Borrego Springs, CA
Last night we had one of those rare occurrences for a desert environment – rain. But this morning dawned with clear skies. We met Howard and Linda of RV-Dreams, at the nearby Anza-Borrego State Park Headquarters and headed about 15 miles to the south to do some hiking.
Our first hike was a short one to the top of Ghost Mountain to visit the remains of the home of Marshal South and his family. A one mile long steep trail from the southern edge of Blair Valley leads up to the site on a flat just below the top of the mountain. The skeletal remains of the house, known as Yaquitepec, still stand — a rusted bed frame, the base of a large adobe oven, the frame for an arched doorway, and the many cement and barrel cisterns that once caught the seasonal rainfall, the only water available other than what was hauled up the trail. Here is where poet, author and artist Marshal South and his family lived from 1930 to 1947, pursuing a primitive and natural lifestyle that became well known through South’s monthly columns written for Desert Magazine.
Returning to the Jeep, we drove a short distance to a trail head leading up a canyon to a collection of morteros. For almost a thousand years Native Americans visited this area on a seasonal basis. From September to May they used the canyon as a base from which to gather pinon nuts, mesquite beans, and desert agave. Nuts and seeds were pounded into meal in morteros, the large depressions we saw in the granite boulders.
After another short drive we hiked up another canyon to visit the site of some pictographs.
While many experts could not decipher the pictures, the young guide had cracked the code.
We continued hiking for a half mile to a dry waterfall. Standing on the edge, you get an outstanding view of the valley below.
We hiked back out of the canyon and drove back to the visitor’s center parking lot, where Howard and Linda had parked their Jeep. Our hike had raised some questions about what we had seen, so we went inside seeking some answers. The volunteers inside were very helpful, and even gave us a special showing of a video on Marshal South and Ghost Mountain.
Tomorrow promises another adventure, so stay tuned . . .