My Journey

Day Two Mexicali.....so I really had no plans once again but as I strolled the streets of Mexicali with nothing on the agenda, I decided that I may as well drop in and get a shave and a haircut. I think I may have picked the perfect little barber shop. I had some excellent conversations with the patrons and my barber. After nearly an hour in the chair, my barber asked if I'd like join him for lunch at one of his favorite spots. You know me.....I said of course.....

My barber.....

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Check out the guy in the background as he becomes a part of the photography. What's with these guys and the fingers.....

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The joint.....

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The food was good, the first time I ate meat in nearly a year.....didn't know how to get out of that one so when in Rome, do as the Romans. After lunch the barber returned to work but first asked if I'd like to hang out later and walk around Mexicali at night (yikes ! Serious ?). Well, like I said, you know me, I said of course. So we parted ways with plans to meet at the border.

The typical street vendor.....

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And another protest near the border crossing.....

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The streets of Mexicali at night.....

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And dinner with my new friend at another one of his hangouts. I passed on dinner.....I'm still nursing the stomach so I was being careful.....

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Day Three Mexicali.....so this was my third and last day of wandering the streets of Mexicali. Once again, I had no plans other than continuing my success of not being kidnapped, ransomed, and having my head cut off. I'd been doing some internet searches on things to do in Mexicali but not much came up. So I walked.....

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Trip Advisor said to check out Plaza la Cachanilla, which is the largest and highest rated mall in town. It was within walking distance so off I went. As far as malls go, this one was not much different from anything that I've seen in the U.S., so it was mostly a waste of time.....

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Just outside of the mall limits, I saw people living on the streets and in shanty's such as this. It seems as though in the U.S. we do a better job of separating the haves from the have nots.....

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I spent my last night in Calexico once again camped on the street next to a mall. It's fair to say it's a safe place as you can see.....

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Yesterday the weather got bad.....cold, windy, and rain. I decided to drive north, stopped at a Walmart for grub, saw two of these rigs.....

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And thankfully woke up this morning to clear skies.....
 
So where are we today ? Well, we drove east and stopped at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. What a change of pace !

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I did a little searching around on the internet so I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect but not really. It turned out that this weekend is free camping so we found ourselves a spot amongst all the off road enthusiasts.....

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Beyond our campsite there's a ridge and on this ridge there's an impromptu drag strip. So we decided to have a walk up and watch the races. What a blast !

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Beyond the drag strips are miles and miles of sand dunes.....

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These guys race late into the evening.....

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This morning we walked in the dunes while most slept.....

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KE7JFF

Adventurer
Nice reporting! Mexicali is on my list of places to drive to; I know years ago, I talked with a police officer from Puebla (where VW makes cars) who was oddly vacationing on Vancouver Island was telling me that on the Border with the US, all the border crossings were streamlined to concentrate more on commerical vehicles and air passengers where the problems are on the Mexican side; pedestrians in the border tourist areas apparently have the lowest risk.
 
Thanks KE7JFF......I'm not so sure that I'd put Mexicali on my do list. I just happened there to be honest.....

So things started to heat up with all the off road rigs and I thought it wise to move to another part of the dunes that was less populated. So we drove east and parked on the southeastern corner of the dunes. It turned out to be a great idea as we found a nice spot.....

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This weekend the BLM was sponsoring a trash pick up which is why the camp fees were waived. This seems like a good idea on the surface, but during my three day stay I didn't see a single person picking up trash. This evening as we walked thru abandoned campsites we saw plenty of new trash. Pretty sad really. I'm happy to say that we picked up our fair share and then some.....

The dunes are absolutely beautiful and I loved exploring as much as I could.....

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Most of our exploring was on foot but we did take the Jeep down a few sandy roads.....

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I've been reading a book entitled "The Long Walk.....The True Story of a Trek to Freedom" by Slavonic Rawicz. It's about a group of men in 1941 that escape from a Russian prison in Siberia, walk across Siberia, Mongolia and the Gobi Desert, and into India. It's an amazing story and I couldn't help but relate that story to my wanderings in the dunes. It's a great read.....

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Dont walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Albert Camus

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Yukon.............Jerry..............Montana
 
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Really enjoying your travels, thanks for sharing them.

They made a movie out of that book, called "The Way Back". It's on Netflix. I'm sure the book is much better, they usually are. But it was pretty good.

Keep up the travels and the great reporting
 

KE7JFF

Adventurer
Thanks KE7JFF......I'm not so sure that I'd put Mexicali on my do list. I just happened there to be honest.....
HA...well, I like a good tourist trap and from what I hear, its better than Tijuana and much easier than going thru course the world's busiest border crossing to get to Tijuana in the first place.

Regardless, those BLM Trash pickup days are a good deal...I used to do a few of them in Oregon on some of the land that does require payment and its a good deal. And that desert looks awesome!
 
Hey Hopeless Diamond.....I was going to Google to see if a movie was ever produced. The author mentioned being approached about that but he doesn't comment on it further. I'll have to watch for that when I settle down again. Thanks for the nice words and always happy to blog here with like minded people.....

KE7JFF.....I think the whole idea of free camping in exchange for trash pick up is a great idea. That being said, it would also seem like it's being abused (from what I saw only). I just can't understand why anyone litters anymore. Here's my 4 day haul.....

