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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!!!


  1. Joe and GayJanuary 25, 2023

    Good morning Jeff and Fran! What a very nice get away. Sorry you didn’t see the comet. Love the wildflowers especially when there is lots of purple and yellow. Still need to get to BS one of these days…I have always wanted to see the sculptures and get a pie. It is so cool how friends meet and gather in their travels…one of the things I really miss about not full-timing and just being out there all the time.

    1. It was nice meeting up with the gang and joining their gathering. BS is a fun little town, it seems to always just be getting by. On each of the trips I like to see a few of the sculptures.

  2. Too bad you didn't see the comet but you two obviosly still managed to make the trip a success.

    1. Our visits to the desert are always a fun getaway.

  3. Oh Man....I really miss Borrego Springs. We've not been back for awhile and I'm feeling it. Love the flowers, I forgot how beautiful they are are how much fun it is to come upon them in the desert. Thanks for taking me there if only virtually......

    1. You're certainly welcome Suzi! With so much rain at the wrong times, it will be an interesting prolonged flower season.
      BS misses you, too.

  4. Thanks for stopping by and meeting the crowd, you two. Enjoyed your visit. Sorry you missed the comet; maybe next time around 😉. Thanks for naming all the plants, as I'm weak with the names. We did manage to get some strong winds. Perfect day for visiting Font's Point. Great for sand shots.

    1. Oh, and I just loved the humor in the paint spill. And amazed you got a picture of a Roadrunner. Im never quick enough.

    2. For sure those roadrunners are quick once they start moving. We went for the comet last week for the moonless nights. It's still up there, so we might try again - even with the moon.
      We sure enjoyed meeting the group, glad you were all there!

  5. Don't suspect I'll get out for the comet. It's been a cold, and windy winter.

    1. Indeed it was cold! But at least the wind wasn't too bad ...

  6. Jodee GravelJanuary 29, 2023

    If there's any place we've been "sorta lost" its at Borrego :-)) As much as I love our AZ desert, I sure miss the flowers of the SoCal deserts - thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Jodee. Even with the trail maps it's not difficult to get sorta lost in the washes. The late winter bloom was pretty good, perhaps the Spring wildflowers will also be good.


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