At Home with David and Nancy travel blog

In the Parking Lot of the Visitors Center

This is what it looked like hiking towards the trail head before...


We've been here in Anza Borrego Desert State Park for a week now. We decided to stay at Stagecoach Trails RV Park for awhile. It's a great place: spacious, quiet, and full hookup at a very affordable rate. Yes, we are remote but we like that. We are only 1.5 hours from San Diego but it is a twisty route. Yesterday we found an alternate route that doesn't go up over the mountain (it goes around). It's a bit longer but much easier to drive.



This morning we drove east to the town of Borrego Springs where the Visitor Center for Anza Borrego Desert SP exists. We planned to hike up a canyon from the visitor center. The canyon has an oasis about a mile up. It was a windy morning when we left the trailer, and it seemed to get windier as we traveled the 15 miles or so to Borrego Springs. From the visitor center to the trailhead was a 1 mile hike. Upon arriving at the trailhead, a ranger approached us and advised us that the trail was closed due to the high winds. We were kind of thinking the same thing as we drafted each other the last 400 meters to the trailhead. We turned around and headed back to the visitor center. Now the wind was really picking up. I mean real wind - like sand storm winds. We had to stop several times, huddle over covering our faces and holding on to each other for dear life. As the gusts calmed, we hiked as fast as we could until we were caught by the next blast. It was literally 'black out' conditions. We reached the truck and dove in. The visitor parking lot was empty of cars, and trees were blowing down. We drove towards town to try to escape the dust and sand but it was everywhere. We decided to just go back to the trailer.

When we arrived at the campground, the sky was dark and all we could do was get inside as fast as we could. We had left the bathroom window cracked an inch and paid for it with dust over everything in the bathroom. The wind was howling and the trailer was rocking like a boat. Taking a shower was a real challenge. Thank goodness the trailer nose was facing into the wind. Not sure what we would have done if we were sideways! We kept thinking that we would lose power, but it only blinked a few times. The wind lasted into the night and then finally died down. I am disappointed that I didn't get any pictures of the sand storm, but there was no way I was pulling out my phone or camera with all that sand and dust.

The next morning I had to go searching for a large exercise mat I left out. I found it about 1/4 mile away impaled on a creosote bush. At least I got it back. There were downed limbs everywhere, and even a tree in the space two over from us lost its battle with the wind.

The locals say that the storm was unusual in the fact that the winds were sustained at such a high velocity over an extended period of time, and that the storm was during the daylight hours. Apparently, wind storms with short gust of 35 mph are more the norm. This is good to know, as we will make sure we have all windows closed and rugs/mats put away before we turn in each night.



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