Donkeys & Dragons & Deserts! Oh my!

For every AirBnB I have rented, there has always been a story. There was that time in the desert we couldn’t find the bathroom (located on the other side of the desert) so we had to improvise and then there was this time. You know, this time where I booked a private residence that was not only 2 hours away from where I wanted to shoot, but had that fantastic bathroom. As if walking through 6 inches of snow in the middle of the night to go pee wasn’t ¬†bad enough, as soon as the host said, “and this is how you turn on the water,” boom burst pipe and now you can add waterfall on to my desert trip. It should be known, do not trust me to book your AirBnB on our trip! Trust me with PB&J’s and snacks only. There was one thing about the AirBnB that did stand out though. This lone tree. IMG_5377.JPG

Let’s fast forward a little bit, through the winding roads that cut between Pine Valley, Cuyamaca Rancho and finally drop you off in Anza-Borrego. I did very little research when I picked out this park. All I knew about it was that it had wild flowers and some pretty awesome sculptures including: A giant serpent, dinosaurs, elephants, camels and so much more. All in all the park has over 130 metal sculptures built by Ricardo Breceda scattered around the park. One would think this sort of art display would be an eye sore but quite the contrary. The bright rust that covers the shiny metal that was once there lends itself well to the landscape, almost blending in with the boulders and mountains around it. A 40′ cricket sitting ready to perch almost looks like it has belonged there throughout time. 20190223-DSC0284620190223-DSC0286420190223-DSC02880Without much trouble I find the serpent, I had my heart set on either this dragon (artist insists its a serpent) or a dinosaur, preferably T-rex. There was only enough daylight for so much searching, so dragon (calling it that the rest of the blog) you will have to do! I captured a few photos just before sunset and decided to try to get some Milky Way shots at the same place. Now, just to stay busy til 3 a.m… easy enough. There aren’t many places to go grab a bite here, but with a name like Carlee’s, how could you pass it up. This goes back to one of those sayings, “don’t ever judge a book by its cover,” because I had one of the best salmon sandwiches of my life here. Yes, amazing salmon sandwich… in the desert.

3 a.m. came and passed. Then came 4:50 a.m. and I was finally getting my camera together, pulling up photopills and muttering “where are you? C’mon!!” to the stars that I was almost too late for. I was a able to get a few pictures and yes, I did have a little fun editing these. I can promise, as I keep taking astro pics I’ll get better.

7E9FD404-4773-4637-8BE5-9F67A3F3F68920190224-DSC02927Purple nights into pink mornings. Martian landscapes wouldn’t look this cool.

Anza Borrego is kind of like a starter park for the desert. Have you never been to the desert before and you’re afraid to commit? This is the one for you. Dip your little toe in and take in the vast plains surrounded by mountains, enjoy walking through a slot canyon, take in lunch sitting in a dead lake and watch sunset over fields of wild flowers. All of this is in a condensed amount of space so if you decide that the slot canyon is not for you …

20190224-DSC0301711F4E0E7-9260-4802-8169-5447B4CDF304.JPGThen move on to the next thing on the list…


There might have been some birthday pictures taken in a birthday suit here.. Maybe we’ll see on my birthday.

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