Saturday, March 7, 2009

Anza-Borrego Desert Flower Display, March, 2009

We decided to make a return trip to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, to see this year's wildflower display. (See the 2008 Borrego Posting for the routing).

March 6, 2009 was brisk and cool as we left San Diego, and was predicted to be cool in the desert as well. Our first stop, as is our tradition, was Dudley's Bakery,where we bought loaves of Danish Apple Pecan and Sun Dried Tomato bread. Their breads are still offered in 24-ounce loaves for a current price of $4.60 apiece. (They offer a deal where one buys four loaves, the fifth loaf is free). Some changes we noticed since last year's visit: The establishment is now open only Thursday-Sunday, and the business plan now calls for more self-service for walk-in customers.

The Anza-Borrego Desert Visitor Center is an excellent source for seeking out the best blooms, and after obtaining the routing map, we strolled about the grounds. Here are some photos of their representative specimens.

Another tradition for us is a picnic on the grounds of Christmas Circle Park, located in Borrego Springs. This being Friday, we were fortunate to be able to visit the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce Farmers' Market. This Certified Farmers' Market operates each Friday from 7 am to 12 Noon. We had a hankering for fresh strawberries so we bought a basket to supplement our picnic.

After lunch, we drove north on DiGiorgio Road to Desert Garden, located at the mouth of Coyote Canyon. We felt the display was not as showy as it was in 2008, and the ground seemed drier.

On the other hand, flowers along Henderson Canyon Road, where we took these photos, were on excellent display, and the stand of Arizona Lupine near Peg Leg Junction was the most spectacular in recent memory!

We then headed up Banner Grade to historic Julian, where we took time to stroll the main street. One of our favorite hangouts in town is the restaurant, now known as the Miner's Diner. It is located in the Levi-Marks Store Building, which has existed since 1886, and the old-fashioned soda fountain in the photo dates back to 1928. Many years ago, we would stop in Tozer's Drug Store, as it was known then, for their sinfully rich chocolate milk shakes. Back in the 1970s, each shake cost 55 cents; we're sure they are over $5 each in 2009!

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