Leaving Las Vegas, we didn’t have much of a plan besides getting to San Diego. Our coastal reservation, though, wasn’t for a couple of days so we searched around for some decent desert spots along the way. We found and fell in love with Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Spanning over 600,000 acres, Anza Borrego is California’s largest state park. We’d never heard of it but learned quickly why it is popular among campers and hikers. It’s rugged, prickly, and dry but also among the most peaceful places we’ve been. Early in the morning, looking out at brown rocky mountains dotted with cholla cacti and desert palm, there is no movement or sound but our own. Occasionally, one of our few campground neighbors would walk by, or a hummingbird would buzz in a nearby shrub, but otherwise nothing. At least until the kids woke up and broke the spell.
A film at the visitor center told us that Anza Borrego is home to 2/3 of the world’s big horn sheep, but we didn’t see any. Thankfully, we saw no rattlesnakes, mountain lions, or tarantulas either.
We are sorry to leave after just three days and two nights in this campground, but we are also happy to finally make it to San Diego. We’ve been anticipating our San Diego stay for awhile and are in great spirits as we drive west out of the desert, through the town of Julian, where we are compelled to stop for pie.
We also stop at a roadside stand to stock up on California produce: a bag of avocados, a bag of oranges, a bag of limes, and a bag of pomegranates ($17 for all!).
Then we arrive to our San Diego site to crowd in with the rest of this urban coastal campground. We don’t have electricity, we will have to use tokens to shower, and we will have to share our water spigot with the surfers rinsing themselves off in the evenings. We are also parked up against a chain link fence, the only barrier between us and the busy 101 (there are quiet hours here, times when you can’t run a generator, but the highway and Caltrans noises are nonstop). But tomorrow we wake up in San Diego, where the weather will be sunny and 72 degrees. And now we can see the sun setting over the Pacific as we eat fish tacos and toast the beginning of this last month of 2015. Happy December, everyone.