Desert

A rattlesnake in Anza Borrego

Rattlesnake in Anza Borrego

Until recently I wasn’t planning on being anywhere near a desert this fall/winter, I had plans to move to Seattle and enjoy some rain and real weather. Well things change and now with no thoughts of leaving San Diego, I’ll be here for “desert season” (I always feel funny saying that, because most people assume that means I’m going four-wheeling or dirt bike riding).

Anza Borrego State Park might be my favorite place on earth (for semi-short periods of time that is). I love the feeling of freedom, there’s plenty of wide open space and very few people. I love the way the landscape looks, and how there are so many different types of landscapes across the desert. In the morning you can be hiking through a rocky mountainous area, in the evening spelunking through caves and camping on a sandy wash in the bandlands just a few miles away.

Seeing a bighorn sheep in the wild has been one of the high points of my life (seriously!)

Speaking of bighorn sheep, they’re being threatened by the US Federal Government on multiple fronts. First, the Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed reducing the designated habitat by 55%. Read more about it here.

And then there’s the new border fence they’re looking to build on the Mexico/US border. No one knows what measures (if any) will be taken to ensure that bighorns in the US can mingle and breed with bighorns in Mexico. Building a giant wall through the desert could have disastrous effects on the bighorn sheep in both countries. Read more about the border wall and it’s effect on desert animals here.

A couple of my extended family members (both of whom I sadly don’t know well enough) have devoted their entire adult lives to Anza Borrego, and restoring the bighorn sheep population in the area specifically.

I’m already counting down the days until the temperature drops enough to enjoy the days out in the desert. I know that November is about the earliest time of year one can be comfortable hiking around during the day, but I also know I’m anxious and I’ll probably end up out there in the 100 degree heat sometime much sooner than that.

More pictures from some of my adventures in the desert can be seen on flickr.

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