With Anza-Borrego still being dry as a bone with no wildflowers, we headed back across the Mohave desert towards Arizona. I had recalled Al from The Bayfield Bunch stopping at the Desert Lily Sanctuary a couple weeks ago and seeing some amazing flowers, so I decided to make a quick detour off of I-10 just east of Joshua Tree National Park.
For the first 5 or 6 miles, it appeared to look like typical dry desert. But then suddenly, there they were—wildflowers! A literally carpet of color for as far as the eye could see!
The white flowers are called Dune Evening Primrose and the purple ones are Desert Sand Verbena. They thrive here (and what seems to be “only” here) in the loose sand of the Mohave desert during Spring. Photographer’s paradise!
Mom and Millie waited patiently as I crawled around in the sand with my SLR, tripod, and assortment of neutral density filters.
We then resumed our dull highway travels along I-10 and spent the night boondocking at Quartzsite at the convenient Dome Rock Mountain BLM area. It was so strange driving through town the next day seeing the big RV Show tent gone, all the lots at the big RV dealers empty, and most of the desert land again unoccupied from the hoards of thousands that camp there each January.
After filling up with gas, we made our way through Phoenix and over to Lost Dutchman State Park on the Apache Trail east of town. Even though I had just camped there a few weeks ago, my mom really wanted to see the Apache Trail, so I lucked out and was able to reserve a campsite for the night.
We quickly headed out in the late afternoon to drive the Apache Trail a bit so she could see some of the harrowing cliffside single-lane roads I drove the View on last year (this year, smartly, I drove the Tracker!).