A small mountain rimmed valley in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park basks in splendid isolation. The valley floor is choked with spiny things: cholla, agave, ocotillo, and barrel cactus. Where the mountain slopes meet the valley are jumbled boulders whose warm colored surfaces soak up the sun that hangs in clear blue skies. Many years ago, bands of Kumeyaay Indians would descend from the higher mountains in the west to established their winter village and camp sites here. Today, sparse evidence of their habitation remains. Bedrock mortars, pestles, grinding slicks and rubs, lithic scatters, pottery fragments and fading pictographs are like puzzle pieces that must be located and assembled in order to gain the picture of these vanished people.
Dawn's long shadows greet us as we shoulder into our day packs heavy with their load of water. We have a full day ahead of us if we're to cover the fourteen plus miles that will take us into the valley and back again. Wanna come along? Heheheh, we thought so! Before you click on the photo link below to get started, find a broad brimmed hat to keep the sun off and then settle back into that recliner. This is going to be a tough one!