Celia was back from helping her mother in Wilmington, NC. She had been transferred to a rehabilitation facility for a few weeks. We decided to head toward one of our favorite small towns, Borrego Springs, California.
This small town is home to the famous Galleta Meadows “Sky Art Sculptures.” We detail these in another blog post.
We were hoping to boondock near the town in a desert location called “Peg Leg.” Thomas Peg Leg Smith, born in 1801, was a well known explorer, guide, and raconteur. When he was attacked by some hostile Apaches, he lost his leg from an arrow wound. Historical records claim that there were no doctors available so Smith resorted to self-amputation. He was nursed to health by other Indians and later fashioned his own wooden peg leg. The first Saturday in March, the town of Borrego Springs now hosts the Peg Leg Liars Contest, keeping the telling of tall-tails tradition alive for which Peg Leg was known for sharing. I think that Covid may have canceled this year’s contest as I could not find information about an upcoming event.
The Peg Leg camping location, which is only a few miles from town, turned out to be perfect. The quiet groups stay on the north side of the highway and the noisy groups on the south side. We met many wonderful folks, including some as far away as Nova Scotia, Canada.
The entire area is surrounded by California’s largest state park, Anza-Borrego, and is a great spot to visit. The town of Borrego Springs is also completely encircled by the 640,000 acre park. It is difficult to comprehend how large this park is, larger, for instance, than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here is a link from a previous visit that includes some of the vistas and hikes.
While we were there, we were able to hike the Palm Canyon Trail in the park and see the palms that have thrived there. We were excited to be able to do this trail because the last time we were here it was closed due to a fire that a hiker had set within the oasis of palm trees.
The state park rangers were convinced that the trees would not survive, but amazingly they have recovered. The trunks are still blacken almost to the top but the green branches have sprouted and the trees have fought back from this almost fatal blow.
This is a popular trail and you will not be alone, but we enjoyed the three mile hike in the park. To take this hike, you will have to pay a day use fee at the entrance station. There is also a nice campground in the park, but it is always full during the winter season and it is often difficult to get reservations there.
Since Celia needed to fly to the East Coast again, we hitched up the Bighorn and set out for the nearest airport in Palm Springs.