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Day Tripping | Borrego Springs, CA

A border runs through California and Baja Norte Mexico, but the landscape is so similar

So many plans have been changed in the last few months. So many airline tickets and hotel bookings cancelled. And there has been a little grieving of those lost adventures.

With the world in flux, those of us who love travel have had to come up with different ways to feed our wanderlust.

To feed our wanderlust in 2020, my husband and I are day tripping. We aren’t fond of camping, but we are fond of being sightseers, viewing new landscapes, experiencing new locales, and enjoying mini escapes from our day to day life.

A week ago, we decided we needed a mini escape. Both of us were itching to get out of the house, out of our routine. While sipping coffee during breakfast, we pulled out the atlas. That’s right, an actual book atlas and started looking at San Diego county, trying to think of where to day trip.

I said, “Why not Borrego Springs. Let’s go see the sculptures in the desert.” My husband looked through the top of his glasses at me and said, “It’s July, you know it’s hot in the desert, right?”

“Why not,” I replied. “It probably won’t be crowded, and it will be nice to get some warm sunny weather. It has been so overcast at the coast this summer.”

The next day we were off. A supply of water in the trunk, snacks and sandwiches for a picnic lunch, and a full tank of gas.

What makes day tripping so fun? It’s the simplicity of the adventure. The flexibility you have to stop when you want, experience a new place you haven’t been and still be home to sleep in your own bed at the end of a day enriched by the conversations had in the car, the laughing at silly sites, the songs sung to the radio, the “opinions” shared on how to navigate uncharted roads and not get lost, and the ease of not having to pack and unpack. Yet you have stories to tell and memories to share.

Borrego Springs is a small town, like an outpost in a way. What we didn’t know is that it has basically shut down during COVID, so it was a good thing we brought a picnic lunch.

What we did experience wasn’t what we thought.

What we expected:

  1. Hot and windy. Check. (Yes, it was hot- 112 degrees and windy- wind gusts up to 10 mph).

  2. Sculptures. Check.

  3. Sand. Check.

  4. Small desert town, feeling a bit like the old west. Check.

What we didn’t expect:

A landscape that was breathtaking and amazingly similar to the landscape we have experienced in Baja California when we have driven to San Felipe. The expanse of the mountains which look like they are made of hundreds of boulders piled on top of one another. The bright and intense blue of the sky. The shimmer off the road almost appearing to be water as the hot sun beats down on the road. The dust whipping across the land and a tumble weed rolling along side the car.

What we learned:

People make borders, but the land, the landscape, and the topography run through the borders and connect us all.

Happy day tripping!


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