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Our last day together found us in the far SE corner of California and Imperial County, west of Yuma, AZ. We had come far south looking for warmer temps and found better conditions, but still unseasonably chilly. Overcast skies and a stiff wind would change to bluer skies and less wind in the afternoon. We'd spent the night camped east of Yuma, on some sandy state trust lands south of town that we thought would give us some peace and quiet. We were visited by the Border Patrol around midnight, having been reported by "spotters," which we took to mean well-meaning citizens trying to keep their country safe. The net result was that after a short, pleasant exchange, they let us be for the rest of the night. We were up before dawn to grab Starbucks on our way out of town and west into California. Our efforts today were pretty chill, a collection of three relatively easy summits.
The summit had a collection of poorly constructed flagpoles with solar lighting, none of which worked any more, and no flags on the poles. There were other small structures, no longer in use, including an array of short antennae. The summit overlooks the NE corner of MX that abuts that section of AZ acquired through the Gadsen Purchase. Large sections of the US/MX wall can be seen as it makes a sharp turn around the mexican town of Los Algondones. Included in this wall is a colorful section of illegally stacked shipping containers on federal lands that AZ would shortly be forced to dismantle. After Eric described his discomfort with the ascent, I assured him we could get down an easier way, all trail and road through the quarry. This worked very nicely, and would undoubtedly make for the easiest ascent route as well.
After returning to the Jeep, we drove south, hoping to get a close-up look at the border fence. Unfortunately, the All-American Canal runs along the border on the US side of the fence, and we could find no access across the canal. We might have been able to swim across, but that might have not ended well via a variety of possible scenarios gone bad.
The trail we followed to the summit had also been lovingly constructed, obviously not an old mining trail, but one built for no other reason than to go up a mountain. The upper portion had been more sparsely laid out, and it seems that the trail builder ran out of time or ability to finish it to the same standards the lower half had been. It took us about an hour and twenty minutes to make our way to the top where we found an ammo box holding a busy register/geocache. On the way back down, I thought it might have been fun to descend the gully south of the summit. It looked like it could be a nice scramble all the way back to the bottom (or maybe just a fun Wilderness-y adventure while tripping), but I didn't suggest it because I knew Eric would prefer the trail and didn't want to be alone for the hike down. When we got back to the cars, Eric decided to take it easy the rest of the afternoon while I wanted to go off and tag the last summit we had planned for the day. Even acid can't keep me from doggedly pursuing a peakbagging agenda.
This page last updated: Fri Jan 13 17:28:46 2023
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