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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Circling Christmas and cloth napkins

March 14, 2024 (Thu)

Welcome to Pi day! We celebrate by idly cruising around the big traffic circle in the center of town.


And we discover an overlooked exit from the circle (there seems to be six exits—we thought there were only four). This exit leads to the Tribal Trading Port, which isn’t so much tribal as “stuff bought someplace else that we brought here.”


Here we learn that not all metal sculptures in Borrego Springs are created by Ricardo Breceda. Some of them are made by a nameless guy in Arizona!


We found Bigfoot!


According to the store clerk (and what better source could there be?), this set of sculptures is imported from Arizona and not  created by Mr. Breceda, although he’s happy to let people believe that he made them.


Now that we know this, we can see some subtle differences—mostly the Breceda ones are huge, and the other ones are (comparatively) teeny. Still not something we would want to display inside Harvey, but they would fit in our backyard.

A big dinosaur eats a littler dinosaur, while another little dinosaur stays out of the reach of the jaws


Gini wanders around the town for a bit (all one block of it) while Robert takes care of stocking some supplies. Harvey is little enough that we can’t buy large amounts of anything, so we end up at the market every other day. On the plus side, we know which markets stock which items and where they keep them (no one stocks Seasoned Salt, but there’s a good selection of soy sauces).


As part of Gini’s perambulations, she runs across a flyer that describes all those giant sculptures scattered around town (like the Sand Serpent from our last blog). Seems that there was a philanthropist who had money (as all good philanthropists do) and some empty land, so he commissioned Breceda to make a bunch of sculptures and install them on his properties.


It took four years, starting in 2008 and 131 sculptures were installed around town. Apparently, people come from miles away to marvel at them (when they’re not tromping on the super flowers).


Before you ask: we have no desire to find all 131 of them. We’ll take their word for it.



Day 30 Travel

Our travel on Day 30 (Thu)



March 15, 2024 (Fri)

It started raining last night and it sounded like it went on for about four hours (Harvey magnifies the rain, so it feels like we’re living in a big tin can). This will no doubt be good for the wildflowers (maybe there will be a Super Duper Bloom?).


It’s also very cold: 47 degrees! Everybody puts on their down jackets and long pants and walks briskly around the RV park.


Today’s adventure: The Farmer’s Market!


Every Friday, there’s a Farmer’s Market in town at the traffic circle. This is no ordinary traffic circle—it’s so large that there’s an entire park in the center, with the Friday Farmer’s Market running along one-half of the circumference (one pi’s worth!).

Gini gets welcomed to Borrego Springs and Christmas Circle


We tried to find out why it’s called “Christmas Circle” but Wikipedia is silent on the topic. The Borrego Chamber of Commerce claims it was named because somebody was born on Christmas Day 250 years ago, but even they are a bit vague.


A Farmer’s Market like every other one we’ve seen


In any case, it’s a lovely park, and you can park all along the circumference. Turns out parallel parking on a circle is a bit of a challenge—especially when Robert’s trying to park Harvey. He ends up a few pi’s from the curb, but we haven’t seen a single tow truck in town, so we think we’re safe for a bit.


This Farmer’s Market is a lot like every other Farmer’s Market we’ve seen, although this one has a tie dye clothing booth. Amazingly, it stocks outfits that fit Gini’s style and size, so she invests in some cool-looking fashions.

Gini finds her style in Christmas Circle


Gini gets a lead on a Thrift Store we haven’t visited before, called the Bargain Barn. It’s a ramshackle collection of buildings with a ramshackle collection of items (need old monitors? DVDs? Vacuum cleaners?).


While Gini looks around and finds nothing, Robert sits and listens to the local gossip. Everybody is all in a tizzy because there’s snow visible on the local “mountains” (when you live within sight of the Cascades, these seem more like steep hills than mountains).


“Oh, did you see the snow?”

“Oh yes! It’s right there on the mountain!”

“It’ll burn off soon!”

“Oh yes, it won’t last! That never happens that you see snow!”

“No, you don’t see snow on the mountains!”

“Did you see the snow?”

Snow covered “mountains”


We have also tracked down another restaurant! Seems there’s a posh part of town, that’s about five miles south of town called “Rams Hill” (presumably after the Bighorn Sheep that are running around someplace, but not anyplace where we saw them).


As you might expect, there is a country club, and the country club has a restaurant. If lesser endowed folk are clever enough to make a reservation, then they can enter. Seriously, there’s a gate with a guard house and all you have to say is, “We have reservations,” and they let you in. Top notch security.


Anyway, this is not your Pablito’s—this place has cloth napkins and a fabulous view of the surrounding mountains with a rapidly descending cloud screen!


We’re at a fancy restaurant! Notice the cloth napkins


We asked around and everybody agrees that this is probably the only restaurant in Borrego Springs that has cloth napkins. Fortunately, Robert put on pants, so we are not summarily ejected. It’s good food, although there seems to be a lot of wait staff running around (one person takes drink orders, a different person brings bread, then there’s the water lady, and finally our wait person).

Square plates! Another sure sign we’re at a ritzy joint



Day 31 Travel

Our travel on Day 31 (Fri)




March 16, 2024 (Sat)

Even for us, this was a slow day. It started out cold, with a pink sunrise (“Pink sky at morning, sailors should stop mixing their colors when washing their clothes”). We had every intention of washing our clothes (since we’re leaving tomorrow), but somehow having a massage, soaking in the hot tub and lounging in the sunshine got in the way…


The day starts out cold and pink


One thing we did manage to do is to make dinner for the next week. We recently got an “Instapot,” which is basically an old-fashioned pressure cooker, with a few added features (you can sauté right in the pot).


“Aha!” we thought, “We can bring that with us to make meals on the road—it’s nice and compact.”


It is certainly compact, and it’s handy to be able to make “one pot meals.” We discovered two drawbacks to our brilliant idea:


  1. It makes a lot of food at once. Like a gallon or so, which works out to a lot of meals of the same thing.

  2. Because it makes a lot, it needs a lot of ingredients. So if, for example, you’re making beef and cabbage stew, you need an entire head of cabbage cut into small pieces. Put another way: you need a largish prep area for all these ingredients. Not a good fit for Harvey.


While Gini chops onions and cabbage, Robert stands by the Instapot, working on the eight gallons of beef and cabbage stew


In the end, we make up a batch of stew (just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!). Also, the inside of Harvey gets very steamy as it takes five minutes of releasing steam to finish our cooking.


Day 32 Travel

Our travel on Day 32 (Sat)—we did not stray from Harvey



Gini & Robert                                                                                

Harvey Staff

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