March 8, 2017.
This post is a Fuhgoddaboudit Friday — which means the events in this post happened so long ago we almost fuhgoddaboudit. But luckily we have been able to reach back deep into the recesses of our minds and pluck out a few memories to share with you. We are picking up right after we left Slab City, our path now being directed by a chance to run into some friends…
Back in Arizona, I found out that my friends Robin and Andre were going to be passing through the San Francisco area on March 22 as support crew with the musician Adrien Belew. Since this was close to other friends we were considering visiting, we decided to head in that direction. It was March 8, which meant we had 2 weeks to work our way north and west. Our roadmap was already marked up with National Parks and some Route 66 stuff we could visit along the way. Then I saw this article about Anza-Borrego State Park in Borrego Springs and the wildflower bloom about to happen. The past winter had been very wet, which meant there would be wildflowers everywhere and Anza-Borrego was the place to see it.
I like flowers well enough, although, for the most part, I wouldn’t drive out of my way to visit a botanical garden. But I really like the concept of wildflowers. They are like Nature’s guerrilla garden, seed bombs covertly quietly waiting for the right conditions to go off. They are like Punk Rockers of the botanical world, crowd surfing the desert floor. They are random, unexpected, rebellious, DIY, grassroots – so to speak, and colorful – and I love stuff like that.
Looking out the window as we drove into Borrego Springs, I was suddenly bowled over and terribly excited. We came for the wildflowers but found something so much more wonderful. They were alive and primal, rambling through desert among the cacti and creosote bushes, across a backdrop of mountains. Nowhere in the wildflower article did they mention them – horses, camels, sloths, gomphotheriums, sea serpents! – fighting, hunting, foraging, and roaming through this small California town. It was public art – giant metal sculptures of animals, mythical, real and human. And it was all totally random, unexpected, rebellious, and amazingly rusty – and I absolutely love stuff like that!
Our day quickly changed from one of mere flower peeping to one of hundering as we snapped a few pics wildflowers and then tracked down as many of the sculptures as we possibly could before the sunset and it was time to journey on.
*All pics are click to enlarge.
**PS – one of the reasons it took me so long to get this post out is due to wanting to caption all pics correctly. If you have never heard of some these animals, click the link in the caption to find out more.