Modern Stories Along the Anza Trail

Bob: Offroader

Listen to an interview with Bob:

Interview Text

Interviewer: Meet you at the brew pub?

Bob: Laughter.

Interviewer: Alright, and your name?

Bob: Bob.

Interviewer: Bob. Thank you very much (sure) for sitting and talking with me. How long have you been coming here to Ocotillo Wells?

Bob: Ah, I’ve been coming to this area actually since the day I was born. There’s pictures of me as a toddler out here, camping with my grandparents and my parents.

Interviewer: Did they bring vehicles down also?

Bob: Uh, they did. Back then, we were just tents and trucks and that’s all, just…

Interviewer: But no ATVs or…

Bob: No, and motorcycles, even back then, yep.

Interviewer: So, when you were a kid, they actually had like, dune buggies, right, sand rails?

Bob: Uh, they did, hm, they um, I don’t recall sand rails out here, but there was modified jeeps.

Interviewer: Uh hunh.

Bob: In fact, there used to be quite a large group of the old Willie’s jeeps from World War II that people had modified used to be out here for the longest time. I know that my cousins had one that we always had out here, so.

Interviewer: And you’re, how old are you?

Bob: I am forty-six now.

Interviewer: So this is, we’re talking about back in the late sixties then.

Bob: That’s uh, yeah, yeah, since, ’67.

Interviewer: And do you happen to know how long your grandfather had been coming out?

Bob: Um, probably since shortly after World War II, since they settled in this area right after he got back from serving in the Pacific, so…

Interviewer: He settled in this area?

Bob: Uh he did, yes.

Interviewer: And so, so your whole childhood, you’ve spent coming down here?

Bob: I have, yes. I’ve spent a lot of time out here. A lot of good memories.

Interviewer: And do you always come to this particular part, um, or do you go to other parts, too, down here?

Bob: Um, there’s other parts we go to as well: uh, the Chocolate Mountains on the other side of the Salton Sea, up in Anza Borrego proper, up there as well.

Interviewer: When you go up to Anza Borrego, where do you go?

Bob: We just camped just outside of Borrego Springs is where we used to just pull over and camp. That was back when we used to tent camp; we’ve never taken the trailers up there. But uh, yeah, that’s back when we just used to do trail riding and Jeeps.

Interviewer: Today, you’re here on ATVs, right?

Bob: Correct.

Interviewer: And, what, and you have the dog, too, and he seems to pretty much like it.

Bob: He loves it.

Interviewer: Uh, do you see wildlife when you come?

Bob: So, mostly lizards and stuff, coyotes at night. Lots of rabbits out here, birds…

Interviewer: Has it changed over the period of time that you’ve been coming?

Bob: In this particular area, yeah, as part of the State Recreation Area, it has, just because there’s more people that come to visit here now. But up in Anza Borrego proper, it’s still pretty close to how I remember it as a kid. There’s still, there’s more wildlife up in that area. You can still find a horny toad up there when you need to.

Bob: And today has been pretty windy. Has it been kicking up dust around here? Uh, we see it out in the valley, but that’s why we’re camped up here near the canyon, so that we’re staying out of those parts. We’ve been watching it out here, sitting here enjoying our tea and (laughter), watching quite the sand storms kicking up out there.

Bob: (Another person): Yep, glad we’re not there…….Laughter.

Interviewer: Have you ever been down, when it’s really hot down there?

Bob: Um, I have been out here a couple of times, not recently. We try to avoid summers out here. It’s hard for the kids to enjoy it, …

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