Yesterday we took Ben's brother Michael (who came for a visit from New Mexico) to the Anza-Borrego Desert. It was a really great day. The temp was in the mid 70's and it was sunny all around. We started out by driving up to an overlook and got an amazing view of the desert floor below us. Then we drove on to a desert oasis called 17 Palms. We walked around there for awhile and ate a picnic lunch that I packed us. Then we headed to a place called the "Pumpkin Patch" which was a bunch of small boulders that were strewn across the desert floor and they looked very much like a bunch of pumpkins in a pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch was reached by going on a 4 Wheel drive only desert wash road. There were also hundreds of off road vehicles (dirt bikes, dune buggies, etc.) zooming in and around the area. After the pumpkin patch we went to see the gas domes which were domes filled with some sort of natural gas bubbling liquid out of the ground. Following that we continued down the 4 Wheel drive road hoping to get back to the highway.
We headed down the road bumping and turning along. At the bottom of the hill there was a Y intersection and after looking at the map Ben and his brother decided that we should go to the right to get back to the highway. So we started off down the road and it got progressively more bumpy and turny as we drove. Several of the off road vehicles went flying by us jumping over dirt hills and such. After driving for about 20 minutes and coming to an area where a bunch of the off road vehicles were stopped we decided to ask for directions to make sure we were headed the right way. Turns out it was good we asked because we weren't where we thought we were so we turned around and headed back to the Y intersection. This time after again consulting the map Ben decided that we should have in fact went to the left. So we headed off down the left side of the trail and were feeling pretty good that we were headed the right direction to the highway. BUT....as luck would have it....about 10 minutess into our drive the road started getting narrower and twistier....and so, after just barely squeezing into one narrow turn Ben stopped and he and Michael got out to check out the road ahead. Michael climbed up the hill and Ben walked down farther on the path to see what was ahead. Meanwhile, a group of off road vehicles came up behind our Xterra and had to try to get around the Xterra by going part way up the dirt wall by our vehicle. Ben and Michael came back and decided it was going to be impossible to go forward so we would have to back our way out of this bumpy, turny desert wash. Michael stayed out of the car and directed Ben while he attempted to back out of the area. After backing a few feet Ben had to make a rather sharp turn and the Xterra tilted dangerously so he immediately stopped and after Michael assuring him it was okay to pull forward a little he got the Xterra back on 4 wheels and the boys and I decided that we were also getting out of the car. Then Ben backed around a few more tight curves and we found a place that he could turn around. He finally got the Xterra turned around and we all got back in and headed back to a road that we KNEW for certain would take us back to the highway.
I had certainly had MORE than enough excitement and adventure for one day.
Unfortunately, none of us had cameras so we didn't get any pictures of our adventures, but I'm sure that we will all remember yesterday for a long, long time.