Anza-Borrego State Park: Palm Canyon Trail and Galleta Meadows Estate

3/3/17 Friday in Palm Desert, CA (Palm Springs-TT)

Our big day of adventures began when we (Jack/Jackie, Betty/Dale and John and I) left the campground at 8. It took over an hour to get to the town Borrego Springs. From Christmas Circle we drove on Palm Canyon Drive to the ABDSP Visitor Center. There we enjoyed lovely wildlife gardens and got our maps for the Palm Canyon Trail (to an Oasis) and for Galleta Meadows. The last is a 2,000 acre plot of land that the owner of Avery labels bought. He wondered what to do with it, then saw sculptures by Ricardo Breceda in Temecula, CA. The sculptures Breceda created in Galleta Meadows are huge, many based on renditions in “Fossil Treasures of the Anza-Borrego Desert. We saw a movie at the Visitor Center where we learned that 2/3rds of the Big Horned sheep in this country live in this desert. They are doing well, with about 200 new lambs born each year.  Amazingly we got to see many of these special animals as we traversed to the Oasis.  Something else special about our hiking today was the profusion of flowers in the desert.

Visitor Center


White-winged Dove on a Century Plant


Betty, Dale, Jackie, and Jack all ready to hike with us.

Palm Canyon Trail which leads to an oasis (if you click within, then hover your cursor over multiple images you’ll see their captions)


Big Horned sheep with nursing lamb


Big Horned sheep sunning.  When it gets really hot in the summer they are among the few creatures that are out and about


Two young bucks butting heads

Jackie also decided to just walk through the water.  I’m proud to share that I managed to cross along the log.  The guys made it clear that the log was the easiest path for them.

Dale traversed this stream across rocks, but also in the water to reach the other side.  He got closer to the Oasis but was blocked by one huge boulder so he returned to alert us.  We happily decided to turn back at this point.

We had snacks and drank lots of water along that trail. I’d bring at least 2 water bottles’ worth. At one point Jackie got light headed, needing calories and water to recover and later I had the same experience.

Galleta Meadows sculptures


Desert Lily

There were long shadows – we got home around 5:30, very tired. John and I managed to soak in the hot tub before bedtime.

I thought Saturday would be relaxing but it didn’t work out that way. I got the wash going (7 loads took all day), then we dashed to the College of the Desert Street Faire for dates, fresh raisins, tomatoes, strawberries, an avocado, broccoli and a loaf of bread. After lunch we shopped at Ralph’s grocery store, getting back in time for Candy Bar Bingo. We scored, each getting 2 candy bars. Then is was time to get ready for the Augustine Casino Seafood Buffet. It was pricey ($30 each) but really good. We joined up with Betty/Dale, Len/Gloria, Jack/Jackie and their friends Candy/Bill to get super stuffed! Once home from that delicious experience we watched Gonzaga play against Pacific. Boy the first ½ was concerning – our guys were close to tied most of the time. Ah, but they showed up at the second half with Gonzaga winning 82-50. Whew! What a day.

Sunday was far more quiet: Church, light lunch, nap (John watched golf) pretty well summed it up.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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