We headed towards Borrego Springs with our friends Mark and Patsi in preparation and anticipation of a Friendsgiving Gathering of Boonrockers. That’s the official Facebook name for an unofficial group of us full-timers. This would be our first planned event. Two weeks early, we were the first to arrive and found a spot plenty big enough for everyone and got set up.
The next day college-dance-major daughter Jessica had a performance in Tuscon. We figured we were close enough (at five and a half hours away) that we should attend. What’s an eleven-hour road trip? We felt lucky that we were able to leave our rig with friends to watch out for it, so off we went. We decided to not make it an overnight trip though, so we got back at three-thirty in the morning! But we were glad we went – this stuff is important and we were proud to watch her.
The next day our friends Ray and Pam (SantanaRVing) were coming in but they called first to make sure we had a secure place to stay. There were rumors going around online that our camping spot was shut down. While there is BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land in the area, we were not on it. We were on private ground – the same place we stayed last year along with many others that have been staying there for years. But the rumor on Campendium was that it had been sold and campers were no longer welcome.
A sheriff had been by and we asked him about it. We were told that as long as they hadn’t received an official complaint (which he said they hadn’t) we were good to stay. More research led us to believe that if they did receive notice they would give us three days to vacate.
“Come on over,” we told the Santanas. “If nothing else, we at least have this weekend to figure it out,” we told them.
So they arrived that afternoon (Friday) and as soon as they unloaded and got set up it was time for happy hour. We were just settling in with drinks when a different sheriff arrived and said we had to go. IMMEDIATELY he emphasized. Ray and Pam have a clip of it in this video.
We tried reasoning that the sun would be going down soon and some of us had already been drinking, so wouldn’t it be safer to leave first thing in the morning? He wasn’t having it and said our rigs would be confiscated and we might land in jail. Yep, we started packing up as quickly as we could.
Mark had to put down his solar panels and Ray had to re-load their side-by-side. Our rig was the easiest to move, so Tom headed down the road to scout out a place just as the sun was setting. It was rather comical as I was following in the Jeep and trying to stay in contact with the others to let them know where to turn – but cell service kept going out. Anyhow, flashlights and blinking headlights were involved, and we finally all made it up a road to a plateau – in pitch black. In the morning we would find out where we were.
Turns out it was a great spot further east of Borrego Springs called Truckhaven – part of the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area. Popular spot for off-roaders with plenty of trails around, but because we were so early before Thanksgiving there was still plenty of room for our group to gather.
We re-arranged our three rigs in the morning and Tom and I picked a nice peninsula with a great view out the front window. We could even see the Salton Sea from our location.
Every day our group grew and we continued to re-arrange the rigs. We had a lot of nice campfires and beautiful sunsets.
One day we hiked down to “the oasis” with Mark and Patsi.
Another day we drove to the Slot Canyon with Rick and Janet and then met up with some others who had driven in the other way in their OHVs.
While it was slightly stressful to be run out “in the middle of the night”, it all worked out and everyone seems happy with this new place. And it’s on official BLM land so we’re safe!
Peace & Love, Joy