But two years afterFlowergeddon — the term assigned to bottleneck traffic in Borrego Springs — the recent winter rains could bring another flood of humanity.
No matter what, Judy Stewart is back to reprise her tip service.
“We’re thinking by mid-March it should start hitting,” Stewart said at her post in the shade of the park Visitors Center. “And it could expand literally through April — if it doesn’t get too hot.”
Or if the caterpillars don’t devour the blossoms.
Stewart, a volunteer guide who “lives across the street; I just walk over,” said in 2017 she arrived at the center at 7:30 a.m. before thousands from around the world flocked to the flora.
On Sunday, she used a pointer on a large map and offered printouts with areas highlighted in pink.
Times of San Diego visited three of four hot spots, including the northern end of DiGiorgio Road (take a wide, easy trail a quarter-mile east) and spots along county Highway 22 a half-hour east of town in the Borrego Badlands.
They were heavy with tall Arizona Lupine and ground-covering purple Desert Sand Verbina.
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The DiGiorgio Road patch featured many varieties, but especially large patches of yellow Desert Sunflower — swaying in a buffeting wind.
After passing through Julian that morning (with temps around 40 degrees), we shed coats and sweaters for desert highs in the low 70s as we joined hundreds of trekkers with cameras and phones.
Parked along the road were cars with licenses from Texas, Wisconsin and Manitoba, Canada. And that was only one 50-foot stretch.
Among the shutterbugs was Brian Remas of University Heights, showing some friends around the flowers.
Remas said his family had made the winter pilgrimage since he was a toddler. Now, in his early 30s, he comes to “mellow out from city life.”
Several websites are reporting the start of Flowergeddon II, including the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association, which offers updates from botanist Kate Harper.