Blythe to Tamarisk Grove Campground

Red-tailed hawk ready for launch
Red-tailed hawk ready for launch

Went back on highway 10 and turned left onto highway 78.

Along the way, we saw red-tailed hawks on the hydro poles as well as a kestrel.

Red-tailed hawk
Red-tailed hawk
American Kestrel
American Kestrel

In the fields were sandhill cranes and egrets.

Sandhill cranes in field
Sandhill cranes in a field
Great egret
Great egret

Stopping at different places along the Colorado River to watch the coots and check out other places we might like to camp in the future.

American Coot on Colorado River
American Coot on Colorado River

Our next stop was Glamis which basically is a huge sand dune in the desert where people congregate to ride their dune buggies, ATVs and motorcycles.

In peak season (which is now as it’s Thanksgiving) there can be 200,000 (that’s right, two hundred thousand) people there.

And from what we could see there was a least that many. It is huge.

Motorhome galore and expensive toys were as far as the eye could see.

Rob decided that going down a sand road might be a good idea only to find that when we tried to go up a hill we sank deep into the ground and there we stayed.

Thank heavens a good samaritan came by and towed us out because we wouldn’t have gotten out on our own. Up to the bumper in the sand.

Huge winds were blowing and the air was brown with dust.

Everything in the van is gritty and covered in a fine layer of sand.

Continuing along highway 78 we bypassed Brawley and were heading towards Oceanside.

But… we missed the turnoff and ended up at Salton City.

This is what happens when you don’t have a GPS, are travelling with an old map and we are both gawking at the scenery.

So, we did the next best thing.

Took S22 towards Borrego Springs, turned right on Yaqui Pass Road (S3) and stopped for the night as a little campground called Tamarisk Grove Campground.

Sometimes the mistakes we make are the best ones.

The scenery along the way was magnificent.

There were huge, jagged rocks/mountains and sand valleys which without a picture is really hard to explain.

Basically, think enormous stalagmites with valleys of sand. It looked like you could get lost in a maze of canyons if one walked along the valley floor.

Also, along the way there were more sand dunes and of course along with the dunes comes RV’s, ATV’s and other toys.

They were scattered along a 10 miles stretch in small groups and a little more spread out than at Glamis.

But everyone was having a good time camping, partying and riding through the dunes.

The ground finally gave way to a lush greenery of Skull Valley and miles and miles of white metal fencing. It appeared to enclose a huge ranch that went on as far as the eye could see.

It was starting to get dark and the next town was called Julian but we didn’t know how far it was when we came upon a campground called Tamarisk Grove.

Fortunately, they had 2 spots left and we filled one of them.

For $22 a night we got a campsite close to the washrooms (very important) and bought some firewood.

The firewood was from an avocado tree and when it burned it didn’t snap, crackle or pop. It was the quietest campfire I’ve ever not heard.

Campfire at Tamarisk Grove Campground
Campfire at Tamarisk Grove Campground

Rob found a bush pile behind the site and added fuel to fire to keep it going much longer than just the purchased wood.

In the morning Rob read a sign that said… NO WOOD GATHERING!

Our excuse was it was dark and we didn’t see it. We really didn’t see it until we were ready to leave.

But as we had burned the evidence… no harm, no foul.

Getting up early we headed down highway 78 toward Julian.


  1. Great pictures and what a time camping, had my chuckles just imagining the fun in the sand and all Goodbye I’m of to the next story


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