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Not much going on here regarding my travels. Since my last posting, I've spent 2 more days and nights in the dunes. Yep, I like it here. Yesterday we hiked into another area where these trees were somewhat abundant. I thought they were beautiful.....

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I never thought much of taking a photograph of power lines, but I kind of liked these. The first is looking west....

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And the second is looking east.....

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Yukon is just happy tucked away under the blankets.....

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Mexico is still unsettled.....today we will continue east.....
 
After leaving the sand dunes of California , we got onto Interstate 8 eastbound and made a planned stop in Yuma, Arizona to take care of the necessities. A meal out, food supplies (since going vegetarian I find that I need fresh stuff about every 4 days or so), and of course the hot shower. Not sure why, but I've always wanted to make a stop in Yuma, I think it's the catchy name possibly. Check out this sign I saw while walking there.....who would even want to enter this place ?

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While in Yuma, I began having towing issues with the Jeep. The front wheels didn't seem to turn so well. And there was additionally a problem with disengaging the 4 wheel drive. I tried to ignore it, so from Yuma we drove south to San Luis, Arizona, a border town with Mexico. The problem persisted so I finally pulled into a lube joint to have it diagnosed/ serviced. The transfer case was dry and there was water in the transmission (I'm guessing from the time I sunk the Jeep in the Wyoming river with the XP guys). It took these guys quite a while to get that water out of the transmission but it it seems as though they've done a thorough job for me. Hopefully my problems have been resolved.....

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San Luis, Arizona is a small farming town like nothing I've ever seen. I'm sure I'll post more about it, but these massive farms along the border are serviced by Mexicans that cross the border daily to work in the fields and packaging plants. I awoke this morning at 4:30 a.m. to the sound of buses roaring down the streets. These buses are everywhere as are the Mexican workers. For me, it's an incredible sight, like I said, I've never seen anything like it. More to come.....

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Across the border from San Luis, Arizona lies the Mexican town of San Luis Rio Colorado. I decided that I would cross the border the next morning so prior to leaving I did a quick Google search to educate myself and be just a bit more knowledgeable as to what I should expect. Apparently the police chief was murdered, as was the police chief before him, and as was the police chief before him, and in addition, some guy in an acting role was murdered as well. Hmmmm......that told me I really needed to be careful. It was also Inauguration Day for Donald Trump, therefore I wondered if that could cause any problems. I decided to go as a Canadian with my favorite baseball cap.....

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The border crossing, much like Mexicali, was fast and simple. What I found on the other side was a beautiful city, streets and walks recently renovated. Once again, much like Mexicali, I never felt threatened and the Mexican people were always polite and friendly......

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San Luis Rio Colorado is much more touristy than Mexicali, but there were no tourists there to speak of.....

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There's a really pretty park in town.....

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Quite a few street vendors and shoe shine guys.....

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And hot peppers.....

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Of course I was also checking out the fuel situation. It appears that things are improving and now I'll await the next increase which is planned for February first. Both Pemex stations that I saw were pumping fuel, although I think that most Mexicans are crossing the border and buying it here as it's so much cheaper. Stations on the U.S. side are packed and the vehicle lines are long at the border crossing.....

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It was a fairly uneventful day that I enjoyed immensely. When I crossed the border back into the U.S., this poor guy was standing there. I couldn't help feel bad for him.....

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KE7JFF

Adventurer
Glad the fuel situation is improving with Pemex; one of my friends who hails from the Baja Peninsula was telling me that "this is a long time coming" and hopefully will get ULSD to other places


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
KE7JFF.....I've read the same on a blog that I'm following.....

One of the mechanics at the shop had suggested that I get up early and check out the early morning activities as the Mexican farm workers cross the border to begin their working in the fields. He said that beginning at 1:00 a.m. food vendors begin to set up portable restaurants along Main Street in San Luis. He said that by 4:00 a.m. the streets would be packed with workers on their way to work. So Saturday morning I set my alarm for 4:00 a.m. 30 minutes later I was enjoying the early morning rush. There was a steady stream of workers coming from Mexico. The food vendors were already dishing out meals.....

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The mechanic told me that I needed to try the food since it was authentic Mexican food and he thought I'd love it. I waited in line at the only one that sold huevos. After probably a 15 minute wait I ordered my huevos. I couldn't believe it when she said No hay huevos. Dejectedly I left the line without my breakfast.....

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The one observation that I made that morning was how happy and content these people seemed to be. That quite amazed me.....

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Once they're fed and their lunches are packed, they load into these buses.....

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For a long day working in the fields.....

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These are such hard working people. I have a lot of respect for their work ethics. I'm very, very grateful for their efforts. And I look forward to driving across that border soon.....
 
We left San Luis Sunday morning and drove north returning to Yuma, Arizona. I think I'm going to miss San Luis.....I really enjoyed the people in that small town. The issue with the Jeep had not been resolved yet, additionally I'd been having problems with the truck batteries since leaving Slab City. I needed to get the kinks worked out. So I hung at the bookstore a bit.....

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And at the Jeep and Chevy dealers as well as Interstate Batteries where I had both of the truck batteries replaced. I think I've got all my issues resolved for now.....

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Sometimes I think my rig is just getting too old for this lifestyle but then I see something like this and I wonder.....

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Today we're going to drive north. There's something I want to see. Enjoying the Wild West.....

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rpintx1

Observer
Jerry,

Long time lurker, but avid reader of your thread. if you are ever near El Paso, you, Yukon, and Montana have a place to stay and hot showers.
 
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