Monday, January 14, 2019

Sightseeing, Sunshine Returns, Sculptures

I had a great night’s sleep with some early morning dreams. It was late when I (we) went to bed and even later by the time I dropped off to sleep. I know I saw the bedroom (Az time) clock at 12 midnight and then again at 12:20 am for the last time. This morning, Sunday, Jan. 13th, it was 6 am on the same clock and I dropped off until I saw 7:40 before I (we) got up. I was surprised looking out the blind that it was light enough outside for me to walk at 6:40 PT.

I was anxious to see the creator of this beauty
when she made her appearance

Wasting no time, I dressed for the 41F/5C and headed out with my phone and the small Canon. What an absolutely gorgeous morning! The wind was so minuscule that I feel remiss calling it a wind at all. I really enjoyed this walk out Rockhouse Trail to the highway and then back again. 

It was a little shy of the normal 1.5 miles I usually walk so I meandered around to increase the steps. The sun rose in all its glory over the eastern mountains and I was duly impressed.

The mountains to the west are beautiful
That is the busy campers spot on Peg Leg Road

Where our Rockhouse Trail meets S22 highway

I started looking for the Marlboro Man
I knew he'd been here!

This is the view from our living room window, facing west to the Santa Rosas

It is always sad to see these grave sites

When I returned, I made my tea and sat with Bill to catch up on what our blogger friends were up to. Around 8, I made us bacon and eggs and joined the group of 4 already outside ready to go for today’s adventure. 

We gathered out front, said our good mornings and hopped into 2 trucks
Bill and I were showing them the metal sculptures surrounding the desert of Borrego Springs today. We were fascinated 2 years ago when we found them all so we knew our friends wouldn’t be disappointed.

The grape pickers were first on our route
Many of you have seen them but for those who haven’t here is a brief bit of history behind the life size art. I’ve retrieved this from my 2017 Feb. 14th blog post.

A close up for detail
The story is that over 10 years ago, a property owner, Dennis Avery, envisioned free standing art on 3 square miles of his property surrounding Borrego Springs. When Ricardo Breceda found he couldn’t work at his construction job due to a tragic accident, he found himself creating steel welded sculptures, first one for his daughter who wanted a life-size dinosaur.

We weren't 'skeered' at all!
Commissioned by Dennis, he set about creating 130 life-like sculptures of animals that walked the desert floor millions of years ago. More recently, other animals of today have joined the display. 

The detail is amazing
The interesting part is that they are not all located in one place but instead spread out across the property’s desert to give the tourist (us) the full impact. Much nicer than going to a museum to see them inside a building.

So, Rob drove his 4 x 4 and George drove his. There were a few areas that could be soft from yesterday’s rainfall. We left Black Beauty and Clemson at home. The weather soon warmed up and I was shedding a layer before we finished the 2 ½ hour trek. We did a lot of walking and when we’d seen the last one on the north side of Borrego, we headed home for lunch to meet again in an hour and go visit the village and the remaining sculptures on the south end.

The woolly mammoth and her baby
He indeed looks woolly
When you see them from a distance, they appear to be so lifelike
totally in their element, just walking around
Goofing around
Bill made a sandwich and I warmed up some of my chicken soup. Clemson had some cheese so we were all satisfied. At 1 pm PT we headed out again minus Rose and George who had opted to stay behind this afternoon. The sun was performing a magic act, disappearing and reappearing like an America’s Got Talent magician's audition. The temperature remained mild though throughout around 62F so we were comfortable as we hopped in and out of the truck.

When we arrived at the serpent's head
The Dragon Riders were taking pictures of each other with the bikes under the monster

Looks like they're 'taking care of business'
but they were just posing, really!

Our turn
Rose and George pose with the scorpion
Rob making friends with the llama

and milking the big horn sheep

I love this one
Bill and Rob no doubt talking machinery skills
We had started making note of the numbers on the sculptures when Rob first noticed one this morning. So, this afternoon we continued on checking them with the understanding that #10 was the 10th one that Ricardo created. As we neared the end of the southern sculptures and found #2, 3, 4 & 5 we were excited to find #1, his first one. 

Add caption

One of our favourites but it is in a different location
He is no longer sitting beside a creek

Another one of our favourites, such detail
right down to the driver's rolled up sleeves
There was one in the distance, the last one on our route, so Rob bounced us over the rough trails to it. These first ones were really showing the wear and tear of the weather from 10 years ago.

