Go on Safari amid life-size metal sculptures depicting critters that once roamed the Anza-Borrego Desert as far back as 6.5 million years ago. Pose with Gomphotheres (four tusked, elephant-like creatures); giant tortoises; camelops (early camels); a giant ground sloth; and the "incredible Bird God of the Winds," which has a 17-foot wingspan and is based on the fossil remains of the extinct Aiolornis incredibilis. The menagerie (140 figures in all, including modern-day and mythical creatures) is accessible via an easy driving tour. Free admission, 786 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs (760) 767-5555; galletameadows.com.
Borrego Sun by Judy Winter Meier June 30, 1994
Galleta Meadows Dedicated Historic marker honors Anza's compatriots, local woman
The name of Juan Bautista de Anza is familiar to many in the Borrego area. The Spanish explorer who twice corssed the valley while establishing a land route from Mexico to settlements on the coast is well-remembered with many namesakes - from streets to a country club, and businesses to historical markers.
However, two members of his expeditions, Seb Tarabal and Jose Joaquin Moraga, are virtually unknown, even thought they made significant contributions to the success of the journeys.
In early August, while on a business trip to San Diego, my wife and I recently visited our good friend Hz in Julian. Hz told us the story of Mr. Avery and Mr. Breceda and the Sky Art project and took us on a tour of the Galleta Meadows Sky Art...it was awesome! We lived in San Diego 32 years ago while I was in the military and visited Anza Borrego Desert and Mount Laguna many times. After we returned home we received a note from Hz informing us of the passing of Mr. Avery. I never met him but from what I've seen and read Mr. Avery must have enjoyed life.