A Real Vacation – Part 1 (Anza-Borrego)
We need time to defuse, to contemplate. Just as in sleep our brains relax and give us dreams, so at some time in the day we need to disconnect, reconnect, and look around us. ~ Lauri Colwin
I’ve often talked on this blog about the importance of taking real vacations. By that, what I mean is a vacation that is an actual break from all of the stresses of your everyday life. I typically take several of these types of vacations every year. However, with the pandemic, I haven’t had any real time off in a year. Sure, I’ve had a couple of days here and there, I had a week or so at Christmas. Unfortunately, none of those were real breaks, I wasn’t working but I was still effectively stuck at home and doing the limited things we’ve all been able to do just like the rest of you. Over that time I had scheduled several attempts at real vacations. A couple were canceled by work, one was canceled by the re-imposition of quarantine limitations state wide.
The most frustrating trip that got canceled by the quarantine was a trip to go camping in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. I love Anza-Borrego, the high desert is warm during the day but cold at night. Borrego Springs and the desert near the city are national dark sky areas. So Anza-Borrego is a great place to watch the skies. In December I had planned to camp there for several days during the Gemonid Meteor shower. So when I got a chance to finally get a week and take a trip, I decided to head back to the desert.<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">I can't tell you how awesome it was for this nomad to be on the road again. It's obviously a very different world since my last trip to New Orleans in late February of last year for <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://revkane.com/2020/03/03/krewe-of-the-bosom-buddies-2020/" target="_blank">Mardi Gras</a>. It was interesting masking up at every stop and finding available restrooms. Rules were different in every county and often on the road a fastfood restaurant is really a bathroom stop. In a lot of counties, particularly in Southern California that wasn't an option.I can’t tell you how awesome it was for this nomad to be on the road again. It’s obviously a very different world since my last trip to New Orleans in late February of last year for Mardi Gras. It was interesting masking up at every stop and finding available restrooms. Rules were different in every county and often on the road a fastfood restaurant is really a bathroom stop. In a lot of counties, particularly in Southern California that wasn’t an option.
I arrived at the State Park and realized I’d actually booked the wrong campground, so I headed out of town for the Tamarisk Campground.
It’s the smaller of the two campgrounds but very nice. There are a couple of hiking trails that lead out from the campground and without the visitor center and other park attractions within walking distance it’s a much less busy campground. It felt good to be back in a tent and camping. But most of all it felt great looking at my phone and seeing ZERO bars. I was literally, electronically off the map in the campground. The campground is loaded with owls, both long-eared and barn owls. The first night laying down to sleep to the sounds of owl calls was absolutely magnificent.
I did very little while there, I hiked a bit, I read a lot, I was able to finish the second book of an incredible two book series while out there, The Parable of the Talents. I spent many hours sitting next to the fire pit at night, staring at stars and listening to music. I sleep well in a tent and after turning in every night I slept straight through til morning, something that almost never happens at home. I had planned to to do some astro-photography but had put it off to the last evening which ended up being a mistake. The wind, which always kicks up at night really kicked up that night. Constant 30-40 mph winds with gusts up around 50. So blowing dust and wind sent me into my tent early. My tent held up beautifully except for the occasional wind gust that blew sand up under the fly, through the vents and into my face.
All in all my time in Anza-Boreggo was absolutely amazing, from there I headed up through the state to San Luis Obispo and a stop at the Madonna Inn for the night, then finally up the coast to home the next day. More on that soon. Remember to find time to take real vacations my friend and have a happy day and enjoy the photos. ~ Rev Kane