The town of Borrego Springs sits smack dab in the middle of Anza Borrego State Park and is surrounded by the open desert and mountains and dark starry nights. It is a small town with a population of about 3,000 people which swells to over 8,000 in the winter. There are no signal lights and no large box stores. It is quaint and charming and peaceful. There is a market, a few restaurants, an art institute, a performing arts center (with an annual film festival), a library, a great Outfitters store, and a few other shops.
The Borrego Valley has been known for its agricultural fields with grapevines and citrus groves planted in the 1930s. By the mid 60s there were hundreds of people working the fields but today only a few groves remain due to the water shortages but the nearby Imperial Valley continues to thrive. We noticed one big grove was completely removed and new plants have been started.
Sea View Fruit Farm was the “honor” fruit stand we have frequented for many a year but when we visited there on this trip it was gone as was it’s citrus grove behind it. There appears to be some new plants that have been started so we will see what the future holds.
Seley’s Fruit Stand, also an honor fruit stand and just down the road from Sea View, was open for business so we stopped there and picked up some Daisy tangerines. There were no lemons yet as we were a bit early. We have purchased yummy grapefruit from them in previous years and love their citrus.
Seley’s Ranch was founded in 1957 and is now in it’s fourth generation of growers. With big water restrictions and cuts the ranch is trying to figure out new ways to make the business work using less water. They went from flood irrigation to drip irrigation, planting trees further apart, and are constantly working on new methods. We hope to see improvements for the world with agricultural and diminishing water with Seley’s help figuring out new approaches to sustaining terrific citrus.
The Springs at Borrego is an RV resort with beautifully maintained sites, a golf course, a pool, a great laundry room, and terrific views of the surrounding desert and mountains. We have stayed here a few times before and last time we were there they were expanding by adding more campsites. We took a drive through the resort and not much has changed except for the additional sites.
Rockhouse Trail is a dirt road on the northeast side of Borrego Springs and used to have lots and lots of boondocking until the city sold the land to the state park and it became outlawed. We spent many a winter camping in this area so we decided to head down the road and relieve some memories. The road leads down to Clark Dry Lake and continues on to areas of Anza Borrego State Park where it is best to drive with a 4WD. There is still camping allowed in the state park but the old boondocking area is closed off.
The town of Borrego Springs is known for its Sky Art which sits on land called Galleta Meadows which are privately owned. Dennis Avery owned the land (and has since passed) and commissioned the over 130 sculptures from artist Ricardo Breceda. The land is open to the public and you can wander around and enjoy the great art. The sculptures are located in various parts of town.
And more and more……
Next post is about our hikes and drives around Anza Borrego State Park.