We’re only about 10 hours from Ojai. Am I ready to zoom across from here to there? It does’t feel right. So, if were going to take a few days, what back roads shall we drive on? What’s between here and there that I don’t know about?
Poking around on the map, I find the Anna-Borrego Desert State Park in CA. Never heard of it. A quick look shows that it’s in midst of it’s spring bloom. Wild flowers and cactus. Nice! So, that’s where we’re headed.
On the way we drive through Aho. The downtown is vibrant. Big murals painted on buildings downtown. Classic Spanish/Mexican architecture. I’m surprised. Looks like the mines are still supporting the town.
I drive through other small towns in AZ on the way. Very sad. The majority of businesses are closed. Houses empty. In Tacna we go to the park. It’s in total disrepair. The playground is overgrown with weeds. The only sign it’s ever used are two chemical toilets — 90% full, and a stack of women’s magazines on one of the broken picnic tables under the pavilion roof.

I can understand how this is Trump country. Anyone promising to improve the despair that must be a prevailing emotion here could get people’s attention. Make America Great Again could be heard as doing something to revitalize our town. Open the restaurants again. Return the tax base to clean and paint the buildings and signage. To make this a place we’re proud to call home again.
Unfortunately they live in our internal 3rd world country that’s been ravaged in the worship of profits before people. The religion with the largest number of adherents in the world today.
As we cross the CA state line we’re driving past a huge sand dunes.

I had no idea there were sand dunes here. Winterhaven, CA.
A we get close to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park were getting into the desert and mountains again. I need gas. The closest town is Julien. A very cool little town in the mountains on the edge of the desert.
I don’t have any idea where I’m going in the park. The map doesn’t show any landmarks. So, I drive in looking for a place calling my name. I take a couple turnoffs where Sherman and I take short walks and the message is clearly, “Nope. Not here.”

We continue up the canyon road about a mile to it’s end. Along the way there are dozens of pull offs where people have camped in the past. No, no, no, no, no… waiting for the Yes. I drive past a turnoff and feel the hook. Turn around and pull off the road to the sign. Ah… Plum Canyon.

Just before the end of the road is the Yes. I pull in. Get leveled off.
We get out and walk to the end of the road and in the dusk, begin the trail. Yep. This is the place!

I’m mesmerized by the wild flowers and the cactus.
There’s a good 2 mile walk to the ridge waiting for us in the morning. Nice.