Given that the date falls within peek wildflower viewing season at the Anza Borrego and regional accommodations were entirely booked for the weekend, it’s best to secure lodging well in advance. Blooms can be monitored on the Park’s Flower Map posted on their website.
Regardless of the high winds, I thought I could easily spend the winter months here happily enjoying the solitude, scenery, and perfect weather as it appeared many snowbirds were doing.
Turns out, people are concerned about a lone woman hiking in lion country. “But, what would you do?” one woman asked me. “You know, if you saw one?”
Although most Federal agencies are trimming their budgets and experiencing hiring freezes, the CBP hired 10 percent more agents in ‘09. Even the Canine Program tripled the number of work dogs along the southwest boarder and expanded their training to include currency and firearms. From the numbers of alert sentinels at that single post it would appear that a large percentage of those federally trained canines stalk the borders along southern California.
Or so I thought. Instead, I listened to the train and traffic all night long and awoke to the Blue Angels slicing across the sky above me. Used mostly for recruiting purposes, the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron known as the Blue Angels and their F/A-18 Hornets are stationed during the winter months El Centro’s Naval Air Facility. There are more than 2,000 campsites along the Salton Sea and I had chosen one that had backed up to the highway and train track. Figures.
Palm Canyon, one of three “Indian Canyons” on the Reservation in Palm Springs opened daily October – July, 8:00AM - 5:00PM, is the largest oasis of Fan Palms anywhere in the world. Behind the Trading Post, fifteen miles of hiking trails wind beneath the palm canopy set deep in a canyon along the ancient river bed where traces remain of the ancestral Cahullia Indians.
It is a stunningly beautiful, deeply peaceful place, a forest of 60 foot fan palms with occasional glimpses of majestic snow capped San Jacinto between the fronds. Picnic tables were set under the lush canopy among traditional shelters made of dried palm fronds. I had seen nothing like it in my life, so was dually impressed. Another hiker told me that there is access from the