Sandstone Canyon, Borrego Springs , CA

Backcountry Camping

June, 1999

Back to Bill Caid's Home Page.


The Trip

We made a summer solstice trip to Sandstone Canyon in Anza-Borrego State Park.  Since this was the solstice, it was hot.  Very hot.  In fact the canyon walls were very similar to an over.  It made it quite hot even after the sun went down.  But, we hauled out the futon pad and slept in the open and it was pretty nice.  There are few things that plenty of beer will not solve.  The was one odd thing that happened.  On the way in to the canyon, we noticed that there was a red mini-truck parked in the wash.  We did stop to investigate, but found only tracks heading upstream.  We got back in the mog and headed to our camp and did not see anybody until we left.

On the egress, we noticed a person in the wash, with a backpack.  The were clearly alarmed at the sound of my truck and walked faster as we got closer.  Once they determined that they could not outrun the mog, and could not escape the canyon, they turned to face me as if expecting a confrontation.  It was a woman.  Alone.  In the summer heat.  I stopped next to her to ask if everything was ok.  Her first words were "do you have water?".  I got her water, then a soda, then another soda.  As she warmed up to the concept of having her solitude interrupted by Kathleen and I, I asked what was she doing here in the desert, on the longest day of the year by herself?  She replied that she did this every year, and this year was no exception.  I was curious in that she was short on water and was wondering why she would put herself in such a position.  She stated that she liked to get away from her husband.  On additional questioning she revealed that on previous years she had gotten so critically thirsty that she had drunk her contact lens cleaning solution.  Hmmmm.  Since she was miles away from her truck, and it was well over a hundred degrees and there was no shade to be found anywhere, it was clear that she was untrainable in that she had repeated a critical mistake.

Unimog 1300L in Fish Creek Wash.

Why drive over this big rock?  Because I can.

Eroded sandstone canyon walls.

At our camp in Sandstone Canyon.  On good years, the canyon walls would provide some shade in the mornings until nearly noon.

Looking downstream from our camp.

A wind cave in the making.

Odd inclusions in the rock.

Blue Palo Verde trees.

Patterns in the sandstone.

Interesting erosion patterns.

Abrupt end to the bedding; uplift, tilting and erosion.

Erosion pattern in the canyon wall.

Uplift, tilt and erosion.

Wind caves near mouth of Fish Creek.  Needless to say, there was no water in the creek.

Sandstone is a good camp in good weather.  Of course, no camp is a good camp in bad weather.  The state park is nice and is patrolled should something catastrophic happen.


Back to Bill Caid's Home Page.

Copyright Bill Caid 2004