Every once in a very great while Anza Borrego State Park does get a substantial amount of rain. Once that happens, all the wildflowers come out in a color explosion. The last time we had such a good bloom was 2005. So I did not want to miss this one. Also, this time I had my Jeep and had access to areas that I could not get to back then.
In short, it was awesome. We started the tour off with Rockhouse Canyon on the north-east end of the park. The first part was pretty crowded, but once the first rocks appear on the road, the crowd thins out quite a bit. For the most part we had the canyon to ourself.
After exploring the area for a while, we set out to Coyote Canyon. As it turns out the park recently graded the road and it is now a highway. At the end of the canyon things get a bit better as the road goes through deep water and a gnarly rocky hill. Easy going for the Jeep I thought and went up to Sheep Canyon. Very much worthwhile as it is nice and quiet up there.
However, somehow I managed to break the link between the 4×4 shifter and the transfer case. That got the Jeep stuck in normal 2-wheel drive. Fine for getting home on the highway, but a mess for getting down that rock hill. Still, that transfer case also has a neutral setting. So it could have stranded me for good.
Rather frustrated, I decided to head home rather than camp overnight. The tour for the next day would have required 4×4. Just as I was about to call the day, we noticed a bunch of people looking up on the hill. Figuring that this is either an elaborate prank or something on top of the hill, I took my chances and asked. Turns out there was a group of 5 bighorn sheep up there. I always wanted to see them and this more than made up for the broken Jeep.