we got away with taking so many photos of the place. Here is a link to the newly renovated & recently opened, Borrego Ranch. bet this place is going to attract movie stars, if already hasn't. I did get a long telephoto shot of the pool area with a blonde in a white bikini but the person was very far away so no positive ID on Britney Spears. Yep, could be Hollywood alright.


We had only been back to the rig about 5 minutes when a Class C rolled in & parked a short distance away. Acres & acres of room, countless campsites & this guy rolls in & sets up camp next to us. I call those types of people, "huddlers." As soon as they see another RV they feel compelled to come over & huddle. I don't mind friends parked nearby but we don't care for the those strange huddler types!! Anyway, that's all I'm going to say about that. We'll see how things go to-morrow.

We were going to try the earth oven to-night with a couple of small pizzas but when Kelly saw the price of them in the grocery store this afternoon, that was the end of that idea!! I suggested we try some ice cream in the earth oven but Kelly gave that idea two thumbs down. Women huh!!

Another totally beautiful star studded night with no wind. Kelly had a nice campfire going again & all was quiet in the neighborhood. Even the new neighbor's were keeping things quiet. Not sure what's on tap for to-morrow but as long as it's got something to do with something I've never done before or somewhere I've never been or seen before, I'll be a happy camper....................................



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