Calexico, Anza, and The Salton Sea

Day 2 of 2018 was spent mostly on the road in the mountainous regions of San Diego county.  It was a real treat to be on a low level flight all up and down the 8.  The top was down, the music was loud, and my cares were non-existent.  I was completely lost and thrilled to be.

First step of the loose agenda was to cross foot into Mexico at the Calexico border.  Getting across into Mexico was a joke, with literally no one saying a word at all to me.  I meandered around Mexical for about a half hour and then made my way to the pedestrian crossing line (After being flatly informed by the vehicle crossing guards that I had to go stand in that line, to get to my birth country… I see why the world hates us.  I don’t blame the dude for doing his job, though.)

The lines were staggering and I ended up waiting an hour that I didn’t need to, but there was no real instruction how to utilize my Sentri access so I didn’t find out until about 50 feet from the border that I could have skipped the entire line.  In any matter it was a great way to see the people from “the other side” of the border and know first hand what I had suspected all along:  They are all just regular people who want to come over for family or work.  I certainly didn’t see any “bad hombre” uniformed hooligans.

More desert driving at a high speed and an hour and a half later I found myself at the trailhead of Anza Borrego state park.  With no real plans I drove through Borrego Springs and saw a sign for the Salton Sea so I headed toward it on a lark as the sun set behind me.  I passed several stop offs where one could view the park from a decent height and took note of one in particular as one to stop at on the way back.  The Salton Sea has all the features of a standard lake town I believe, save for the salinity of the body itself.  Industrial equipment seemed to maintain as strong a foothold as any residential structures, though.  It made for a dazzling display of shimmering lights from the distance.  After a little lap around the south side I headed back into Anza to find the spot I had scouted earlier in the evening.  As I arrived the sun had completely disappeared and San Diego served as the lone, faint glow to the south and west.  The stars rolled out with such numbers that it was all I could do to keep my mouth closed, holding my hands to it in a perpetual gasp of astonishment.  My smile became semi-permanent when the first 100% full moon of 2018 rolled over the northern ridge, casting a blue pallor over my desert dream-scape.  It was at this point that the smile gave way to a few tears of exquisite joy.  I was witnessing one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my thus short years on the blue ball.

I reveled in how perfect this time was.  I wrote by the moonlight.  I left a note in hopes that someone would find it and have their spirits lifted.  I stacked stones and found peace in the effort.  It was a perfect moment, encapsulating everything that one could find right in the world.

As if the still, quiet tranquility weren’t enough, an owl was singing to me from a distant perch in clockwork fashion.  You couldn’t make this kind of thing up.

Once I had drank of all this natural splendor I decide to head back to San Diego and just find my way.  I knew the two highways that would get me there and I just drove.  Little did I know that I would be driving on about 40 miles of the most switch-backed steep grade changing highway in the entire country.  Don’t get me wrong, this might have been a real treat during the wide awake hours of the day but it was a borderline harrowing time when it was fully dark.  I found myself exclaiming “DUDE!” on a number of times to zero audience aside from myself.  It was tough to get going more than 20mph before another hairpin was on top of you.  It was pretty thrilling albeit terrifying.

This was simply one of the best days I have ever had in my entire life.  That is my takeaway from this experience.  The bar for experience was set dangerously high, but I have seen so little world that I know it is still well below possibility.

I’ve collected another flag and only have 180+ to go.  Just little goals…  And I move forward.

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