April 2008 - Anza Borrego Desert Overnight, Aloha Baby, Square Dancing

By Paul

Originally posted: Friday, April 25, 2008
Modfied: Friday, December 18, 2009

Week Ending April 6th

We left Palm Springs after sunset on Friday April 4th.  We arrived at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park around 10:00 PM and couldn't find a camp site.  The rangers told us about a "primitive camp site" on Yacqui Pass about 10 miles away.  Primitive means no water, no picnic tables -- just a big empty parking lot.  This was perfect because we wanted to see how well we could get along just with the gear we brought with us.
Paul & Jeep Paul & JeepPaul & Jeep

In the first picture I am cooking on the propane stove in the back of the Jeep.  It was so very windy (just like at Barstow last weekend) that we wanted to try cooking in the shelter of the Jeep.  You can see our foam pads and sleeping bags piled up.  With the rear seats folded down and front seat moved forward there was ample room for a comfortable night's sleep.

In the second picture Gregg is packing up our gear after we cleaned up after breakfast.  It took less than 10 minutes to break camp and get everything stowed away.

After we were packed up we went back to the central area of the state park to see the visitor center and what we missed last night in the dark.

Visitor Center Barrel Cactus Occotillo
The visitor center is built into an earthen berm. Part of the cactus garden is on the roof. Barrel cactus was in bloom along with many other varieties.  We were told that this year was one of the best blooms in a long time.  It takes just the right amount of rain, timed well over the Winter combined with equitable temperatures to give us a good flower season. It does not happen every year. Occotillo -- the plant in our front yard should look at this and be envious.


We drove home via the scenic route -- the Pines to Palms Highway 74. The drive up from the valley floor to the mountains was spectacular.  Below are pictures we took from a vista at the highest point on the road while the valley is still in view.  The pictures on left shows me looking toward the Salton Sea -- maybe 40 miles off to the west.  Anza-Borrego; Salton Sea  Anza-Borrego; Salton Sea

If you want to see all the photos of overnight trip to the desert see Flickr (with captions) or  look here.

We arrived home Saturday afternoon and prepared to attend an "Aloha" party hosted by our friend Sandro.  He partner Doug passed away suddenly just before Thanksgiving.  It was well know that Doug's final wishes included having his ashes spread over Waimea Canyon in Kauai, Hawaii.  This was the last send off for Doug by about 60 of his friends in Palm Springs.  It was fun event with most everyone wearing Hawaiian shirts, drinking tropical cocktails and enjoying pu pu platter snacks for the potluck.  Gregg and I brought Curried Spam & Pineapple sauteed in coconut oil.

Week Ending April 13th

The highlight of this week as the "Peel Off", a weekend full of square dancing held a clothing optional resort just a few blocks from our house in Cathederal City.  We danced morning, noon and night on the grass under the shade pavillions, plus we did one dance in the pool.  No... we weren't wearing western-style dance costumes.  No pictures as cameras aren't appreciated in most places like that.

Week Ending April 20th

Gee.  Nothing really happened.  We did go to party at Wes & Jon's on Saturday.  This party has been a monthly tradition for a few years.  Gregg and I have been to many, but not every month.  We're glad we made it to this as it turns out it was the last party they'll be having.  They are moving to a smaller home in a different part of town and it is unlikely that the tradition will be continued there.  We met Wes and Jon on our trip to Palm Springs last February 2007.  We attended their party the same day we arrived.  Wes is also a furniture salesman and helped us get some couches, bed and other items for our house.

Week Ending April 27th

On Monday evening Gregg's brother Paul came to spend the night with us.  He had a early Tuesday morning appointment near Palm Springs and didn't want to drive from Los Angeles in the morning.  We were glad to have him for a night of popcorn and story telling about boy scouts and family secrets.  I wasn't feeling well that evening, so we didn't go square dancing.  It was nice night to stay home.

Two friends from Seattle, Craig M. and Michael Z., came to Palm Springs to celebrate their 20th anniversay.  They didn't stay with us as they stayed with some friends who have a timeshare in Palm Springs, but we did see them while they were here.  On Thursday we met them and 50 other guys at the weekly "Bear Coffee" event.  (No... I still don't drink coffee.  Remember, that's why Gregg and I were banished from Seattle.)  On Saturday they hosted a nice dinner party where we met about a dozen other people with Seattle roots.  On Sunday Craig & Michael and 4 of their friends from the timeshare came here to enjoy a private pool, a simple dinner and a night out that wasn't "night life".  (I'm glad people can come here and enjoy the fulfillment of boredom.  You can only be entertained so much.  It is so nice to simply be together.)


Gee... not many pictures.  I need to start carrying my annoying little pocket camera around.   Or maybe a cell phone camera.