Thursday, January 23, 2014
There are many suggestions here at FOY regarding places to go and things to do in the areas surrounding the park. Folks talk about what is good or fun or wonderful. This is how we found out about the American Legion Spaghetti Night and Slab City. It is also what led us to the donut shop in Calipatria, a town of about 8,000 people located 23 miles south of here. As are many things around here, it is unassuming, to say the least. At best, it would be considered a place to just pass on by. But, the park reviews deemed it to be THE GREATEST DONUTS EVER. So, we stopped, and had the most delicious donuts imaginable. And…..when the cook emerged from the kitchen, wheeling an entire bakers rack full of freshly made warm donuts, of all possible varieties, we swooned. And then we bought donuts and donut holes, which, of course, are a much healthier choice. I ate more than I want to admit, and would have been happy to savor even more, but guilt overcame me, and I know we will go back. Soon. Very soon. I didn’t take any photos, I was so very excited to leave the “compound” in search of sweets, that I lost my senses. Next time.
The actual destination today was the Anza-Borrego State Park, Borrega Springs, and Julian. It was a round trip of 220 miles. Anza-Borrego State Park covers over 600,000 acres. It’s huge, and it’s desert. The drive to Borrego Springs and then to Julian, took us through a part of this unbelievably beautiful state park.
Borrego Springs is a small community at the end of the road, literally, in the middle of the desert. Although we are staying at an RV park with a similar local, these two areas are philosophically light years apart.
Borrego Springs is an artist colony. There are no chain restaurants, no chain stores with the exception of an Ace Hardware, and it is one of two towns in the WORLD to be designated an “International Dark Sky Community.” This means that the city adheres to strict guidelines regarding lighting and light fixtures. Light must be directed in a downward fashion so as to not interfere with the night sky. This is a BIG DEAL, and should be taken MUCH more seriously. Many things happen when we do not have “real” darkness in our lives. Among other things, sleep patterns are interrupted, it can wreck havoc on the brains of infants, and it takes from us the ability to gaze at the stars and truly see the beauty that lies above us. We loose sight of our place in the universe. And, truly, this is important. We, as humans, do need to be constantly reminded just how very small we are in the scope of things. We were not there after dark, but our plan is to, one day, go back and gaze at the night sky.
When we left the town and headed toward Julian, we passed by (and stopped at) the remarkable metal sculptures of Ricardo Breceda, located in Galleta Meadows. This is a desert “field,” a part of the estate of Dennis Avery who gifted this to the folks of Borrego Springs.
The land is left in its natural state with life-sized sculptures, many of which represent creatures that used to roam this area. (I will add that millions of years ago, pre-historic mammals inhabited this area, and billions of years ago, it was underwater via the Sea of Cortez) This is a pretty cool area, and the work is phenomenal.
Highlight of the day: The wild openness of Anza-Borrego