Don Barrett (aka DBs travels)'s photos

Algodones Dunes / influencer? / Thanksgiving 2020…

26 Nov 2020 3 1 51
I don’t see others that I know on photo sites mentioning ‘influencers’. I think its an international phenomenon, but we definitely see them often in Southern California. What we see around here is young people, seemingly more women than men, who go out to natural settings and pose in various ways to show off some fashion. Those pictures are then posted on their Instagram (and other) accounts in attempts to draw lots of followers and then get paid for influencing their followers to buy particular brands of clothes or lifestyles. One begins to recognize them because they’re in the setting usually for only just a few minutes with a friend taking photos while they do something that often ignores the consequences of the situation (e.g., running on dunes where there might be dune-buggies racing up the other side).

Algodones Dunes / sand-blasting / Thanksgiving 202…

26 Nov 2020 1 40
A little grit with your turkey gravy? The wind was fairly high at the overlook parking lot, I’d guess everything was coated in sand (I was, after about 45 minutes of picture taking).

Algodones Dunes / dune life / Thanksgiving 2020 (#…

26 Nov 2020 1 38
The closest picture I could get of one of the camping areas….

Algodones Dunes / unadorned dunes / Thanksgiving 2…

26 Nov 2020 1 36
Dune shadows…

Borrego Springs, CA elephantine economy (# 0642 )

25 Dec 2020 5 2 45
One of the websites describes the animal sculptures as of animals that are currently here (e.g., the bighorn sheep), or might have been eons ago. However, on the guide this and its twin are labeled African Elephants, Economy? See the discussion of farming with the adjacent picture, note in this one that the palm grove in the background looks untended.

Borrego Springs, CA Spanish padre (# 0652)

25 Dec 2020 1 49
It's easy to imagine that this is what traveling across the desert would have been like when the Spanish missionaries were 'converting' California **** Part of an extensive metal sculpture display scattered across the desert in Borrego Springs, CA. Overall there are 130 sculptures scattered over the open desert; the display was created with an aim of using sculptures in natural settings (often of animals native to the area) to encourage reflection on the environement. The original creator of the display was Dennis Avery, the owner of Galleta Meadows Estate where many of the sculptures are located. The artist was artist/welder (Ricardo Breceda) who is based in Perris, CA. When Avery died, the Under the Sun Foundation took over responsibility for sculptures. The pictures are from a Christmas Day 2020 visit to only a small portion of the display, since there are many pictures, I’ll post them at various times in the future. Sources: underthesunfoundation.org www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html

Borrego Springs, CA Spanish padre sculpture (# 06…

25 Dec 2020 3 43
... and dog The bulding off in the distance appears to be a very remotely located home. **** Part of an extensive metal sculpture display scattered across the desert in Borrego Springs, CA. Overall there are 130 sculptures scattered over the open desert; the display was created with an aim of using sculptures in natural settings (often of animals native to the area) to encourage reflection on the environement. The original creator of the display was Dennis Avery, the owner of Galleta Meadows Estate where many of the sculptures are located. The artist was artist/welder (Ricardo Breceda) who is based in Perris, CA. When Avery died, the Under the Sun Foundation took over responsibility for sculptures. The pictures are from a Christmas Day 2020 visit to only a small portion of the display, since there are many pictures, I’ll post them at various times in the future. Sources: underthesunfoundation.org www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html

Borrego Springs, CA elephantine economy (# 0639 )

25 Dec 2020 3 2 47
There's actually two points to this photo, the elephant (see adjacent photo) and the very large, and very dense grove of palms in the background. The palm grove, and a citrus orchard (you can see the outlines of it on the right side of the elephant) are part of a relatively large farming operation (3500 acres) on the northeast side of Borrego Springs that’s visible in a satellite view of the area. While there’s a history of farming in the area since before the 1950’s, and a somewhat shorter period of trying to develop Borrego Springs into a resort area with golf courses and pools, both would be characterized by many as the work of fools. The Borrego Springs area is not connected to any of the major state or federal water projects and is thus dependent on an aquifer fed by the slight rain (average of 5.8” a year) and snow melt from surrounding mountains. The agriculture and the resorts (more by the agriculture) have been drawing down the aquifer at a speed that has resulted in the killing off of native desert fauna and results in a life expectancy for the aquifer of 30-50 years. In 2014 the state mandated that local governments facing such water disasters must take actions to bring usage into control, but like too many other similar situations in the West, no one can agree as to who is going suffer. Without action, this sculpture will soon be standing in bare lots of sand with dead orchards in the background, but there probably won’t be any tourist because the economy will die completely. FYI, a satellite view of the area is interesting, showing many unfinished resort developments. The Desert Sun article, below, gives an excellent description of the situation. www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2019/01/11/california-farmer-borrego-springs-groundwater-pumping-cuts/2169848002

