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October 21, 2018

Borrego Days - Eyes to the Skies

The 53rd Annual Borrego Days was held last weekend with theme ‘Eyes to the Skies’.  Which was not a nod to their dark sky policy and night sky observations.
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But first a bit on our ride out Friday.  As typical we stop at Dudley’s Bakery for a deli sandwich to split. The special is a Sriracha Roast Beef.  Well we gotta try that!  Enough to share and really awesome!
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The drive was beautiful with little traffic. With the RV and when towing the Jeep, we seldom stop at the overlooks. But with the clear sky and light traffic it was too nice not too.  Not just the local sights, but the Chocolate Mountains beyond the Salton Sea.
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Our arrival makes for only 4 rigs at Clark Lake.  Our nearest neighbor is behind us as we relax with a glass of wine before the sunset. 
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I want to be at Font’s Point to share a sunset with my dad.  It’s been over a decade now since I honored his request to dispose of his ashes there.
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I attached the little hummingbird feeder to the window when we returned.  It was a bit of a windy night, but we slept well and awoke to a beautiful sunrise.   And a surprising number of morning visitors.
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We had 3 hummers that enjoyed the nectar.  When it was time for us to leave, one of the little fellas hovered directly in front of the windshield looking for one last sip.
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The turnout this year seemed to be less than when we last attended. 
As in past years the parade starts with a flyover.  The DC3 offers rides at $100 a seat.
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The ‘Eyes to the Skies’ theme was interpreted by the ABDNHA as a celestial theme, (so did I!)
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Holtville is well known for their Carrot Festival, but they show up here as well, as does Brawley.
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The parade is pretty typical of small town gatherings.  In a brief hour the parade is complete.
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The fun is after the parade at Christmas Circle where there is the food court, with its typical carnival food.
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Lots of craft vendors and continuous live entertainment.
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The highlight was this couple.  The fella could play guitar and not just one but two keyboards simultaneously, and sing!  He also composed all of their original music.
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One of my favorite ‘Show’n’Shine’ entries is an Austin Healey ‘Bug Eye’ Sprite.  But there is an entry for most everyone.
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The next morning we took a bike ride through Borrego Palm Canyon State Park.
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Day use is now $10, that would be $20 for the two of us on bikes. But there is no charge to use the trail from the Visitor’s Center. The trail is paved into the park ending at Campsite 71, and FREE.
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A few observations on the state park … I think all of the FHU sites have the utilities at the site entrance.  Perhaps ok for the big-rigs, once they figure out how to disconnect the toad, but for the smaller units it’s a short walk to the picnic table.   There are 4 sites (2 are handicap) with no neighbors on the side.  This is site #51, not a bad choice.
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The road within the park is in good condition with sections completely repaved.
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In addition to the old stone pavilions built by the CCC in the 1930s, the park is erecting new shade palapas in several areas for campers and picnic use.
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The weather was great, as was the entertainment.  For sure there were No Bad Days this weekend, trust you had a good one too.


October 08, 2018

The Springs at Borrego - a weekend at the resort


Borrego Springs will have a welcome party for the return of the Snow Birds, Borrego Days, which is still 2 weeks away.  The town is getting itself all spruced up for the party, and there are not many people here.  In fact the last time I saw town this quiet was mid-summer.  It won’t be like this when we come back for Borrego Days.
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As of October 1st The Springs at Borrego has begun it’s ‘Prime Season’ with the least expensive sites going for $75 on the weekend.  But the golf course will not open until Monday, and they offered this weekend at $30 a night … Fran jumped on it.

As usual we stop at Dudley’s Bakery for a deli sandwich each.  We’ll each eat half our lunch there and then trade for dinner.  I pretty much always order the turkey, while Fran selected a Ruben this time.  I’m very much ok with half a Ruben for dinner!  A trick I learned from George is to reheat pizza in a covered pan, works way better than a microwave on a Ruben too!
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We have no plans for this trip but to relax … no Jeep, no boots, just our bikes and the RV.  We have been at the resort before, to attend a Kingston Trio concert, but have never stayed here.  

All the sites are huge, with easy access for the really big rigs with their toads.  But to be clear this is a resort, not a campground, and staying here is not camping.  They have a nice pool and various soaking tubs, a nice exercise room with the basic equipment.  

And a beautiful golf course!

 What the place lacks is reliable WiFi!  There are antennas in the park providing strong unsecured connections.  But that’s it.  Being able to use that connection is iffy at best and it is not secure.
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The adjacent Roadrunner Club (RRC) is owned by the same parent company.  We rented a golf cart at The Springs pro-shop and drove to the 18 hole course at the Road Runner Club.  It’s a short 2500 yd pitch’n’putt compared to the 6000 yd 9-hole at The Springs.  While at the RRC we checked out the 4 new Pickleball courts, which also have a backboard for practice.
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Fran brought her bag of golf clubs, I only brought a 7-iron and putter.  I really hack at golf, so wouldn’t know what to do with any of the other clubs.  In golf the player with the lowest score wins, hence the idea is to play as little golf as possible ... after taking the lessons, buying expensive clubs, paying the greens fees.  I don’t get it … But let me say Fran played like a pro, and finished with a much higher cost/swing than I.  But I did get my money's worth and even won a hole.

Here's an example:  Nice form on her drive using the big club a white ball and a golf tee, but the orange ball from my 7-iron and no tee is only an inch or so behind right next to her in the center of the fairway.
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While playing golf we noticed the RRC drill team practicing their moves for the parade in a couple weeks.  It was pretty interesting, but you’d have to be there to hear the leader call out the formation changes, even the etiquette of parking.  Otherwise a couple pictures are boring ...
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For lunch we rode the bikes into town and select Carlee’s Place for lunch.  It’s a bar noted for burgers, but with the best salads in Borrego.  We each order a half salad, Fran the Jerk Chicken – me the Cobb.  Yes those are half salads, we’ve never finished a full salad.
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The new Borrego Springs Library is coming along nicely.  This massive library is to serve a town of 3500 permanent residents.  Seems like a bit of overkill, but it’ll be nice for them … and I have a library card to use it!  There is a model of the finished building in the current library.
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Since the wind has picked up, I bring in the awning and although only the mid-80s outside take advantage of the cable included to watch a bit of the baseball post season inside.

Checkout time is not until noon, which leaves time for another ride in the morning to the legendary Palms at Indian Head.  It takes a bit of imagination, but this formation in the Santa Rosa Mountains is called the Indian Head.
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Back-in-the-day this was THE place in Borrego Springs to be, and be seen.  Hyped many times by Sunset Magazine, Variety, various west coat news media, etc.  It has a great history.
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I was last here with the grand-girls and family for breakfast at the Red Ocotillo after the (afore mentioned) Kingston Trio concert.  Yes the Red Ocotillo was the restaurant here before moving to Christmas Circle and rebranding as a steakhouse.   This was the view from our table, the pool looks great, but sadly there is a massive amount of effort left to restore this great bit of history.
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We were home in time to catch a SpaceX launch of a Delta 9.  Had we stayed in BS we would have seen the rocket, as shown here from BS astronomer Dennis Mammana Facebook post.
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I did not have my camera ready for the above view, but did have it for the mainstage separation.   The 4 pictures below were taken from home in SandyEggo.  Have you ever seen a noctilucent cloud before?  Me neither!
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After the separation the SpaceX initial stage returns home to be used again.
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Thanks SpaceX for such a welcome home display!
What a great little getaway!  We’ll be back in a couple weeks for Borrego Days.

There are NO Bad Days! in Borrego Springs.