Make sure you check out my post for day one in San Diego.
Day two started SUPER early. Luckily, our bodies were still on east coast time, so the 5AM wakeup call wasn’t too bad.
Our plan for the day was to drive to the Salton Sea to ride ATV’s in the desert. I’ve never actually seen a desert or rode ATV’s, so I was pretty excited. It was supposed to take us a little over two hours to get there. I guess Google Maps did not take into account traffic and boarder patrol. Plus it sent us the long way around… which turned out to be the best/better way!
I actually enjoyed the 3+ hour drive. The scenery was nice and we got to see the Mexican/American border and the Blue Angels flying around. We were able to watch them for about an hour along our drive. It was like our own private show.
We arrived at Steve’s ATV Rental in Salton City about 10AM. They set us up with our equipment, a map, and off we went.
The park we rode at is called Ocotillo Wells SVRA. It’s 85,000 acres of dirt and rocks. We were a little nervous about getting lost, so we stayed on the main trails most of the day. The trails were well marked, so it was almost impossible to get lost that way. Off the trails was a completely different story!
During our ride, we stopped at the pumpkin patch…
And the gas domes…
Gas escapes from earth’s crust causing bubbles. Huck was super impressed.
At one point this place was completely covered in water and then a thick wooded forest. Hard to imagine, right?
I took over driving for a little while and really enjoyed it. Huck took some good videos with the GoPro while I was at the wheel. I looked like a little kid driving. I’ll upload the video once he finishes it.
Around 4:30PM, we returned the equipment to Steve’s and started heading back to San Diego. On the ride back, our GPS took us a different way. It was over two hours of winding roads. I had my hands at 10 and 2 the whole time and never made it over 20 miles an hours in most spots. The landscape changed so much from Salton City, too. It felt like we were driving through the Smokey Mountains and even saw snow. Dry desert to snow covered mountains all in one day.
On the way back, we stopped at Alpine Beer Co. for dinner and drinks. I’ve heard so many people talking about how great Alpine is and was really excited to check it out. The brewery is located on one side of a little shopping center and the taproom and restaurant are on the other. It’s very quaint.
There was a wait for tables when we arrived, so we grabbed a beer and headed out to the patio. The beers really were great; Huck was really impressed. Other than that, I did not enjoy our time at Alpine. The service wasn’t great and my food wasn’t good. I ordered a cheese soup and it had an extremely salty, bitter, and burnt taste. It was inedible. I told the waitress, and she responded with “I know”. The fact that I was hungry probably didn’t help my frustration.
Everyone else said their food was good, but I left not all that happy with my experience. I would definitely give them another try, though. Maybe it was just a fluke.
After dinner, we headed back to the condo, scrubbed a few layers of dirt off, and went to bed. I was so tired, I’m sure I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
Day three included a trip to Balboa Park and a walking/food tour of the Gaslamp District. I’ll be back next week with a recap from day 3.