Desert Dirt and Twisted Ocotillos

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve headed off for any photo adventures so I’ve been getting a little antsy. I decided to take the day off and head up to the mountains. Unfortunately, they were windy and cold so I kept on moving.

I ended up heading down the hill into the Anza Borrego desert. It’s a unique environment – the loose sandy dirt has been sculpted into countless fissures by flash floods and sumer thundershowers.

So… there’s this point that I wanted to drive to. It’s up a bad road in a dry wash. Unfortunately, I made a wrong turn and ended up driving the wrong wash. Unlike the other one, which is two-wheel drive accessible, the one I chose is really a four-wheel drive only road – which I don’t have. Uh oh.

The sand got super deep and the wheels started to spin. The road narrowed as the walls of the wash got taller and steeper. There was not turning around. Nor could I for fear that I wouldn’t get moving again. At one point, I took the wrong line and may car bogged down and sank into the sand. Double uh oh.

I managed to dig out and finally made it to the end of the road – which consisted of massive washouts and potholes. I held my breath as the underside of my car scraped and screeched through the final hump. Amazingly, I made it – car intact.

Here’s the road down. Notice how it disappears into seemingly nothing. I’d liked to have shot more photos of it, but stopping really wasn’t an option. Fortunately, the road back was all downhill which made it easy for my momentum to keep me from getting stuck.

Then it was up the road to a spot with easier access, but plenty of ocotillos – long spindly cactus like shrubs that make for great subjects.

The thin leaves catch the light and reflect it back to create and an almost infrared film look.

They have pretty red flowers too.

You don’t want to mess with the sharp spines of an ocotillo.

As I drove home, I managed to catch some last light.

All photos shot using the Hipstamatic with John S lens.


About johnmireles

Photographer, writer, thinker, climber, outrigger canoeist, bad guitar player and even worse singer.
This entry was posted in Camera Type, Hipstamatic, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Desert Dirt and Twisted Ocotillos

  1. hilary says:

    John, what lens did you use in the color set of pics, John S? The color is wonderfully bright. Except for the part about getting stuck and almost ruining your car, it sounds like a fun trip 😛

  2. johnmireles says:

    Hilary: I used the John S for all of the photos. Ina’s 1969 was the color film. The light out in the desert is very warm and has a unique quality to it that goes beyond the lens and film combo.

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