The city of Tijuana is the gift that keeps on giving and in this case it’s the continual release of contaminated runoff and untreated sewage that never stops finding its way to the Tijuana River. The most recent story is of an approximately 14.5 million gallon spill of raw sewage that was apparently caused by a dead body that caused trash to clog up a pump station . How the body got there nobody knows! The area turned into a crime scene and the banks at the pump station were temporarily raised to stop the flow of fecal matter. What’s even better about the story is a reference to a plan presented by San Diego officials to solve the problem that requires between $400 million and $1.5 billion in U.S. federal funding to clean up Tijuana’s waste water . There is so much to unpack from the small number of stories that I’ve cited below (yes, this is but a small sampling) but it’s fairly apparent that the United States has spent plenty of money on this issue over a timeframe of decades. I’m not really convinced that throwing more money at Mexico will fix the problem if they themselves aren’t willing to fix basic infrastructure issues.
Quite a large number of people lost their minds when the San Ysidro port of entry was closed for a measly six hours, just think about how six days might get a little bit more action from the source of the sewage problem? Perhaps the U.S. could raise tariffs on all Mexican goods by a few percent each month until Mexico takes substantive action? Or we could just give some people more money and hope that sewage treatment equipment is maintained and operated properly and that city planning is competently performed in Tijuana. I also have to wonder, why aren’t any Congressional Democrats screaming and shrieking about all of the rare wildlife being suffocated by tons of fecal matter and trash ? I guess that I just shouldn’t think about it. This problem of uncontrolled sewage flows from Mexico warrants a much longer post to explain in more excruciating detail (or a thesis) but for now I’ll just leave some video, photos, and links embedded below. There’s really nothing joyful to take away from this post but I do hope that it was informative and piqued your interest on this subject. That’s all for now…
Here’s a short anthology of stories relating to Tijuana’s never-ending deposit of shit into the Tijuana River:
- San Diego Reader – Shocking facts and horrifying history of Tijuana sewage (November 1988)
- The Washington Post – POLLUTION UNDER SCRUTINY AT U.S.-MEXICAN BORDER (October 1989)
- Los Angeles Times – State Aid Promised for Border Sewage Problem : Sanitation: Wilson says $900,000 will be used to treat polluted Tijuana River water in San Diego’s municipal sewer system. (March 1991)
- The San Diego Union Tribune – Ocean currents mean sewage pollution potential persists (January 2011)
- Surfrider Foundation – Tijuana River: The Largest Sewage Spill We’ve Ever Seen (March 2017)
- Fox News – Mexican sewage routinely fouling San Diego beaches, ocean waters (March 2017)
- The Coronado Times – Marine Life Mortality and Pollution Levels in Oceans (June 2017)
- The San Diego Union Tribune – Where does the contaminated Tijuana water flow? Depends on the swell (March 2018)
- ABC News 10 – San Diego leaders present $400 million plan to solve Mexican sewage problem (September 2019)
- Fox News – Dead body trapped in Tijuana pump station causes 14.5M gallons of raw sewage to spill into San Diego, officials say (October 2019)
- ABC News 10 – Trapped body causes 14.5 million gallons of Tijuana sewage to leak into US (October 2019)
Tijuana River Plume Tracker
Culp Valley Road is an easy trail with no significant obstacles to note that any truck with some ground clearance should be able to pass through. The western end of this trail starts in Ranchita at Old Wilson Valley Road and heads east where it ends at S-22. This road passes through the transition zone between the mountains (~4000 ft) and desert floor near Borrego Springs. According to Google Maps this road doesn’t exist but if you’re going out to this area you should really have some good maps (if you’re frugal like me) or a SD card loaded up with some trail data for your Lowrance GPS unit (if you’re a big spender). The eastern edge of this trail passes through the Paroli Homestead (of which not much remains), a long abandoned ranch that a family was able to eek out a survival on for a few years. Enjoy the photos and videos and look for the rest of them here on the dedicated page!
Western starting location
Culp Valley Cultural Preserve (PDF)
A Cahuilla Village in the Boulders of an Upland Valley
Cedar Creek Road is a trail of easy difficulty that a 2WD truck with some ground clearance should easily pass through in dry conditions. There are no hard obstacles on this trail, just wonderful views of the canyon and an easy-going drive that is close to San Diego with little risk of vehicle damage. There are also numerous hiking trails in the area for when you just need a nice, long walk outside. This trail is very picture heavy so be sure to enjoy all of the photos here on the dedicated page!
