Tuesday, April 5, 2016

4/4 Drive from California to Arizona, Past Imperial Dunes

Mostly, desert driving is pretty dull, but there are sometimes surprises. 

I left Borrego Springs and headed towards Phoenix, Arizona.  I had not realized I would be driving past the Imperial Dunes Recreation Area, part of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.  (This site gives the best information: http://www.desertusa.com/sandhills/sandhinfo.html)

I had driven past these on my way from Yuma to California on I-8: 

This time, I was on California route 78, which is considerably farther north.  I think they are prettier here:

Happily, I found an overlook that I could pull up on to get better views.  The dunes are primarily used for off-road driving use--mostly "dune buggies" obviously.  You can see all the tire tracks.

This is the road down from the overlook.  There is a lot of sand blown onto it and the overlook parking lot--enough that my tires slipped at one point.

And here comes one now!!

This seems to be a parking lot/staging area, although there were not too many people around.

Most of the land here is very flat and very dry, but I was surprised by this very green group of palo verde trees.  Must be water underneath a dry gulch. 

Anyway, as I say, the desert has occasional surprises.

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