Woo, it started out to be just a little drive to Campo. We stopped at Lake Moreno and saw the cabins there where I had such a wild weekend once. The lake and little town are at 4,000 feet high about sixty miles from San Diego. There was a cold, brisk wind blowing and only two boats out fishing in this resevoir.
The train museum at Campo was interesting. Some day I am going to have to go in there. We saw the Border Patrol cars all lined up in this town. There were lots of boarded up buildings. Looked like Campo had seen better days.So many Border Patrol Vans passed us on the winding road. I pulled over to let them go by me. I wouldn't want to tangle with any of them. We imagined illegal aliens hiking over the hills all around Campo. I wanted to see the actual border at Tecate, fifteen miles down the road.
We pulled up in the dusty little place and looked out over the hills in Mexico that were covered with little houses. There wasn't much activity in the street but we didn't stay long enough to find out more. There were lots of signs warning of the illegality of taking guns across the border. I'm sure there is lots going on in that place and we got an unsafe feeling. Plus we were hungry and that cafe cart looked dangerous.
Back on the winding roads through the green hills we went and it felt good to get away from the border. It is always in your thoughts tho and I imagine the people with land around there are inundated with trouble. Maybe not. In one little town we saw lots of people milling around with backpacks. We were suspiciously looking at them and then realized it was some high school letting out and all the kids were just heading home.
Finally we found the Barrett Restaurant.
We walked into the place and ordered fish and chips. They say it is a jumping place on the weekends. A nice old couple said it had been twenty years since they were there. We sat on the porch and marveled at the history that place has seen since 1917. We could see the Mexican Hills down the valley. The land seemed beyond borders to me but the idea of borders is always with me in this area.
There was a check point before we got out of the hills. They let the truck in front of us go right by but the fellow approached us and I rolled down my window. He asked me if he had seen this truck before coming through there.
"No, no," I said quickly but hopefully not too quickly. "We've never been here before. Can you give us some directions?"
We zoomed off well directed and very happy to not be pulled over even further into the little compound. It was small and yet a very powerful place.
There were power lines strung all over the back country. They are big and opressive but the wave of the future around here along with wind farms. People are saying they should save the back country and invest in solar panels on all the roofs in San Diego. Makes better sense to me.
I got to thinking of all the borders I have been through. I remember the Afghanistan - Iran border in the seventies with lots of uniforms and small buildings. I was searched naked in Bangor, Maine at a border stoppage when they looked at my passport coming back from two years as a hippie round the world. I was also searched naked on the Canadian border coming back into the States after a rock concert in Canada in the sixties.
I was under arrest at a border check in Dharmsala, India. My passport didnt have the correct stamp and they were going to put us in jail but my friend talked us out of there because he said I had jaundice hepatitis and he took me to court in an ambulance. So borders have been interesting to me. The Tecate border was just as intense as any of them. I was glad not to be going thru those big gates over into the crowded streets of the Mexican side. The American side didn't seem much safer.