Ninety-one miles east of San Diego, Borrego Springs and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park are popular springtime destinations for wildflower lovers.
But take a jaunt down Borrego Springs Road a couple of miles to Galleta Meadows, a privately owned estate, and a surreal menagerie of gigantic metal creatures by sculptor Ricardo Breceda appears in the midst of the desert.
Imagine coming upon them by chance as I did: I could hardly believe my eyes. I got out of my car and walked among them. Not another soul was in sight. I listened to the wind blowing through scrap metal dinosaurs, camels, mammoths and giant sloths, grinding and groaning as if the creatures were about to spring to life. A prehistoric sabertooth leaps over cactus and across the sands, chasing a wild horse.
Frozen in time, like a bizarre ancient drama, this desert safari awaits you right here in Galleta Meadows.
I stayed at the 21-unit Stanlunds Resort Inn and Suites, a 1950s-style oasis at 2771 Borrego Springs Road, Borrego Springs. May through September off-season rates range from $50-$90 a night; for a longer stay, they offer reasonable weekly or monthly rates. For $10, my black Poodle “Angel” was welcome too.