Borrego Springs is fast becoming known for its magical menagerie of freestanding life- size sculptures scattered throughout the desert. The sculptures sit on private parcels of land owned by Dennis Avery (the Avery label family) known as Galleta Meadows Estate – and the estate is open to the public. And, if you are not prepared, the sight is startling and amazing.
The sculptures, the first of which were installed in April 2008, are crafted of metal by sculptor Ricardo Breceda of California. Breceda welds scrap reinforcement bars, wire and metal together and then adds life-like texture by pounding the materials with hammers. The collection was expanded in 2010 and the mythological dragon above was added in 2011. Now numbering in excess of 120 pieces, the creatures appear to be a natural part of the landscape and discovering them makes for a desert safari adventure. The camels, sloths, llamas, wild horses, giant birds, wild pigs, raptors and tortoises look very much at home.
The Peninsular bighorn is a true symbol of the California desert wilderness – and the spanish word for bighorn sheep is “Borrego”.
The day was cloudy and a little cool but we were up for the 90 minute drive to Borrego Springs. This town of a few thousand residents is surrounded by the 630,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – the largest in California. The drive offered expansive desert vistas, stark cliffs, and miles of emptiness.
You can also “dry camp” or “boon dock” where you can pull off the highway, drive into the desert and park your RV and stay for free for up to 14 days. I’m not sure I’m up for it yet…
We’re really liking this life style –