“Morning in the Badlands”
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
My first visit to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was in the late spring of 1969. My friends and I were looking for a place to get away from everything, make a little noise, and enjoy ourselves for a few days. We were told that Anza-Borrego, east of San Diego out in the western Colorado Desert, would fill the bill just fine.
Most of us had never heard of Anza-Borrego. It was described to us as being a vast desert area with warm sunny days, dark starry nights, nobody around for miles, and free camping. It sounded great so we rounded up our camping gear and a guitar or two and drove out into the desert for a few days and nights of fun. It wasn’t long before we were hot, tired, thirsty, and hungover. But it didn’t matter. We were young and we felt indestructible. It became one of our favorite destinations.
These days I go to the desert to relax, explore, make photographs, and quiet camping (drinking far more water than booze). And you know what? Anza-Borrego Desert State Park fills that bill just fine, too.
If you’re interested in learning about the history and geology of Anza-Borrego, here are three good books to get you started: Lowell & Diana Lindsays Anza-Borrego Desert Region, Anza-Borrego A to Z: People, Places, and Things, and Paul Remeika and Lowell Lindsay’s Geology of Anza-Borrego: Edge of Creation.