|California, Here We Come!|
We entered California at the extreme southeast corner of the state and drove through the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, the largest mass of sand dunes in the state. They certainly were impressive, even just viewing them from the road. We made our way north through the Imperial Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in California, and could see the Salton Sea in the distance.
|Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area|
|Fields in the Imperial Valley|
Tim and I were on our way to the desert to meet Tim’s sister Alice and her husband Chuck. Chuck has a desert getaway in Ocotillo Wells that he calls “Rancho Deluxe.” It’s located on the edge of Anza-Borrego State Park, and that’s where we’re spending the weekend. Chuck’s brother Arnie and his son Lucas joined us, and we spent Friday evening hearing stories about their adventures in this amazing place.
|Kitty Tagging Along for a Ride on the Golf Cart with Chuck|
Anza-Borrego is California’s largest state park, but it is still a relatively undiscovered area. Adjacent to the park is Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area, where Chuck, Arnie and Lucas spend much of their time. It’s a mecca of sorts for off-highway vehicle enthusiasts and is where people go to ride dune buggies, dirt bikes and other assorted vehicles. Neither Tim nor I had even ridden a dune buggy, but that would change on Saturday. We were here to enjoy the desert and Chuck’s “toys.”
|Anza-Borrego State Park|
|TIm Said, "I Have Seen the Elephant"|
|Tim, Sarah, Alice, Chuck and Lucas with the Serpent|
|A Wild Ride in the Desert|
|The Grasshopper and the Scorpion|
Chuck took me out for a ride on the dune buggy, and what a ride it was! We ascended Blow Sand Hill and roared on toward Devil’s Slide. I held on for dear life, and was sure we’d tip over when we rounded the hills, but the ride was exhilarating nonetheless. What a thrill! We stopped at Shell Reef to watch the bikers climb the dunes before heading back on Shell Reef Expressway. I just love the names of the trails in the park. I’m not sure if I’ll ever ride in a dune buggy again, but it was an experience not to be missed. Arnie took Tim out for a ride later in the afternoon, and his experience seems to have equaled mine.
|Sarah Is Stylishly Dressed for a Dune Buggy Ride|
|The View Coming and Going - Hold On!|
|Riding on Shell Reef|
|Tim, Lucas and Arnie Are Rready for their Ride|
|A Wild Ride|
We’ve eaten very well in the desert, and Saturday was no exception. Chuck grilled steaks and baked potatoes, and Alice prepared asparagus, and we feasted like we were starving.
|A Desert Sunset|
|San Felipe Valley|
Alice and Chuck had planned a party for the afternoon, and this gave us a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends who live nearby. I was also able to sample Alice’s famous chili, which was even better than had been reported.
Tim and I had a blast this weekend and had experiences that were new to both of us. Chuck and Alice are so generous and welcoming, and have been so eager to share everything with us. I had the luxury of getting to know both of them so much better these last few days, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this family.