You can see the deterioration of these first few created

Tadah! We were all thrilled to find that the eagle holding a boar in its talons was #1. That made the search complete and we drove back into town and around Christmas Circle. We weren’t looking to stop anywhere other than at the Visitor’s Centre on the west end of the village at the A.B.D. State Park. When we drove up and found that staff were collecting a fee of $9/senior for day use, we changed our minds. Thanks, but no thanks.
I think this might have been his 2nd or 3rd
Another favourite, the eagle on its nest with 2 babies and 1 snake in his talons
Two years ago, it was free access into the Centre and we enjoyed seeing all the names on cacti, trees and other plants. We also picked up some post cards and a souvenir pin. I guess it is their loss, we won’t be spending money there this year. Rob drove back through town and after Pat and I discovered that the Frugal Coyote Thrift Store was closed on Sunday, we returned to our site on the Trail. It was a wonderful day. I made myself a coffee at 3 PT and after catching up on this post, sat to finish the mystery surrounding Joanna Brady’s kidnapping.

I didn't have the best exposure here but this is
Ricardo's first sculpture
# 11

Time to pose!
Bill started our generator at 4 and that helped bring our batteries up to full charge for the evening. I was stretched out on our sofa with my book and finally had to close my eyes for a few minutes as they were getting very droopy. It was a full day and a lot of exercise for all of us. I know I walked over 5 ½ miles today, more than I do on most days. Close to 5:30, I got things out to start supper.

And the boys too
We found the prize!
Tonight was leftover night and we were having the spaghetti, my ½ Reuben sandwich and a salad for Bill. There wasn’t enough of any one thing but this would help clean the fridge out, plus make for a nice easy supper. With the genny running, I began to reheat the spaghetti and to fry my Reuben in a pan. This should keep the crust crispy rather than soggy. And it all turned out great. We were eating by 6 and had dishes cleaned up by 6:15.

Yummy leftovers
Rob had invited us all over to their Silverback for a game of Wizard with Rose and George so we walked over just before 6:30. His has the perfect rv for playing games. He has an open living space and no island so he can open up his folding table for us to all sit around. We played 2 games until 9 pm and then said goodnight. George and Rose are pulling out tomorrow so it was a good way to toast our friendship and have one last fun evening together.

Occasionally, Pat and I would wander off and snap pictures of the barrel
They were so pretty, some redder than others

I wanted to finish my post but I also wanted to finish reading Downfall so I compromised. I finished the written part and made some collages from today’s many, many pictures before sitting with my book. In the morning, I will interpose the ones I want and get it published before or after (as it turned out) my walk.

And this single ocotillo flower is ready to bloom
This has been a fun day and we accomplished the second most important thing that we wanted to do while in this area. Hopefully, Pat and I can check out the thrift store and there is one other thing we are hoping to do. I’ll let you know about that as it depends on the weather.

This is what traipsing through the desert got me today
I found it hitching a ride on my running shoe

Thank you for stopping by.


  1. Hi Pat we were in Borrego last year when they started charging to go to the visitors center, they said they only charged on weekends. We didn't go either. This year when we were there we went through the week and there was no charge.

    1. Crap! I wondered about that! If we'd stayed, we were going back into town to the thrift store and I was going to suggest going around again, just in case. Thanks Jean, we'll know for next year!

  2. Another fun desert day and touring the sculptures that we have enjoy many times. Continue to enjoy your time there.

    1. Yes, always enjoyable and nice to take friends who have never been.
      We would have stayed longer had the weather been nicer.

  3. Thank you for the pictures I truly enjoyed. I’d like to see the sculptures myself sometime but liked your tour for the moment.

    1. You're welcome! I have no doubt you would enjoy them in person much more but happy to show a bit now. :)

  4. GEE WHIZ!!! Amazing sculptures and great talent to create them!!! Hours of work involved.
    Don in Okla.

  5. Amazing the detail in those sculptures. It looks like you all had a good time!!
    Those little burr type things are easy to pick up!!!

  6. Wow I can't believe the Visitor Centre is charging a fee to enter! We will no longer go there :-(

    1. We were bummed but Jean and Skip above say that they only charge on the weekends. we didn't know that and they sure didn't offer the info when we drove up.

  7. His work is amazing, to be sure. Once, quite by mistake, we entered his working building and saw all the things that had just been completed. It's fascinating to see all he has done.

    1. We would have loved to have gone up to see his home base. Another time. The weather affected the amount of time we stayed there this year.

  8. Fantastic sculptures! The finite detailing is amazing, thanks for sharing.

    1. They are very cool, sis. You would love them. Sister's week? hahahaha