Fence on U.S./Mexico Border
Thanksgiving Day 11/25/10 It was a cold morning when we left Jacumba. Our Thanksgiving blessing was no wind. We decided to climb the remaining 6 peaks in one day rather than the original plan of 2 days. We were motivated by the cold and not wanting to risk encountering another wind storm in the mountains. Initially we rode parallel to the big steel fence that defines the U.S./Mexico border. At times we were less than 20 yards from this enormous structure. We saw some homes on each side of the wall that had their backyards separated by this monstrosity, certainly eliminating any neighborly backyard barbecues or friendly over-the-fence conversations. Without wind attempting to blow us off the mountain, we were able to take in some scenery between climbs. The hillsides and peaks were piles of huge brown boulders precariously piled on top of each other with bits of desert vegetation that seemed to hold everything together. We had great vistas of continuous mountain peaks that stretched to the horizon, We could look down into deep green valleys where small settlements appeared to be miniature houses clumped together. As we continued on Old Hwy 80, we spotted a small cafe, partially hidden in a grove of trees, just east of Buckman Springs. By this time, the cold had seeped through our clothing making this little establishment an oasis of warmth. After several cups of coffee and the best pancakes either of us could ever remember eating, we headed back into the cold. We had one major climb remaining before dropping 2000 ft to warmer weather in Alpine. As we descended, we felt as though we were exiting a meat locker. A raven gliding low in front of Norb, guided us part of the way down the mountain where the community of Alpine welcomed us with beautiful orange pyracantha bushes and a hillside of red geraniums. As the sun was setting, we walked to the Alpine Inn for a Thanksgiving buffet where we ate as if it might be our last meal on earth.