Wandering the Desert in the Jeep

Tuesday, February 24,2015

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This morning after breakfast, I studied the map to determine where to go today.  Decided I would go to the slot canyon.  It is about 10 miles away.

Had to get gas first, so Yuma and I headed into town at around 10 am.  Of course, Yuma wanted to stop by Christmas Circle again. 

That first photo of Yuma is his look when he is not ready to leave.  He lies down and looks at me, saying “Not ready to go yet, Dad.”

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He’s waiting for friends to come along.

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While standing on the grass, I looked at the mountains to the north and they looked different.  They had snow on the tops of them.  Not much, but just enough to make them stand out.

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No snow to the west though.image

When Yuma was ready, we headed south on Borrego Springs Road and then east to highway 78.   Along Borrego Springs Road there are a number of metal sculptures, so I stopped to get photos of some of them.

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Snow capped mountains in the background.

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Oh no!  It’s got the jeep.image

Just before reaching highway 78, we went down and up the Texas Dip.

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When I arrived at the Slot Canyon, there was a big sign saying no pets allowed in the slot.  No Yuma, no Doug!  That’s the rule.  So we decided to drive a little ways further to Hawk Canyon that allowed pets on a leash.  Glad we did.imageimageimageimageimage

As we were driving along the sandy canyon floor, we saw a movement.  At first I thought it was a Roadrunner, because it was moving so fast.  It ran up onto the rocks and stopped.  It lay flat on the rock surface and I could barely see it, so I shot it with my 300 mm lens.

It looked like a lizard about a foot long and blended in with the rock surface.  When I got home and zoomed the photo in closer, I could see it was indeed a lizard.  Looked it up on the Internet and it is a male San Diego Common Chuckwalla.

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As usual, I managed to get lost in the maze of sand roads going through the washes.   I could tell where I was from the familiar mountains off in the distance, but could not find a blacktop. 

After about an hour of traveling through the San Felipe Wash and then through the Borrego Sink, I came upon three people on two ATVs.  Asked them how in the heck do I get out of these washes.  They were nice enough to show me the way.

I was within a mile of the blacktop, but probably would have wandered around on my own for another hour before stumbling on to it if it had not been for their help.

When I get into these situations, I always start worrying about getting stuck in the sand.   Yuma could tell I was worried, because I talk to myself quite loudly.  He wanted to climb into the front seat with me.

We were back at camp by 2:30 and had lunch and just laid in the sun for the remainder of the afternoon.  Worries are gone for another day.

See you later.

10 comments:

  1. I thought I wouldn't be able to see the chuckwalla, but there he was clear as day. The animals are always fascinating to see. I'm glad Yuma got to go up and down my favorite place-the Texas Dip! There are so many wonderful pictures.

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    1. Thank you Dolly. Was surprised that I was able to get a clear shot at the chuckwalla. When I took the picture I could just see a small dark spot where he stopped. Glad he did. When I walked towards him hoping he would move to a better spot, he went over the rock and into a crevice and gone.

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  2. It can sure become confusing out there in the Badlands area & we've have got turned around more than once as well. The day we went looking for the Pumpkin Patch was one of them. So many hills & gulleys with off-road tracks going willy nilly all over the place. Roads lead into trails & trails just lead to more trails. One sure has to make sure they have a full tank of gas before heading out anywhere on a desert day trip. Always have to allow for the' getting lost' factor.................

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    1. For some reason, I always get a little nervous in sand and especially when I have no idea where the road is going. I wonder if I'm heading in or heading out.

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  3. Nice photo of the chuckwalla. We some one up in Joshua Tree once.
    Cheryl Ann
    Beautiful photos of the metal sculptures! I always enjoy seeing them. I'll have to go back through my archives so see ours, but they weren't as good as yours!

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    1. Thanks Cheryl Ann. Those chuckwalla move fast. When I came over the rise, I caught him in the sand and he took off for the rocks like a rocket. Fortunate, he stopped or I would not have had a photo.

      It amazes me how many of those metal sculptures there are out in the desert around Borrego Springs.

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  4. My sense of direction is so lousy I get lost in town. Can't even imagine what I'd do out in the desert. Now Jim very seldom gets lost no matter where we are. But we still don't wander too far off road. Gotta love that Yuma and not wanting to leave the grass.

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    1. I try not to get too far off road, but I have this problem with turning around and going back the way I came. I always think it will get better around the next corner or over the next hill. Before I know it I am way out in the middle of nowhere.

      That Yuma can be stubborn. It is interesting that he loves to be in the grass. Glad I have lots of grass in my yard back home in the spring. He's going to love it.

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  5. Chuckwalla is a new one for me...imagine moving as fast as a roadrunner.

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    1. Probably not as fast, but he was moving to get to those rocks in a real hurry. I think he was running on his hind legs with his head up and that is why I thought it was a roadrunner. Not real sure though.

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