This is where the southern end of the trail starts, even though it does not show up on Google Maps. Cedar Creek Road heads north from the junction at Three Sisters Falls trailhead.
White Mountain is a trail of moderate difficulty that a 4×4 truck with decent tires should be able to navigate. No obstacle is terribly difficult but there are lots of tough rocks of which a few demand careful tire placement. For much of the trail the brush is very tight or there is a steep cliff to one (or both sides) which may make it very fun to deal with opposing traffic. It would be wise to stop your vehicle at an open spot when you get a chance and take a quick look to see if any other trucks are heading your way. For this trip I was a passenger (for once) and just got to enjoy the scenery a little more than I usually do. I also had a great chance to take more photos than normal, enjoy the rest of the photos and videos here on the complete page!
White Mountain location:
The Espinosa Trail is a path of moderate difficulty that will be hard on your truck’s paint job and is harder yet on full-size trucks. No single obstacle really stands out, just lots of moderately sized rocks and hinderances that are more difficult in wide and long vehicles. The Espinosa Trail is located in the Corral Canyon OHV area approximately 50 miles east of San Diego and is conveniently located just south of I-8. For those who are more adventurous and have capable rigs there are the two difficult trails known as Bronco Peak and Sidewinder for your enjoyment. Enough of my written description of this wonderful trail though, enjoy the photos and videos and find all of them here on the full page!
The Coxey Trail (3N14) is a trail of easy difficulty north of Big Bear Lake that any truck with some ground clearance would easily drive through. This trail starts high near Big Bear Lake and gently descends down the San Bernardino Mountains into the vast expanse of the Mojave Desert. The southern end of the trail starts in Fawnskin along CA-38 at the Rim of the World Drive. The northern end of the trail is at the junction of Bowen Ranch Road and Coxey Road. This is a fun, relaxing trail run that will be well worth your time. The rest of the photos and videos may be found here on the dedicated page. Enjoy!
I’m putting both of these trails on the same page due to how they intertwine with each other. I suppose you could just drive along Skyline Drive on its own but only completing Clark’s Grade would require a U-turn as soon as you reached the top. A 4×4 truck with decent ground clearance and tires will easily pass through this road under dry conditions. The path to Clark’s Summit is a narrow shelf road in which encountering opposing traffic is rather miserable. I’ve generally completed this route from the southern end starting at Seven Oaks Road just north of CA-38.
Upon reaching Clark’s Summit Skyline Drive goes off both east and west and snakes its way north towards a few different spots in Big Bear Lake. The views the entire way are amazing and well worth your time! There are many hiking and biking trails that pass through Skyline Drive so be sure to watch out for pedestrians. There are multiple methods of reaching both of these trails and I will have to pass through more of them in the future. Be sure to look on the dedicated page to find all of the photos and videos and enjoy!
Good evening everybody, this post is simply to showcase another video about driving on the fine roads in San Diego and the drivers contained therein. From wrong way motorists, to Interstate crashes, and illegal U-turns my dash camera has recorded all sorts of highway hijinks for you to be amazed by. Enjoy!
Good evening everybody, tonight’s post is just about the most recent photos and videos I took from the Coronado Bridge and Coronado Tidelands Park on the eastern side of the island. The ride up and down the Coronado Bridge is awe inspiring and quite beautiful at all times of the day and is well worth your time if you ever pass through San Diego. Bridge traffic to and from Naval Base Coronado can be terrible from about 0500-0800 and 1500-1800 on a weekday so be sure to avoid the bridge at those times. The Coronado Tidelands Park is a quite and calming place to spend the afternoon and I’ll have to take my bicycle and explore island and Silver Strand in a more personal way. I’ll leave a few photos below and you can enjoy the rest of them on the dedicated page here!
In early March I went to the Mojave Desert for a weekend camping trip with a small group of friends. The majority of the group started the trip in the Johnson Valley area and headed north towards camp where I met up with them at night (Friday). One member of our group flopped onto his side in the afternoon prior to my arrival and another truck showed up on the morning on the second day. We drove through the Soda “Dry” Lake, fooled around the Cinder Cones, spent some time beating up our suspensions on whoops, and camped out in the New York Mountains on Saturday night. A good time was had by all. Enjoy the photos and find the rest of them on the dedicated page and Tundras.com!