Quantcast

San Diego neighborhoods: Borrego

Desert misfits, off-road destruction, Marshal South’s hermit family, bad hike through Borrego Badlands, famous authors see the desert in literary lenses

 There are dinosaur tracks in the Fish Creek Mountains.
  • There are dinosaur tracks in the Fish Creek Mountains.
  • Image by Robert Burroughs

Hell with the Fire Gone Out

There is a small library in town, but not a single stoplight. Parking is free. There is no hospital in Borrego, which, I’m told, militates against larger development. A U.S. post office was established in 1926, only after drinking water was found. Earthquake insurance, which is hard to get, not being a moneymaker for insurance companies, is very expensive, I was told, and carries a high deductible. There is only one black person in town and one Asian.

By Alexander Theroux, Feb. 13, 1997 | Read full article

"I told him they hadn’t had water since this morning. I think I worried him that they were dying.”

"I told him they hadn’t had water since this morning. I think I worried him that they were dying.”

Treading Near the Edge

Steve decided to trail back and look for him. Larry and Ralph waited, but a half an hour passed and no one came back. Larry called for Steve but no one answered. Ralph was worried. He was concerned about conserving the remaining water, and this minor manhunt was wasting valuable energy. Ralph and Larry decided to split up and look for them. Soon Larry came upon Eric and later they found Steve a little way below.

By Desiree Webber, July 23, 1981 | Read full article

Carrizo Gorge. The menacing tunnels are still there, with their long-deserted railroad bridges and their mass of enmeshed girders.

Carrizo Gorge. The menacing tunnels are still there, with their long-deserted railroad bridges and their mass of enmeshed girders.

Emptiness Remains an Addiction

The Spanish hated the desert. For them it was a vision of Hell. What they had loved in California was the coastlands, so European in climate and form, in every way reminiscent if the shores of the Mediterranean from which they had come. It was the Spanish who named so many of its dry washes after the devil. The Spanish, so close to the Sahara and its vehement denizens, could never have sentimentalized a desert.

By Lawrence Osborne, Aug. 20, 1992 | Read full article

Vandalized Opal near Coachella Canal

Vandalized Opal near Coachella Canal

Where Demons Thrive

“They usually don't get hassled by the locals because people who live in the desert have a tendency not to look, to turn their heads, to respect privacy. Most law enforcement people in the desert are probably a little more tolerant. We let people do strange things as long as they don’t interfere with other people. They can display their bizarre behavior and get away with it, no neighbors peeking over the back fence.”

By Steve Sorensen, May 3, 1984 | Read full article

Anza-Borrego.  "It’s beautiful. That’s why it’s a state park. It’s very scenic compared to flat desert."

Anza-Borrego. "It’s beautiful. That’s why it’s a state park. It’s very scenic compared to flat desert."

Are Off-Roaders Destroying Anza-Borrego?

"A green-sticker dune buggy decides to drive in past the closure sign and fiddle around. There’s a camper back in there, and they have a verbal duel. The camper takes down the guy’s green-sticker number, but he doesn’t want to file a complaint because the off-roader was so abusive. I don’t think bad apples like that can be contained by peer pressure. The group can’t police itself, even if it wanted to — the rogues are too independent.’’

By Lawrence Hogue, Aug. 31, 1989 | Read full article

Motorheads. “They’re fellow human beings. This is the only way they know how to enjoy their recreation time."

Motorheads. “They’re fellow human beings. This is the only way they know how to enjoy their recreation time."

Don’t Fence Me In

Their families and friends in dune buggies are waiting in line over at Blow Sand to take a run at the big dune. When it’s their turn they give the throttle a few trial revs, then tromp on it, pounding into the hillside, their faces pelted by a hot rain of sand, their bodies bouncing weightlessly up to the roll bar and back, while the driver's elbows fly around the steering wheel.

By Steve Sorensen, April 13, 1978 | Read full article

The remains of the South home. The 2x4 framing still stands here and there, but the corrugated tin roof and all the windowpanes have disappeared.

The remains of the South home. The 2x4 framing still stands here and there, but the corrugated tin roof and all the windowpanes have disappeared.

The Hermits of Ghost Mountain

Tanya and the children didn’t stay there long but soon moved to a four-room unit at the Frontier Federal Housing Project, not far from the present-day intersection of Midway Drive and Sports Arena Boulevard. As they settled into their promising new life, Marshal’s future couldn’t have looked bleaker. He was 61 years old, penniless, suddenly stripped of his regular income. He settled into the Julian Library, sleeping on a little cot and using the attached bathroom.

By Jeannette De Wyze, Oct. 17, 1991 | Read full article

Peninsular bighorn sheep. Males sport distinctive horns, like massive curled cornucopias.

Peninsular bighorn sheep. Males sport distinctive horns, like massive curled cornucopias.

Swiss Cheese Desert

This is arid wilderness where you may catch a glimpse of a golden eagle on the wing or watch the dust wake of a roadrunner. Other residents include the swift-footed kit fox, long-eared mule deer, desert iguana, mountain lion, and ingeniously designed chuckwalla. When frightened, a chuckwalla retreats into its hole and inflates its lizard lungs with air, increasing its size so much that it can’t be extracted — nature’s own ship-in-a-bottle.

By Jeanne Schinto, March 9, 2000 | Read full article

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader

Comments

Log in to comment

Skip Ad
Close

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader