Have you ever been to a place that is so big you don’t have time to see it all? You try really hard to explore this place but no matter how many stops you make you are unsuccessful and you leave wanting to come back. This is basically how I feel when I am traveling to a new place and I have limited time. I turn these one day trip into a scouting trip or “quick trips” to see what the place has to offer. Hopefully, I will come back another day to explore it with more time.
Normally I don’t document my quick trips because I don’t have enough time to photograph the place. Other times, it’s just a quick drive to my favorite places but because I already documented the trip I don’t feel the need to document it again. The problem is that during these quick trips I have the most fun and end up in interesting places and adventures. The photos and stories about these quick trips are filed away in my computer never to see the light again. This is why I decided to document my quick trips.
I live in Southern California my geographic area is the beach and desert. True I am also surrounded by mountains but they are not covered in lush green pines. My mountains are naked, imagine someone shaving off all the trees on a mountain and what is left over are shrubs and rocks, that is basically my mountains. As bare as these mountains are they are beautiful to me. The desert is one of my favorite places to visit when it’s not trying to kill you by baking you alive.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is one of my favorites, granted I haven’t explored the other surrounded deserts due to distance. When I visit Anza-Borrego I usually go to the same places over and over, mainly because I am taking new visitors to the desert. I also didn’t explore new places in Anza-Borrego because you do need a 4 wheel drive vehicle to drive in that soft sand. Thanks to my mountain man and Pepe his Toyota FJ Cruiser we were able to take a quick trip to the places that normal cars can’t take you to.
This quick trip to Anza Borrego was our first attempt to go on the 4 x 4 trails. The original plan was to first stop at the visitor center to get some ideas where to go. We got distracted by the beautiful sky art at Galleta Meadows along the road and just wanted to continue searching for the metal sculptures. If you haven’t seen the video or blog about this amazing place check out the link below. It was like a scavenger hunt for metal sculptures. These beautiful metal sculptures have been weathered down to the point that some of the animals look realistic. I am yet to see the dinosaurs. While trying to reach the dinosaur sculptures we realized we needed a map so we headed to the visitor center to obtained a map which had the location of all the sculptures. We didn’t spend much time there the little time we had was spent on buying souvenirs. Yeah, I am a sucker for patches.
Link to Galleta Meadows Blog
After getting the map we continue searching for the metal sculptures. We did see a sedan get stuck in the soft sand. Thankfully there was a jeep who had the equipment to help these people get their car out of the sand. Please keep in mind that you are in the desert and just because people drive on the desert floor doesn’t mean that your car can make it out.
Since we were in the general direction of some 4 wheel drive trails we decided to check out Font’s Point after stopping at the northernmost sculpture. Trying to find these 4 wheel roads became a challenge especially because the map we purchased was not as detail as we wished. We did reach the trail with the help of the navigation system and the map we bought at the visitor center.
Once we started driving on the soft sand it became clear why not so many people come and visit this place. If you don’t know what you are doing or you have the wrong type of car the sand will swallow you up. When we reach Font’s point we parked and walked to a ledge where there were several people admiring the view. I found out about this place through a photo in Instagram posted by @californiathroughmylens. When I read that the photo was taken at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park I knew I had to visit the place. Check out @californiathroughmylens Instagram account he has some amazing places to share.
When I got to Font’s Point I was so excited to see the view for myself. The view was breathtaking. It was otherworldly and I felt I had traveled to the other side of the world to see something so beautiful and unique as the scenery in front of me. I couldn’t stop taking photos. I couldn’t believe this beautiful landscape was in my backyard. We had to wrap things up because there was another trail we wanted to explore.
We drove back toward the main road but before we reached it we took another road called Short Wash Trail. As we drove along this road we notice that the FJ was moving from side to side due to the soft sand we were driving on. We couldn’t stop for fear that we end up getting stuck. Not that my mountain man was not skilled at driving the FJ but we could not deflate the tires due to lack of a compressor. Plus nobody knew where we were and that is not a good thing. We kept driving on the soft sand, looking for a big enough space to turn back. We agreed to return back to this road when we were better prepared.
Instead of taking the same road back to the main paved road we took another dirt road called Thimble Trail. It started off good then we started to climb a hill. Not being able to see what was on the other side and after retreating from the previous sand road we became nervous as to what was on the other side. the FJ started tilting skyward as if it was a cart on a wild rollercoaster. Trying to see what was on the other side of that hill was a bit nerve-racking. For all, we knew it was the edge of a cliff and a horrible plugged to the bottom. I know I can overreact sometimes. We moved forward and as the FJ tilted downward we saw the open desert floor and the dirt road leading toward the naked mountains straight ahead. The sun was casting a golden light on the landscape. We stopped, got off the FJ and stood there in silence each with our own thoughts. We walked a bit to see our surroundings before we returned to the FJ. This was a good day. We agreed to come back and continue exploring the desert another day.