Beautiful Southern ABDSP

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

I am excited today having ridden a bit further than the other day into the Southern part of the Park. My senses have been fulfilled unlike the past few days, not complaining, but having not found a balance throughout my riding, discoveries, well being, I did today… Don’t give me wrong… this part of the Park is also filled with beautiful sceneries, this was my sunrise this morning… untouched photo… and the picture below is Spirit’s backyard right now! What you do not see however… is the other side of the camera… campers… many cars… and lets face it, Borrego Springs is a little city…
Having commitments to be in Death Valley by the 26th… Mojave Desert the 3rd… and backtracking to Gila Bend around the 6th for just a couple days, I have decided to then come back here.. To the south part. Supplies?… Borrego Springs being a bit far from where I would like to camp I think Jillian or even Ocotillo maybe will make due for my needs…

You guessed it… since I have a picture of the sunrise today… we were up early, myself anyhow… Spirit could sleep till noon I think sometimes… and ready to go. We fueled up, met the local gardener… who was a blast, as I had to ask him which license plate they used if he ever got pulled over! Believe it or not.. He has permission to have those plates displayed as they are… now you know a bit of important local history…

As the other day, back on S3, 78 and S2 Southbound, that long stretch of road to Ocotillo… you like black top… you will love this road… matches any other I have ever been on, with no traffic per say… It was like being in another Park suddenly as soon as we came down Granite Mountain and the Valley laid in front of us, desolate, marked by the non paved roads like arteries to the Park’s heart.

Agua Caliente was the first stop, and what a great camping spot!… with an indoor pool?… and an outdoor giant tub… Yes, the thought of jumping in… Oh! That steaming water… I knew at that moment I was coming back… a few days anyhow! A few campers to themselves… quiet… not a sound… it is a retreat for the mind and the soul, no doubt about it.

The store was closed, so was another one belonging to the Butterfield Camp a bit further down, closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, just so you know. I would have loved having some more information on the area… next time. As a side note, passing Butterfield Camp, watch for the black ice that covers the road for about I would say 30 feet… a big tree is shading it all day long it seems… a stretch not long enough to cause any hair to stand up… just enough for a slight loss of control!!!

My intentions were to ride June Wash… and somehow that also never happened, like the other day wanting to ride Fonts Wash. I must have passed it and took instead Vallecito Creek Road… where the sign for soft sand welcomed me… I have no clue why I keep missing the roads I plan on riding. Maybe I am not paying attention to the signs, too busy with my surroundings and my ample satisfaction of my solitude. I am not going to lie about it, there is a certain sense of, I have not found the word yet, being a bit, slightly on edge when totally alone on those roads, specially after the incident on Rockhouse Canyon… and seeing a soft sand sign! I compared it today to sailing on the Ocean alone… always a great experience… but always just a bit on edge… body never totally 100% relaxed… ready always for the unexpected.

But my confidence today was much higher… as compared, I feel like I was previously totally unprepared for the terrain… a terrain totally different from Big Bend and other areas I have ridden… the bottom line… simply soft sand. The winch is back on, in the rear, trust me, mounted very smartly and solid… actually making the rig handle so much better as I think it was previously too much weight for the front, I have a great jack, some carpeting and… flares! The most important is however… and I had to keep repeating myself over and over… “don’t stop… don’t stop”… as of course I wanted to stop and take pictures… forget the pictures… only when finding some rare solid ground! The TKC’s handled much better than I thought, specially having let some air out, and I also came to the conclusion that in this part the Park the sand is much coarser than where I was stuck the other day… which was fine sugar sand… This picture above was taken coming back the other way, I went over that bush coming from deep sand… why? Well, I wanted to know how well those tires would do… you can see the TKC’s tire track going diagonal toward you… The truth?… I was in deep sand as it shows above, on the wrong track… I was suppose to be on the other side… I just wanted to get off that track… bush or no bush… that is where I went!!!

Obligatory water break… Spirit is loving the desert somehow… he is constantly in search for critters, to the point actually where I have to watch his search, just in case it would be a scorpion or not a friendly one… There is not a sound when we stop… nothing… the ears actually are resoning from the silence… and Spirit keeps freezing in his path, he just stands there without a movement… just stands there! I think this kind of silence is new to him… and I can’t wait to be back camping there… experiencing a few days of this…

“Hollywood and Vine”… has anyone seen this sign?… right on the trail… in the middle of nowhere.. A reminder of what this is not!…

Back on the road again, still going south, this time I do not miss the Indian Gorge which at a fork splits into North and South Indian canyons… and that is it… I love to ride into a Canyon… there is just something about the ability to be invited amongst the mountains… just enough room sometimes to make your way through… We park and it is time for our daily hike… we started the routine the other day… with no choice… today it was nice to choose the spot… walk a bit on sunny ground and some in shady ground…

We go quite some way, always keeping my eyes on Spirit, seeing how tired he is as we still have as much to walk back… always some water with us… he LOVES it!!! He has been a different dog lately… he is so frisky in the mornings… so playful… and I am so happy for him. I knew I would prove wrong to the ones that wrote to me not to take him on this trip… very very wrong!!!

Passed the Indian Gorge is Bow Willow, a primitive campground with Mt Palm Springs behind, on which I need to get some information… you guessed it… from the Visitor Center, as that is where I will be camping most likely when I return in February… after Agua Caliente of course!
So many more roads to ride… and I bet sunrises in that part of the park are just incredible!
Hope you have enjoyed this… we sure have… with some hope, tomorrow will be another great day.

You be well…

Ara and… Spirit!

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