Anza Borrego

Back to Piedras Grandes

The honey bees were enjoying the fragrant Desert Lavender

The honey bees were enjoying the fragrant Desert Lavender

What I love about living in San Diego is that I can be walking our dog Diesel on the beach in the morning and an hour and a half later be on a snow covered road about to drop down into the Anza Borrego Desert.

Granted the snow part is somewhat rare, but usually a few times a year the conditions will be just right to transform our local mountains into a winter wonderland.

As we approached the Sunrise Highway turnoff, we considered abandoning our Anza Borrego desert plans and taking a detour up to Mount Laguna to enjoy the snow. A quick glance at the hundreds of cars lined up to get their “Adventure Passes” before heading up the mountain changed our minds. It’s not that we don’t like people, just that we prefer experiencing the back-country in relative solitude.

The Ocotillo were in full bloom everywhere we looked

The Ocotillo were in full bloom everywhere we looked

Following our original plan, we dropped down into Ocotillo and headed north into the Anza Borrego Desert. Our destination was Piedras Grandes, an area known for its proliferation of Native American sites. We had explored Piedras Grandes on a prior trip, but wanted to check out some pictographs we had missed last time around.

A few jackrabbits, disturbed by our presence, darted out of the way as we lumbered up the soft sand of Mortero Wash. We scoured the area for wildflowers and cactus blooms, but only the statuesque Ocotillo with their flaming orange tips, seemed aware that Spring was here.

Heading up the trail towards Piedras Grandes

Heading up the trail towards Piedras Grandes

After a short hike up the wash and some bouldering we came upon a cave that looked promising. I quickly donned my new headlamp, dropped my backpack and peered inside the dark opening.

There on the wall were two faint ghost-like handprints that were surrounded by a smokey outline. There were some additional pictographs in the cave that were a bit hard to make out, and I am sorry to say that my photos do not do them justice.
Note to self, take photography class.

The mysterious hand prints of Piedras Grandes

The mysterious hand prints of Piedras Grandes

I want to thank the DzrtGrls for inspiring this trip. You can check out their great website at http://www.DzrtGrls.com.

Stay tuned for our next post where we will be heading out to search and hopefully find desert wildflowers….

Bob

Piedras Grandes trip photos 

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