Saturday, March 22, 2008

Well, we left Potrero County Park near the border at Tecate and had to go over a 4700' pass before getting down into some of the lower and warmer elevations around El Centro, California.
Here, my truck decided it was time for an oil change, and it was treated to same.

The historical downtown, older sections of El Centro appear too narrow for regular streetlights, so in some areas they are suspended from wires across the street.

There are a couple of interesting bits of interstate highway near the California/Arizona state line at the Colorado river. In one section, winding down out of the mountains, the two lanes of the interstate are about 5 km apart (3 miles), so there are no U-turns here.

In another section just east of Yuma, the lanes cross over, so that the lanes going the other direction are on your right, not your left. Brianna, this does not apply to you in Australia!

This highway is also close to the Mexican border and there is a very obvious presence from the Border patrol, and lots of physical barriers to keep vehicles from crossing the border unlawfully.
One of these is in the sand dunes section of highway west of Yuma.
Some areas of this barricade are even lit by flood lights at night.
There are miles of these triangular barricades chained together along the road side. It looks like a big tower cut down and laid in sections on the ground. There are also a lot of Border patrol checks on small roads as well as the Interstate. These are quite a bit more, shall we say, 'high-tech' than the ones in Mexico run by the army. No burning cans of oil here. Signs galore, rumble strips, observation towers, flashing lights, and enough lights at night to make the space shuttle pull their blinds so they can sleep.

They have trucks and vans and SUV's, buses, quads, you name it.They have portable, elevated observation posts.
This one is in the retracted position on the ground.
At every intersection, or gas station, there is at least one obvious BP vehicle or more.

I think this lady just stopped with a flat tire, but it attracted two Border Patrol vehicles to assist.

In the open areas, they have little shade shelters to park their vehicles under.
And every back road and trail has it's share! Here, I am following one of them through a gate, into a BLM camping area.
But it was a nice and peaceful place to spend a couple of days in the sun.

There had been some rain recently in this area of the desert, and even some snow I heard. The snow and rain were long gone, but the flowers were blooming everywhere.

Next: Off to Tucson, Sierra Vista, and Phoenix?

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