The places and people we have seen and met along the way, on the road, and in between destinations, is every bit as interesting and as much fun as when we land somewhere. By way of example, this was one shot taken on our approach into Anza-Borrego Desert. And I could not possibly list all the great conversations and interesting people we meet.
I mentioned in the Palm Springs post that we went to the farmer’s market there, which is totally awesome. What I didn’t mention is one of the vendors (Bautista Local Produce) was not there, and previously they had been there. They produce and sell locally this KILLER blackberry BBQ sauce (made of course from their fresh blackberries).
Well, long story short, Karen found them scheduled to be at another farmers market in another town a week later. We went there, they were there, but they did not have their BBQ sauce at the market. So they invited us to follow them out to their farm where we purchased a case of sauce (looking forward to testing it out on some ribs Sunday for Superbowl).
While there, they gave us a short tour of their 50-acre farm with all the various crops they grow. Karen mentioned in the course of discussion that she had purchased their lettuce last year and it was the best we had ever had. Well, that’s all it took. The owner immediately took us over to the lettuce patch and picked us two head of romaine and some radishes – right out of the ground. Needless to say, we were thrilled! And that night (we’re talking several hours later) we were enjoying hours-old fresh lettuce and vegetables in a salad. Wow – all I can say. And sorry, no pics.
But wait, there’s more! At the farmers markets we had scored some fresh, home grown olive oils (various flavors) as well as some Balsamic vinaigrette So start with absolutely fresh salad, fresh olive oil, a little vinaigrette, add some French bread for dipping fresh olive oil, and Angel haired pasta with Rosemary and Garlic olive oil, and you are dining in heaven! The meal was so very simple, and yet so delicious.
One of the things I try to highlight in my posts is the scenery, and hopefully some particle of the beauty we see comes out in those pictures. The parts you miss, though, are the miles and hours of beautiful scenery that we see in-between destinations. Since I drive, and since more often than not there is 360 degrees of beauty, these images will never (and could never) be caught in my posts. Suffice it to say that if you have the opportunity to travel at all, do it!
Along the way, we like to check out campgrounds for future trips. We recently stopped in a campground and it looked really nice! I took a few pictures of the park information for future use, and in looking at this information tonight I realized there was some pretty useful information about hiking in this area!
Last night we elected to camp out on BLM lands in Parker, AZ, about 20-30 miles north of Quartzite (and a world away). Just pulled up, threw out our anchor and spent the night (beautiful sunset BTW).
In the course of checking out the area Karen found a place (the Desert Bar and Nellie E Saloon) that is nearby. What is distinctive is it is only open Saturdays and Sundays from noon until dusk. Oh, and you can only get there with a four wheel drive vehicle with high clearance because you have to navigate about 4 miles of back country to even get there. This will have to be for another trip as we were not there for Saturday. But we will return.
In our never-ending mission to find bizarre stuff, we found ourselves in Oatman, AZ. I knew this was going to be different when the town was not listed on my Rand McNally Atlas. This is a town where they advise you to drive carefully because there are burros roaming the streets. Well, chalk up one for the marketers. The town is as cheesy as cheesy gets, and an absolute tourist trap. We stayed and had lunch, but I think it is safe to say we have crossed Oatman off our bucket list.
Cheesy, bizarre, beautiful… you get it all. I just didn’t want anyone to think that the journey is anything less fun and exciting than the destinations we visit!