Walking in the Anza-Borrego desert you might think I wouldn’t be searching for a snake, just watching out for them. But this snake is different, and I kept my distance.
A Merry Christmas morning started off mostly clear sky with a tablecloth of cloud rolling off the Santa Rosa Mountains to the west bringing a rainbow gift to the day. Wind gently rocked the camper and rattled something in the stove hood causing an obnoxiously loud hum. Time for a change of scenery.
Left camp at 11:30 headed to Coyote Mountain in search of the giant snake that Al, Lynda and Nina, all blogger neighbors, had told me about. Just around the point of that nearest ridge Nina said I’d find trails. She wanted to give me the GPS coordinates but I wouldn’t have known what to do with them. I’m a paper map person.
I may have followed a rather circuitous trail to the snake. But the sun felt fine even with the wind in my face and the views were spectacular. Looking northeast towards the Salton Sea, my rig is that tiny spot just above center.
Met some returning hikers with a friendly young pup at a junction of trails and they pointed me in the right direction. Seems this snake was out soaking up the sunny warmth. Over a few more little berms and across the rocky terrain around a corner and low and behold, there lies the giant snake with its head in my direction.
I climbed onto the rocks above it for a bigger view. Then sitting on the rocks, almost out of the wind, I too soaked up the sun.
I eventually approached this giant from the tail end for a close up view and being it wasn’t moving braved the head end as well. Somebody unknown did an awesome and detailed construction, double rows of dark rock with quartz on top to set the pattern. Probably about 30-35 feet long in its undulations across the desert floor.
A couple more small critters have crept into this sheltered little valley. Hard to tell what they are, maybe a turtle (which I forgot to take a photo of) and scorpion, the third I can’t tell. What do you think? They certainly don’t compare to the marvelous work put into the snake.
I spent an hour with the snake observing it from many directions and wondering about the mystery person who created this piece of desert art.
Borrego Springs at the foot of the mountains
Then decided to return to camp going down the mountain on a different and more direct looking route. I could see several trails and worked towards them. It’s interesting that the trails are not always the clearest but I follow where others have gone, two legged or four, trying to avoid the sparse brush and using caution over the rocky terrain.
Santa Rosa Mountains and beyond to the Salton Sea
More magnificent views as I looked down to where I’m parked in the middle of flat nowhere plus off to the south the town of Borrego Springs. A delightful loop hike took me three hours and I returned to the camper to start dinner.
Christmas dinner of roast duck with prickly pear cactus jelly, baked potato and cucumber salad. No room for desert. Growing up, duck was always on the menu for holidays so this was an extra special treat.
I bought this half a fresh/frozen duck at the Borrego Springs Farmer’s Market Christmas Eve where I ran into Al and Kelly from The Bayfield Bunch. They told me of a gathering Saturday at Nina’s Wheeling It with an open house/bus at Technomadia’s and an outside movie after sunset. There’s no lacking of social interacting out here in the desert. But you have to watch out for snakes. And I discovered a couple days later, giant scorpions too.
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