National Geographic : 1963 Nov
Eroded hills march toward the sunset in Anza-Borrego Desert M IILE after mile of naked rock, tinged by nature with rust, awe a visitor to this state park in San I)iego County, California. Spring rains deck the seemingly lifeless land with wildflowers-flow ering cactus, blue indigo bushes, desert lavender, and delicate bellv flowers" so tiny one must get down on one's belly to see them. Anza-Borrego attracted European notice in the 18th century, when Russian power was spreading down the Cal ifornia coast. A disturbed Spanish government in 1775 commissioned Juan Bautista de Anza to build a presidio, or fort, on San Francisco Bay. Leading 240 colonists from Sonora, Mexico, he fought his way across hostile desert to reach the Borrego Valley, then continued on to found the settlement that eventually became San Francisco. Geology students get a lesson from living rock. Camera's diaphragm reflects Anza's desert sun.