Thursday, December 16, 2010

In the Desert

They had told us they had really gotten into fourwheeling and camping in the desert, so on the first full day we all got in the jeep and went to a place with the unwieldly name of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and the adjacent Ocotillo Wells area. The latter is the only one where you're allowed to go off-road and I'm almost certain I reviewed the EIS for it when I was driving that LMD (large mahogany desk) as a Washington bureaucrat. The reality was even more desolate than the documents conveyed.

A desert road:
Wouldja believe, a road sign? The intersection of Crossover Trail and Tarantula Wash:
How you find an oasis - the literally-named Una Palma ("One Palm"):
It wasn't all quite that dry:
The Malpais (literal translation, "Bad Lands"):
Ellen got this picture of me taking the above picture:
A chollo cactus:
When we were kids, my brother and I used to play a game, trying to take photos that looked like they were taken on another planet, "My Summer Vacation on Mars." James got this photo of Dan on a hillside called Shell Bank. Looks like James used to play the photo game too!
It's called "Shell Bank" because of the fossil shells - look at the tiny shell just above my finger. Proof that this area used to be underwater.
James used Photoshop to blow up and enhance the picture of the shell: