Every desert has its share of strange and quirky spots, where the past lies forgotten, or where the present has interposed itself. The Anza-Borrego Desert is no different, with abandoned mines, old rail history at the Dos Cabezas station and Goat Canyon Trestle, and a plethora of other mysterious items. Near the Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves, however, are two spots where the past and the present intersect. First, is the Palm Spring - not to be confused with the town called “Palm Springs” by any stretch of the imagination. The Palm Spring was a seasonal water source that was a stop for the Butterfield Stage Line, and various other nineteenth and twentieth century desert explorers. Today, the small stand of vegetation is the spot of a California Historical Marker, and at times, some water (when I last visited in fall 2017, there was no water to be found).
One of the many strange things to be found out in the Anza-Borrego Desert are the ruins of the Dos Cabezas Railroad Station. The station was part of the El Centro to San Diego railroad line, which was completed in 1919. Construction on this section of line was first deemed "impossible", but the line was completed and used through most of the twentieth century. The Dos Cabezas station provided a watering stop for the steam engines; and a place for explorers and miners to access the rail line.