Altar 2002 Day 7 08-11-2002

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Back to San Diego

We had bacon, eggs and leftover chicken for breakfast.  The sunrise was awesome.

The sun breaking the ridgeline of the dunes to the east of the last camp.

In the early light, the outline of the Tinajas Altas mountains in the US were visible from the high dunes of our last campsite.

But, there was still quite a bit of dune travel to go.  There were still some substantial obstacles in front of us, like the steep down-slopes below.

Mid-morning, we got to the Cross again and this time managed to get all the vehicles right up to it.

A view from the top of the star dune toward where we camped a week earlier.  Seen from above, the tire tracks look like crop circles in the hard pan below.  This is looking south from the dune crest.

We made good time in the dunes and broke for sandwiches and beer at mid-day.  The sun was hot despite the high clouds and the advancing storm.

A group shot at lunch (from left to right): Bill, Scott, Kai, Matt, Dan and Nancy.  Kathleen took the photo.

Below is Kathleen.  On the way back to Cesar's from the lunch spot, the quad had a heart attack.  It boiled over and spit coolant all over Kathleen.  So, we loaded it up into the 1300 and drove onward.

We were carefully questioned at the army checkpoint.  I thought about telling the private who was doing the grilling that we pulled his team out of the sand the previous night, but figured that was not a good idea and just kept quiet.  We then headed through San Luis to the border crossing.  The trip is not fully over until you cross the border.  The actual border is the odd fence on the far right with the graffiti on it.

We got the anal probe at the border (aka "secondary inspection") and had some packages of unopened fruit imported from the USA (that is to say bought in the supermarket in San Diego) confiscated.  But no matter how you cut it, it was good to be back in the USA.

The trip back to Yuma was uneventful expect for one fellow who nearly caused an accident by staring at the convoy of mogs and failed to heed the car stopped in front of him.  Once back in Yuma, we changed tires and headed back to Tacos Mi Ranchita for chow.  From there, back on Interstate 8 to home.  The trip back was long and slow.  I was hauling all the tires on my trailer and had a strong headwind from the fast approaching storm.  When I hit Mountain Springs Grade ( a 4,000 foot grade), it was a full-scale gale: high winds, driving rain, fog.  It was poor visibility all the way back to San Diego and right into my driveway.  I was happy to be home.  Sadly, the rain had leaked through the roof of my garage during my absence and the next morning I was awoken at 0430 to the sound of water dripping from a broken pipe over the bathroom.  But, despite the hassles, home sweet home was the best place on earth.

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