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January 24, 2023

Borrego–Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Comet C2022/E3 (ZTF) passes earth every 50,000 years.  It was visible in the predawn sky this weekend.  With a New Moon there would be a dark sky, and I expected to find the comet easily.

So we headed off to Borrego Springs for a few days.

The furnace in Rufus is not reliable, so we chose to stay at the American Legion #853 with water and electric for $20 a night.

The W/E sites are pretty tight altho the FHU ($30) and boondocking ($5) sites are far more generous.  At least we had a small heater that provided enough warmth.

I arrived a Yaqui Pass at 3:30 am for a search, but no luck.  I expected the comet west of the Big Dipper in Bootes as it approached Draco.  I’m sure it was there!  But no luck …

I tried again from the little park on Old Springs Road.  Although again no luck, that is a better place to see the night sky.

For a bit of fun exercise we rode our bikes from the Legion to town.

A nice view of the snow remaining on Mt San Jacinto.

Somebody had fun with a paint spill on the road

As we approached Christmas Circle this little Roadrunner crossed the street in front of us.


The Community Garden has their new ’scare crow’ installed.  That should protect their gardens.

We stopped at the library, which was closed. :(  But we enjoyed a walk through the park.

Fran’s legs are getting enough of a workout on her bike, so she tried the upper arm exercises.

We were surprised at the condition of the park.  In San Diego there would be gang tags and spray can artists all over anything this nice,  But it is still pristine!

Our ride was cut short as (what to us was a) haboob developed out of the north east.  Mt San Jacinto is no longer visible.

We arrived back at Rufus with dust and sand in our teeth, but safe.

It as still early and we decided to visit my dad at Font’s Point.  It was cold and very windy, but when was the last time we had Font’s Point to ourselves?

Probably when the park closed the point for 15 minutes for us to release his ashes.  It’s pretty dusty today.

From Font’s Point we took Short Wash to Vista del Malpais (view of the badlands).  A similar view of the ‘Sweepings of the Earth’ ~Padre Font, but more intimate.

The view really is closer and more personal.

But just as windy!

From here we could have returned the same route, but I chose to go on and catch Palo Verde Wash north to the roadway.  Yikes the sand is now blowing over the hood of the Jeep and it is nearly impossible to see the trail ahead, let alone any turns!

Yes we were sorta lost.  But finding East Palo Verde Wash was almost as good.  We were back in familiar desert and turned south into Ocotillo Wells and home.

Of course we visited some of the sculptures!  Here are a few pics of perhaps the lesser known.


And all the sculptures have/had identification numbers.  The early sculptures had plastic markers, which did not handle the desert weather well.  Most have metal markings.

 The number will be either on the pedestal:

Or on the sculpture:

As with this family of Javelins;


I also wanted to see what was left of the late winter wildflowers.

Don’t expect a ‘Super Bloom’ this year but did enjoy those blooming now.

Verbena - it's everywhere!
Dodder, Witches Hair 
Cholla thriving among the ocotillo 
Young cholla behind the stalk of a parent
Ocotillo buds
Cholla buds, ready to bloom
Henderson Canyon

??? I thought this was chicory ,,, it's not
Brittle Bush
.Peg Leg Smith

For now, and the rest of this season, Peg Leg Smith is again open for boondocking!

The park acknowledged they could not provide any security for the campground.  aka - no camp host volunteered.  Whoot Whoot!!! I hope no-one does!

One evening we headed east to visit Doug and Yuma.  The whole gang was already there!

Our pleasure to meet Doug and Yuma again, along with Deb and Riley, whose blog I read. and Deb and Tom for the first time.

Fran, Jeff, Riley, Deb, Doug, Tom
Nice picture from Deb (but you are missing!)  Deb's picture from 'On a long and lonesome highway'.

Doug managed to capture all of us.

Fran, Jeff, Riley, Deb, Deb, Tom Doug

We enjoyed our visit with you!!!