Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Visit to a Pumpkin Patch

No, this is not an older blog from Halloween. I'll get to the Pumpkin Patch shortly. We finished off our 3 weeks at Oasis Palm with a chili cook off on Saturday. There were 16 entries including ours. Sadly we didn't win but got to taste a lot of good chili. More chili with beans this time. Last year when we were there were more chili without beans which is the more traditional for cook offs. We had a good time and met a lot of nice folks who we hope to run across again in our travels. Sunday morning we planned to go to Mojave National Preserve. However, that morning I checked the weather for that area and it showed high of 36 that day and 32 on Monday :( I don't think so. I know there is a cold front in all the south west but Borrego Springs has highs in the 50s and that sounded a lot better. So we stopped to get propane and diesel and headed back to Roadhouse Rd, near Borrego Springs. Our first night we were happy to get back to some nice sunsets.



And now to our Pumpkin adventure. We had read in some blogs and in our guide book to California Baackroads and 4-Wheel Drive Trails about a curious geologic feature. Just over the "border" from Anza Borrego State Park into Ocotillo Wells is a small patch of land covered with spherically shaped rocks the size of pumpkins. To get there we took the road we took previously to get to 17 Palms, traveling on the S22 to Arroyo Salada Wash. We passed the sign for 17 Palms, continuing on and passed the turn for 5 Palms.


We made a turn to Tule Wash with a sign that directed us to the Pumpkin Patch and we crossed into Ocotillo Wells. At one point we weren't sure we were headed right but soon saw the rocks which are fenced in. It looks like they are building a rest room and some picnic tables but they are fenced in at the moment. It must be getting to be a popular spot but we were the only ones here. I read the following that explains about these interesting rock formations.

“This unique landscape is the result of wind and water continuously eroding the surface soil and revealing these globular sandstone concretions. Such concretions are believed to be formed by the natural cementing of sand particles to a small object such as a piece of shell, a grain of sand, or even an insect.”



You can see different shapes in the rocks. The one below looked like a turtle to us. I think even Savannah thought so as she sniffed it's "nose"


Hey, this one looks more like a mushroom than a pumpkin.


A very interesting place. As we travel around, nature continues to amaze me. Who would think rocks would be interesting, but we sure have found it to be so.

On our way back we took a different road, Basin Wash. On the map it didn't look much longer than the way we came in from the start of the Tule Wash. It probably wasn't but it was much slower and more of a 4 wheel drive trail.



We had to climb over the rocks and through narrow spots. It wasn't really too bad but at times we weren't sure we were on the right trail and as it was after 3:00, we were a little worried in case we had to turn around and go back and it would be close to being dark. We finally saw Una Palma which we knew was near the 5 Palms and so we knew we were soon going to be back on the Arroyo Salada Wash.

Another fine day in the desert.





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