Desert Super Bloom with California Overland

It's a super bloom year at the Anza-Borrego desert!  We went two years ago (the last super bloom) and had to fight for parking at some of the best viewing spots.  This year, we booked a desert tour with California Overland Desert Excursions.  We booked a group tour that uses a Vietnam-era troop carrier.  

You get in the back of the vehicle by climbing up on a ladder.   It isn't a good option for a person with limited mobility.  The seats were like bus seats and it is open on the sides.  We drove for about 10 minutes before turning on to a dirt road.  We stopped at an amazing flower field.  Our guide, Wade, was very knowledgable and interesting.  He pointed out some of the many varieties.  You could listen or wander about on your own.  In addition to flowers, there were hundreds of butterflies and swallows swooping down to munch on them.  We also saw holes that were home to desert iguanas.  Then, we drove on into the desert badlands.  This a very strange area of sandstone and is free from vegetation.  There were weird caves that we visited.  It is very similar to the Badlands of South Dakota, but the hills are more modest.

These are just some of the many flower pics I took:

That's a sphinx moth caterpillar up to no good

After touring a cave in the badlands, we drove through a forest of ocotillos and then paused for some beautiful overlooks.  The ride was very bumpy and our group screamed like a bunch of little girls.  (unnecessary drama!)  

I highly recommend the experience.  The guide, Wade, brought cold water, oranges and other snacks.  The only caution is that there aren't any bathrooms and it is a 2-1/2 tour.  I learned a lot and it was so much more pleasant than visiting on our own.  I want to go a late summer tour and look for bighorn sheep!

On the way to Borrego Springs, we stopped at Jeremy's On the Hill.  We always eat there when we are near Julian.  They serve local hard cider, which is excellent!

Sunshine burger with avocado mousse, mango salsa and a load of garlic fries

Farfalle with pesto and lots of zucchini


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