Before I came down
with a cold for my birthday, I took a day trip- no, this was definitely a road trip- out
to Mexicali. Why? I hadn't been there! And I had a chance to go. Simple enough. What I knew about this city was hearsay: the only thing you can do in Mexicali is be hot, drink beer to not be so hot, but end
up just being drunk and hot. And eat famously good Chinese food.
Stopping at a Starbucks in the city to use the toilet and the wifi,
(my dudes, that is all Starbucks actually exist
for in this dimention)
I did notice a distinct spike in the number Chinese/Chinese-Mexican people in the coffee shop.
There had better be amazing Chinese food around here then, right?
And did I even try any comida china?
HA! Of course not! Why, would I EVER do that?!
I opted for a vegan place. (It was Asian fusion food, ok?!) The atmosphere was a little weird because they were in the middle of moving locations, but the food was pretty good!
Because there was no plan, there wasn't so much to do in the city itself. I could understand why people opt to drink for fun.
The ride, it turns
out, was the primary reason to go.
East of Tecate you
leave the scrublands and enter the Sonoran desert.
And you can almost get the
bends doing it! No, not really. But, dang, my head/ears felt funny.
The route you take goes through part of the the Sierra de Juarez mountain range. So you wend up and up from sea level to 4000 feet!
The landscape shifts
from TJ city sprawl (chaos); to more pristine yet methane stinking ranches and farmland; to
jumbled, rocky hills; to flat a expanse of desert, a dry lake bed.
La Rumorosa is the
jumbled hills part, the winding road. It is also the name of the small town you blink-and-miss before hitting Mexicali.
It is surreal to see
those mountains at first. Maybe it was just me a the time, but the land and
rock formations didn't register as real to my eyes. The giant wind turbines
definitely didn't help that situation.
Driving through, you
get this feeling that the rubble around you would tumble down right on top of
you at any moment.
Or a gust of wind would sneak up faster than most drivers dare to go and topple you over -land you all broken on uncomfortable looking rocks 300 feet below.
doesn't just whisper here.
And entering the
desert doesn't mean the weather is always hot. I've seen pictures online of the
road blanketed in snow! I've love to see the hothead racers around here try the roads then!
This is a place of
death.I wondered just how many people had
died out there.
How many were taken
out there to be tortured, killed, and buried to never be found.
I spied enough car
bits and tires to know that many an overly confident driver did not survive La Rumorosa.
Being still so close
to the US, this desolate place is also an unsanctioned crossing point. I wonder
how many people thought that going through this great trial of crossing over
would bring them great reward.
I wondered how many died trying to make their delusions
stop and take in the sights dot the roads.
You share the stops with work-minded
truckers and photo-happy tourists alike.
feeling like you are looking out at Mos Eisley space port, you realize you
can't hear ANYTHING- when there is no traffic passing you by.
I live on a busy boulevard. I'd forgotten
what quiet was like! We got reacquainted in betwixt the vehicle noises.
Oddly enough, I've actually been in this
desert before. This one stretches up into Arizona where I'd lived for a short while.
The new experience for me was standing on the edge of that desert. I don't think I'd ever
stood at the very edges of any desert before.
One might not think it as 'pleasant' as standing on a beach.
Nevertheless, there was something similarly dramatic, exciting and powerful in
It took me by surprise.
The place hums with its own kind of energy. I could feel why the
boys would want to take their bikes and race the curves. Or why the truckers
stop at the pull offs to pray near the shrines, and take a piss.
When I go
out that way again, I want to visit the archeological site El Vallecito. This is a place were you are able view ancient petroglyphs. It's nothing fancy or extensive, but it's nice to be close to old things in a land where everything has been built up so recently.