Algodones Dunes / caravan & ‘homes’ / Thanksgiving…

26 Nov 2020 1 40
In the distance, the long line of SUV’s camping in the Glamis area northeast of the dunes. The four dune buggies are one of the caravans from the set of buggies in the first of these pictures.

Algodones Dunes / gold squared / Thanksgiving 2020…

26 Nov 2020 1 30
In the distance from here, two large sources of wealth: SUV’s: Just to the right of center, the white structures across the picture (and hidden by the dunes) are SUV’s, some of which are in storage and many of which were occupied. There was no convenient place to stop to get pictures, but there looked to be multiple 100’s of SUV’s – enough to support having mobile taco stands, pizza joints, and bars set up – all with very many maskless visitors. Gold mining: The very large mound on the upper right side of the picture is Equinox Gold’s Mesquite Gold Mine, an active open-pit leach mine that’s been in operation since 1985 and in 2020 is expected to generate 130 to 140,000 oz of gold valued at $975-$1025 per oz. Equinox source: www.equinoxgold.com/operations/operating-mines/mesquite/#overview

Algodones Dunes / just chillin / Thanksgiving 2020…

26 Nov 2020 4 37
If you zoom in a larger version of the picture, you can see that there’s what looks to be a group of men just hanging out on a ridge. Looking up from them, I’m looking southeast down what is more or less the length of the dunes. The dunes are a huge, relatively narrow, strip about 45 miles (72 km) long and 6 (9.7 km) miles wide running northwest-southeast from just across the border in Mexico up through Imperial County of California. Wikipedia has some wonderful pictures of the dunes from space and then of riders at night – links are below. In the space photo, the road we’re on can barely be seen as a thin line across the dunes on the left side of the picture. Night: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algodones_Dunes#/media/File:Glamis_Presidents_263.jpg From space: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algodones_Dunes#/media/File:AlgodonesDunes_ISS011-E-11543.jpg

Algodones Dunes / pickup.. / Thanksgiving 2020 (#…

26 Nov 2020 1 23
Modified pickup out in the sand, appears to be a Ford. That odd looking large v-shape near the road is just a drainage pipe sticking a long way out, and the shadow from it.

Algodones Dunes / “Thin Blue Line” / Thanksgiving…

26 Nov 2020 1 28
A close up of the group in the previous photo. A couple of points here re politics and dune-buggy culure…. Politics: The only expressions of politics (other than lots of American flags) we saw while exploring the dunes were some people flying the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American Flag (see the second buggy from the right in this photo.) The flag itself started out in 2014 as an expression of support for policing during periods when we were having large demonstrations against race-biased policing. Being from a social group with a long history of police harassment (gays), I get worried when there are demonstrations in support of policing – but the flag’s interpretation has gone much further than just support for policing. With the increase in social divisiveness that the Trump administration has multiplied, the flag has come to be also interpreted as a symbol of white supremacy, racism, homophobia – crazed nationalism in general. So, when you see one, you don’t know if it is ‘just’ support for police, or for much more. (BTW, the flag on the far left is Arizona’s state flag.) Dune-buggy wealth: When I was a teen in Florida in the 1960’s, people built dune-buggies out of old cars that had been junked and it was a hobby of people who had mechanical skills but little money (i.e., my brothers). The modern dune-buggy culture still seems to be ‘blue collar’ in expression, but I wonder about the money. The buggies themselves seem to be in the $12K-$20K (and more) range and then people are out here for a long weekend in large RV’s that cost $60K or so, and they have expensive enclosed trailers to haul their buggies. So, it’s not a poor man’s sport.

