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April 22, 2023

Borrego Springs - Lyrid Meteor Shower and Mission Bay bike rides


I'll start with our nearly weekly bike rides around Mission Bay.   We typically ride during the week as it’s far less peopley then.  But the last few rides have been on the weekends when the Zonies and Jonies abound. (affectionate names for our guests from Arizona and El Cajon.)  Today was no exception,  

Custom bikes were gathered in De Anza Cove last Saturday.


And check out the chrome chain on this beauty.

Chrome won't get you home. ~jsp

Sad, but true the Mission Boat and Ski Club is not part of the future of Mission Bay.

The ride this past weekend was the first of their ‘Parking Lot Sales’.  Perhaps a dozen boats were parked on the lot.

Saw this cute little Stella Scooter with a sidecar near the Pacific Beach Library.

Our Yamaha scooter is a bit bigger, but lacks a sidecar.

Our favorite stops along the way include:

Aquarius Bar and Grill

Live bands perform on Saturday and Sunday on the outside stage.  Shery Crow tribute band.

On Saturday the Honkytonk Grand Piano is also put to use, as the bands change on the main stage.

The bands are fun, but often cater to a younger crowd.

Royal Rooster

The Royal Rooster remains a favorite for their grilled fish tacos.  I decided to change it up today and ordered their Chipotle Ceviche, which comes with a side of chips.

So good!  And enough to share.

Heading back the flowers along the bike path remain amazing.


Fran decided not to join for this event.  Being alone I decided to take my Tundra and leave the RV at home.  I wanted to visit the southern areas of Anza Borrego where we haven’t been in some time.

About an hour east of home on I-8 is the Golden Acorn Casino.

A chance to stretch legs and use a clean restroom.  They used to have complimentary self serve coffee and soda.  To compensate the casino, I played a single dollar slot machine.  The casino has also gone to a full-smoking venue.  Smells like an ashtray now …, but the restrooms are still clean!

From the Golden Acorn I took Historic US 80 east, rather than getting back on the freeway.

Just east of the junction with US94 is the Wisteria Candy Cottage, Boulevard CA.

The family has been selling homemade candies from the front of their home since 1921.  And not just old fashion hard candy, but Hand Dipped Chocolates.

They offered Macadamia Nut Turtles.  I’m not a big chocoholic but I am a sucker for turtles!

And they are delish!  Fran has a new project once we have some more Macadamia nuts.

Continuing east is the near ghost town of Buckman Springs.

Jacumba Hot Springs was a once busy spa town.  It fell into decay, until it became the filming location for the TV series Manhattan Arizona.  The Bathhouse can be seen in many of the show episodes.

The town is trying to make a comeback.  There is a nice community park.

And a library that’s nicer than our local city library

I made a final ‘rest’ stop at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum.

From the museum I picked up S2 north into the Anza Borrego State Park.

I was expecting the wildflowers to be spent, but I expected the cactus to be bloom.  Really a bit of a disappointment, but I did find lingering wildflowers and cactus with the promise of more cactus blooms soon.

The truck is capable of 4x4 roads and I did take advantage, looking for blooms.

Along the Dolomite Mine Road was a cholla garden,

that had a few blooms.

Several barrel cactus with buds, but only this early bloomer with flowers

I’d sure like to see this beavertail in a few weeks.  Look at all those buds!

I almost stepped on this lonely lupin.

Ocotillo everywhere in bloom

Much of the southern desert has lost the green of last month and has returned to the natural California Gold colors of summer.

I suspected Palm Spring would still be green ... And it is, but fully chocked with vegetation and no sign of the pup fish that call/called the spring home.  It’s now home to a large bee colony.

Along S2 I stopped to view a few washes.  Deep roots of desert verbena will keep this patch purple for some time yet.

The desert sage bushes were past their prime and going to seed.

My favorite find was the little patch of mallow.


Red flowers of the chuparosa bushes were also everywhere.

Approaching Blair Valley I suspected the yellow of the hills would be mustard.  An invasive plant found at all elevations of Borrego.

Nope it was all brittlebush!

The parasite desert mistletoe was common.

My first stop in Borrego Springs was at The FUDGE Factory.  Not for their fudge, but they have the very best coffee in Borrego Springs!

If you want to pick up their fudge, it can also be found in select markets including the Hotel del Coronado, bet it’s a bit more expensive there :)

Carrot Cake fudge?  Well maybe I was a bit tempted …

As it was getting close to sunset I headed to Peg Leg Smith to set up camp.

It didn’t take long to set up!  I was planning on sleeping under the stars.

Dawn came early.

I packed up quickly to share the sunrise from Font’s Point with my dad's remains.

The Farmer’s Market is on Friday mornings thru April.

Still lots of good stuff, but it’s closing down for the season.

I chose to return home via Julian.

I wandered the usual shops on main street, which led me to the original Julian Pie Shop.

And rather have a slice I bought a whole pie!  Well Marty and Juanita will return in August they can help if there is any left …

Yes it’s my favorite Apple Mountain Berry.  Raspberry, Strawberry, Blackberry and apples.

I saved breakfast appetite for Lake Cuyamaca.  As it turns out I should have stopped for this turkey.

I’ve seen the water level higher, but this is higher than what it has been in decades!

But alas no breakfast for me!  The great water front café is now a Pub, and will serve burgers starting at 11 …

This blog is already long! Here's few closing pictures of the flowers.

Oh the meteor was a sweet success.  Lots of airplanes, a few satellites, and over a dozen Lyrid Meteors to enjoy.