Sunday, April 28, 2013

Giant Sculptures in the Desert

  Roger here...  After what Dianne referred to as the "hike from hell", I thought it best to let our air-conditioned car do the exercise for the next couple of hours while we cooled down.  We needed a diversion.  So I took Dianne on a safari.

One of the main reasons that we traveled to this part of the country was to see the giant sculptures of the artist Ricardo Breceda. They are sporadically scattered in the desert outside of Borrego Springs.  Multi-millionaire Dennis Avery donated the land where most of Breceda's sculptures appear.  The huge metal beasts (created from rolled sheet metal) seem to be roaming along the roadway, both north and south of town.  It is somewhat surreal, safari-like.   Some of the creatures exist in the real world, some existed at one time, and some bring thoughts of a fantasy adventure.  I have to admit, when I saw the first giant metallic animal, a smile came to my face and my imagination kicked into full gear.  Let's start the safari.

Look, a herd of rogue elephants!  Let's drive off the road on that path and check them out.  Do you think it is safe to get out of the car?  I doubt that I can outrun the bull elephant above, and he does not seem to understand the sit/stay command that we use with Bandido and Tequila.  But, the guy below seems tame enough.

As I drove our trusty (two-wheel drive) Toyota along the shifting sandy path, we came upon a mother camel nursing a little guy.  Even though the camels were not a threat, Dianne thought that we might get stuck in the sand.  I did not tell her, but I was concerned about that too.  Getting stuck would not be a good thing in this strange world where tow trucks probably do not exist. (Dianne here:  Plus, if you read our last blog entry, we had not yet gone to Julian for pie....)  So we followed the tire tracks back to the main road.  (We really need a jeep.  Maybe we'll find one along the way.)

Look out!  There are a couple of raptors.  Or are they giant sloths? I think maybe giant sloths.  They look prehistoric to me.  One of them appears to be attacking the other, or possibly doing something else.  In any case, I don't think we should venture far from the car.

OK, now we have truly ventured into a lost world.  I had never seen a dragon before and this menacing guy was gigantic.  I threw caution to the wind and probably got a little too close, but I don't think he saw me.  He seemed to be focused on something else.  This is only his head.  He slithered for hundreds of feet spanning both sides of the roadway.  We weren't safe, even in the car.

We escaped as the dragon moved on through the desert.

Whew.  OK, this guy seems to be a little safer, but still larger than life in this magical place.

I was hoping we might get a glimpse of the local natives.  This guy must be the chief.  He didn't look too happy, so it was best to keep our distance.  His torso seemed to be coming straight out of the ground.

I wonder what he was looking at.  Maybe the two people who were barreling through his kingdom in the jeep?

We needed to go talk with them.  Their jeep might be our only escape if our little Toyota got stuck.

They had no interest in talking with us.  The guy with the mustache was intent on climbing over the boulders.  The girl was hanging on for dear life as her hair blew in the wind.  They seemed to be anxious to get away from all the gigantic creatures.  Perhaps they did something to offend the natives?

We had hoped to find some other creatures.  I had heard that there were dinosaurs, but they must have moved on because we did not find them.

It was time for Dianne and me to move back into the real world, so we retraced our route back to Borrego Springs. 

As we drove south of town on the way to Julian (and the pie),  we saw several wild horses and a few big-horned sheep (also sculptures) that appeared to be running across the desert.  At that point, we assumed we were done viewing these metal creatures.

But we were wrong.  The next day, on our way back from Temecula, we found ourselves in a different world --- the old west.  We spotted a stage coach.  Back in time again.  How cool this is?

I think I'll climb aboard and take a ride.  I needed to be careful climbing up.  Don't want to fall under those wagon wheels that actually turn.

Oops.  "Sorry mister.  Doesn't look like there's room for me."

Nice lookin' horse.  Looks like his mane could use some brushing.

Well, it appears that we missed our ride.  

Back to the real world again....  Ricardo Breceda's creations pop up unexpectedly all over the Borrego Springs, Aguanga and Temecula area of California.  A herd of horses appear to be leaping over SR 79.  Mountain sheep dot the hills.  A monk carrying a cross with his dog trudges along the desert.  We don't have pictures of much of this because we were driving by in the car and there was no place to stop.  This artist is one amazingly talented guy.  What fun.

Dianne here:  The artist allows visitors to his workshop.  Here's the information if you come to this area and would like to visit:


Suzi said...

I love your post! The best one I've seen on those fabulous sculptures in the desert. We've all seen them, all photographed them, written about them, but you added a wonderful story too. Kudos!

Lori Moore said...

This was such an interesting post ! We have been going to Julian on a regular basis for the past 15 years and never even heard of these amazing sculptures not far away ! I am placing this trip on my to do list and I thank you for sharing it !

heyduke50 said...

geeeesh, not sure how we missed those when we were near there last year...

Kathy Detweiler said...

Oh, I would love to photograph those. Way cool!

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great stuff!