Saturday, 12 December 2009


"Bagdad Cafe" is perhaps my favorite movie--the story of a hapless tourist who stumbles into a small desert truck stop---experiencing transformation---and causing transformation. I'm ever on the alert for such a place--to remake myself AND make myself felt. Borrego Springs calls to me though I have not yet answered. Could it be your "Bagdad Cafe?" (note the Salton Sea in the distance) A glance at the map will reveal a unique feature; It is completely surrounded by the Anza-Borrego State park---California's largest--and thus cannot expand its city limits.

Chatting with several locals---all from elsewhere---suggest it was their transformation place. Pictures of the town itself would only distract from my intent---instead, I'll show you this one distant shot, two of its setting and finally, the artwork of one of its citizens making himself felt.

Down there is the town sleeping in a gloriously dry valley. Beneath is a vast reservoir of fossil water---much fought over, because when it's gone--the city is gone. Citrus farmers, given free rein would use it up quickly. (I love and respect farmers but they are notoriously irresponsible regarding water use--especially here where there should be no farming at all.) Only legal force can make the water supply sustainable----but I digress.

Just outside town, at "Pegleg Smiths" campsite, my friends and I settle in for a quiet Thanksgiving.

A side trip to the nearby Salton Sea where the King of Kodgers displays his Barrymore-like profile.

Here's the Borrego Springs Badlands with the Salton sea in the distance.

Now here's how a local citizen is making himself felt---in a very big way. He has the money to comission a hundred sculptures such as these and to purchase extensive desert tracts on which to display them. Furthermore, he allows campers to stay for 3 days free anywhere nearby. Tourist are flocking in to drive around enjoying them---spread as they are over several miles.

An incredible variety of creatures, extinct and extant---Here's an ancient elephant ancestor.

With its descendent a few miles away. (I'm 5 foot 10 inches tall)

Borrego rams poised to clash---the ladies they seek to win are just downhill.
You can google Borrego Springs sculptures for the full story.

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