Borrego Springs Day Trip from San Diego

Garden Path, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, copyright 2013
Self Realization Fellowship Garden Path
When a friend from London came to visit, I decided to show her the wide range of climate zones in San Diego county, from the ocean to the desert.  We started out our morning at the ocean for a tour of the Self Realization Fellowship garden in Encinitas (see my earlier post).

From there we drove by the stunning Flower Fields in Carlsbad, which were, in mid-April, still brilliantly in bloom with over 50 acres of ranunculus flowers planted on a hillside in stripes of color.

Fields of Ranunculus Flowers in CA, Copyright Americanspirit/
Fields of Ranunculus Flowers in California 
© Americanspirit |
San Diego county covers more than 4000 square miles, from beaches to inland valleys, to mountains to the desert.  Every night the weather report forecasts for the four distinctive climate zones.

Raptor Identification at Overlook, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, copyright 2013
Raptor Identification at Overlook

The day we traveled, the beaches and inland valleys were covered in "morning low clouds," that we didn't outrun until well into the mountain region.  That meant that a side drive up to the Palomar Mountain Observatory was socked in, so, we motored on to the scenic raptor overlook near Lake Henshaw, where we finally left the marine layer behind.  It's a spectacular viewing spot to watch hawks, golden eagles, and turkey vultures soaring over the great bowl valley on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest.
View of Lake Henshaw, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
View of Lake Henshaw
Kay had never been to the desert, so we were excited to descend from the mountains to the desert floor.  The drive down from the mountains into the rain shadow is filled with switchbacks and breath-taking views.  We stopped at one turn-out to take pictures and announce to the land in our shamanic way that we had arrived. After making an offering to the land, we were on our way to a lunch stop at the
Descent to Desert, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
View Point on Descent to Desert

Kay Greets the Desert, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Kay Greets the Desert
Borrego Springs State Park headquarters.  It was just a few short weeks after the annual desert bloom, the brief time following the winter rains that the small, fragile plants burst into color, but we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

Cactus in Bloom, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Cactus in Bloom
Next stop was the Pictograph Trail at Little Blair Valley for a short hike (a mile in to the pictograph site). We were cautious, as there are rattlesnakes in the area. The trail was deserted, but somehow it felt as though we were being watched.
Native Pictographs, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Native Pictographs

We saw the occasional rabbit, woodpecker, and squirrel, but it wasn't until we were making our way back to the car that Kay spotted the coyote that had been undoubtedly watching us. It scampered up the rock-fall hill and posed right in front of its den, with mama coyote ducking her head out to say hello as well.
Into the Light, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Into the Light, Borrego Springs
Leading the way into the setting sun, Kay was joyous and honored that coyote had greeted her.

Our trip home was a bit dicey, with the low marine layer clouds enveloping the twisty mountain roads all the way back from the desert to suburban San Diego. A few wrong turns didn't help. There's a tricky zigzag in the state route S2 that didn't appear in the directions, and we had lost time.
Marine Layer Enveloping Mountains, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Marine Layer Clouds Enveloping the Mountains
But, just before leaving the desert floor, we made a fortuitous about face to see a glorious full moon rising.
Full Moon in the Desert, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Full Moon in the Desert


Kay Gillard said…
I love this, Kaliani! It was a beautiful trip :)

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