stillhowlyn's travels 2011 travel blog

Facing west & Coyote Mtn!

North into Clark Valley!

Yes, we have a Tiki Torch!

Our neighbors to the west, Santa Rosa Mountains!

Sunsets are spectacular!

TV remodel project just needs professional trim/woodwork!

Driving into town!

Into the State Park!

Clark Dry Lake!

A hike up Coyote Mtn.

...With my man!

Into Rockhouse Canyon!

Stop for some shots & a snack

We have a convoy!

Pink glow settles in!

The full moon rises!

Pizza night!

Very good, Howard!

Last rays of sun!

On this date last year, we were crossing the border into Mexico. New Year's 2011 finds us back, once again, in our beautiful Anza Borrego Desert. If you've read any of our journals since 2006, when we started this online account of our travels, this destination, near the town of Borrego Springs, reigns supreme. It is our happy place, our attitude adjustment, our return on investment. It is so overwhelmingly beautiful while being fierce and unforgiving. It suits our fancy.

Our neighborhood environment represents a landscape of RV sites that have evolved over the years, all with various degrees of improvements; fancy fire pits, rock cairns, bird feeders...even mud ovens. There are no water, electric or sewer hookups, and parking is free. Rules and regulations don't exist. Neighbors are quite distant and we often grab binoculars to see who the new guy is.

Our location, east of the town of Borrego Springs on S-22, is surrounded by Coyote Mountain, Clark Dry Lake, Rockhouse Canyon, and the Santa Rosa Mountains. There are many trails and jeep tracks that offer miles of hiking and exploring. The weather has been beautiful, days are now in the high 70s. At dusk a pink glow settles in the east atop the mountains as we sit out watching the sunset. We are back to the basics, enjoying life in its simplest form.

Paul and Dalya arrived for New Year's and we celebrated and ate in grand style. Paul even helped Howard with the TV cabinet remodel to accommodate our new 27" Vizio flatscreen LED TV. The final trim and woodwork will be left for a professional.

The Friday Farmer's Market is a weekly highlight. All the produce is organic from sustainable farms within a hundred miles or so. Meat, eggs, cheese, olive oils, homemade breads and rolls, even tamales and frozen fish are available, so we load up once a week on our favorites, usually trying something new each week as the season expands. The year's first strawberries, sweet and luscious, were available last week!

We just made our first trip to the desert cities, about an hour's drive away. The FMCA RV Rally was being held at the fairgrounds in Indio and we enjoyed a few hours of browsing the aisles of vendors and purchasing the products we like and depend on, year after year. We also found Harvest Hosts, the first membership program in the U.S. to provide RV owners with free overnight stops at wineries and farms across the country. The membership fee is $30 and I couldn't sign up fast enough!

We've had a couple of great off-road jeep rides. The infamous Pumpkin Patch at Ocotillo Wells was like a roller coaster ride where we were surrounded by throngs of motocross and ATV demons while we hung on for dear life, just hoping to make it over the next hurdle. We had planned ahead; lots of water, food and snacks, even the zoom lens and tripod for the camera. I forgot the freakin' camera! The camera was definitely in tow when we recently drove into Rockhouse and Butler Canyons.

At this writing, we have no desire to leave any time soon, but, of course, that could change in an instant given a couple of powerful windstorms, or just needing a change of scenery! Oh the joys of being mobile!

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