The latest Weekend Driver column, Grape Drive in the Desert, is now online. And it couldn’t be timelier, with lots of folks heading out there to look at the flowers. I took a sharp, brand-new Nissan Xterra with the off-road package up Grapevine Canyon in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. A fantastic trip through a rugged, remote portion of Southern California (is there anything else in the desert?).

For this story, I decided to forgo my usual preparation — web searches, map unfolding, book opening, etc., and just do what a lot of you do, gas up the car and head out. You do have to have some idea of where you want to go, so I pointed the Xterra toward the visitor center at the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. There, I asked one of the volunteers to pick me a trip. And that’s what I took.

Be sure to check it out.

And don’t forget to read my review on the Xterra. Thanks to the good folks at Nissan for supplying the vehicle.

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