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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, CA

The "sisters" arrived at our campsite one by one. We are camping on BLM land on Pegleg Road. We are 22 'flower power' sisters. The energy and the vibe are of love and peace. It's cold and windy in the desert. Sitting around the fire is a pleasant event full of laughing, singing, great food, and many other things...

Borrego Springs is known for its large free-standing metal sculptures of prehistoric animals. So I take a quick ride with Sandra and Tisha to visit some of them. It is, for sure, a unique kind of art.

I am so happy to be camping with Sandra again! I do dread getting out in the morning. The wind that started at 4 a.m. is still blazing her angry mood. Knowing I am always welcome at Sandra's van encourages me to get out of my car to start my day. I will admit, it isn't easy to live in my car when the weather challenges me, but I still love it all!

After breakfast, we all get into a six-car caravan for a day of exploration.

We stop to admire the beautiful flowers that cover the desert ground. At Blair Valley, we take a three-mile dirt road to the head trail of Pictographs Trail. It is an easy path to walk and explore. Somehow, I get to the pictographs site before anyone else. I take a few moments with this ancient drawing trying to figure out what the artist was inspired to draw. I can see the moon, the sun, and raindrops, and I wonder if this is a prayer for prosperity.

The next day Ginger, Sandra, and I hike in search of the blue cave. There isn't much information about it, just a few clues. We drive over an hour and a half to the head trail of Indian Hill & Carrizo Palms Trail. You do need a 4x4 vehicle to drive this dirt road. That area reveals new types of flowers. The sweet smell is refreshing in the dry air. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the cave, but we enjoyed a beautiful hike in a blooming desert. As we walked back along the rail track of the old Dos Cabeza train station's remains, I think about the people who journeyed from point A to point B and wondered what their life story was. I think about the people that built those tracks and what they had to endure. Walking on a piece of history always makes me curious about the time and the people.

It is time to say goodbye to Sandra. I will miss her dearly. We spent the last two weeks together hiking and laughing. Knowing I will see her in August when I get to the Banff area makes the goodbye a bit softer.

The other "sisters "are also leaving today, except for Ginger, Nikki, Barb, and me. The last four days were magical! Absolutely a blast! What a great honor to be part of this event and meet incredible like-minded women.

I'm taking the day to do laundry and take a shower. The only shower available to me is with my shower pump. I take advantage of the sun to warm up my water, and since no one is around, there is no need for my shower tent. Freedom...

That evening the four of us sit around the fire, roasting the last hotdogs.

It is another windy night in the desert, but we still enjoy an intimate evening. It is also the night I was given a middle name (I don't have one). It turns out that Ginger, Barb, and Nikki all have the same middle name. It is a fun evening with an inside joke.

Finally, a pleasant morning with no wind! Hooray! Later in the afternoon, I will be on my way to San Diego, but first, we will hike Palm Desert Canyon. The flowers here are blooming in a wild way! The beautiful sounds of the water gushing nearby is a striking contrast to the desert we are in.

It turns out there are two trails to get to the waterfall and the oasis: the "wet" trail or the "dry" trail. We learn about the dry trail after finding ourselves choosing not to cross the stream. The dry trail is as beautiful but more challenging. At this point, I do need to rush a bit. So I sprint ahead to find the waterfall and oasis.

As I climb the rocky trail, I have a true moment to understand the meaning of deep joy. I pass a group of women, one carrying her daughter in her backpack. The little girl's laugh is so pure and contagious that I understand then that it is the most beautiful sound of life.

The wonders of nature are like opening a gift. You will know what you will find once you unwrap it or get to the end of the trail. Getting to see the waterfall and the oasis in a desert setting was a gift (I couldn't take a picture of the waterfall without risking falling).

It is time to hit the road again, but first, more goodbyes. Yes, those are sad moments, not knowing if I will meet again, but I feel fortunate that Nikki and Barb invited me to stay at their house after I visit San Diego.

As I start my engine, a knot in my stomach starts to build up. I am anxious about visiting a big city.

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