Algodones Dunes / pandemic Thanksgiving 2020 (# 05…

26 Nov 2020 2 36
A very close friend and I wanted to get away from Palm Springs on Thanksgiving, but needed to find a place where we felt safe from infection risk. I had suggested the Salton Sea since that area is never busy, but then we decided to stretch it another 60 miles and go to Algodones Dunes (more on the Dunes later). I knew the Dunes would be busy with dune-buggy folk, but also knew that they would ignore two people who clearly weren’t into their culture – and it’s a very wide open and windy area. So, low risk in terms of contagion, but I was a little concerned since dune-buggy culture seems to equate with the political right. Surprisingly, other than lots of American flags, we saw little overt political expression. Almost all of these photos are taken from a lookout park just off CA-78 which is the highest, easily accessible, point in the dunes. There were a surprising number of campers in the parking lot at the top, and it looked as if many of them belonged to clubs that regularly met. I didn’t ask what this formation was about, but this group later went off in more-or-less a caravan of following each other across the dunes (later pictures).

Borrego Springs, CA bighorn sheep sculptures (# 06…

25 Dec 2020 3 37
The ewe and her barely visible lamb. **** Part of an extensive metal sculpture display scattered across the desert in Borrego Springs, CA. Overall there are 130 sculptures scattered over the open desert; the display was created with an aim of using sculptures in natural settings (often of animals native to the area) to encourage reflection on the environement. The original creator of the display was Dennis Avery, the owner of Galleta Meadows Estate where many of the sculptures are located. The artist was artist/welder (Ricardo Breceda) who is based in Perris, CA. When Avery died, the Under the Sun Foundation took over responsibility for sculptures. The pictures are from a Christmas Day 2020 visit to only a small portion of the display, since there are many pictures, I’ll post them at various times in the future. Sources: underthesunfoundation.org www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html

Borrego Springs, CA bighorn sheep sculptures (# 0…

25 Dec 2020 3 3 34
"Mom, make them stop fighting" "Don't worry, it's all bluster, that's just what guys do." **** Part of an extensive metal sculpture display scattered across the desert in Borrego Springs, CA. Overall there are 130 sculptures scattered over the open desert; the display was created with an aim of using sculptures in natural settings (often of animals native to the area) to encourage reflection on the environement. The original creator of the display was Dennis Avery, the owner of Galleta Meadows Estate where many of the sculptures are located. The artist was artist/welder (Ricardo Breceda) who is based in Perris, CA. When Avery died, the Under the Sun Foundation took over responsibility for sculptures. The pictures are from a Christmas Day 2020 visit to only a small portion of the display, since there are many pictures, I’ll post them at various times in the future. Sources: underthesunfoundation.org www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html

Borrego Springs, CA bighorn sheep sculptures (# 06…

25 Dec 2020 3 2 39
I particularly liked this one of a ewe and her lamb. Unfortunately, due to the very bright sun and a bush on the other side, I couldn't get a better shot. **** Part of an extensive metal sculpture display scattered across the desert in Borrego Springs, CA. Overall there are 130 sculptures scattered over the open desert; the display was created with an aim of using sculptures in natural settings (often of animals native to the area) to encourage reflection on the environement. The original creator of the display was Dennis Avery, the owner of Galleta Meadows Estate where many of the sculptures are located. The artist was artist/welder (Ricardo Breceda) who is based in Perris, CA. When Avery died, the Under the Sun Foundation took over responsibility for sculptures. The pictures are from a Christmas Day 2020 visit to only a small portion of the display, since there are many pictures, I’ll post them at various times in the future. Sources: underthesunfoundation.org www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html

Borrego Springs, CA bighorn sheep sculptures (# 0…

25 Dec 2020 2 34
These are the first sculptures that I encountered, and I liked them best mainly because of the naturalness of the setting -- but also because there was no one else around :) **** Part of an extensive metal sculpture display scattered across the desert in Borrego Springs, CA. Overall there are 130 sculptures scattered over the open desert; the display was created with an aim of using sculptures in natural settings (often of animals native to the area) to encourage reflection on the environement. The original creator of the display was Dennis Avery, the owner of Galleta Meadows Estate where many of the sculptures are located. The artist was artist/welder (Ricardo Breceda) who is based in Perris, CA. When Avery died, the Under the Sun Foundation took over responsibility for sculptures. The pictures are from a Christmas Day 2020 visit to only a small portion of the display, since there are many pictures, I’ll post them at various times in the future. Sources: underthesunfoundation.org www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html

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