Starting from the Pacific in Coronado, you're bound to see every micro-climate San Diego has to offer on the road to Anza-Borrego Springs. You head east on the 8, up and over the high elevations of the Cuyamaca Mountains on the 78, and drop into Banner Canyon where the water ceases to flow and the desert begins to unfold.
Things get weird when Yaqui Pass Road flanks off the 78, taking you past Rams Hill Country Club (begging to be Palm Springs), through a farm of oversized rusted animal statues, and around Christmas Circle, the largest roundabout this side of London, which climatically spits you out into downtown Anza-Borrego Springs.
We plowed Mexican food, stocked up on beers and got the hell out of dodge. We bounced around, checked out the not-to-be-missed Badlands from Font's Point and finally settled in a dried up river bed, which is certain to erupt on the rare occasion the area gets rain. It was a great spot, the air was dead silent and the night was pitch black, bringing out stars you don't see in the city.
Lessons learned: do bring a fully contained fire pit, don't bring BB guns or use rocks to create a fire ring.