Ron and I decided to go out for a bike ride on another lovely sunny California day in October. Ron perused the bike map and decided to drive south toward the Mexican Border, and then bike on a paved road that leads to the Southwest corner of the continental US in
Border Field State Park. Currently, the bikes are stored inside our van which makes driving to a biking destination an easy option.
This is one of the more interesting rides we've taken. It's a bit of a step back in time because most of the ride is on an old winding paved road that hasn't had any improvements for years. In fact, it is underwater part of the year. It's quiet with very little traffic, modest farms, and horse ranches along the way. The surrounding ground cover and brush looked pretty scraggly and brownish.
What made it the most interesting, however, is the fact that we were biking along the Mexican Border and could see the border fence and Tijuana along the way. There were few cars or people around, but we saw an occasional Border Control truck as well as one patroller on a motorcycle.
When we reached the Pacific Ocean and the Southwest corner, we walked up to the double border fence and viewed the Mexican beachfront community of
Las Playas de Tijuana on the other side. An old dormant bullring and picturesque lighthouse were also visible. We could hear live music from the other side. There was far more activity on the Mexican side with people playing and walking along the beach. The border fence extends about 300 feet into the ocean. Swimming is not recommended due to hazardous conditions, such as inshore holes and rip currents.
I was surprised to see horseback riders on the beach. Border Field State Park is one of the only places in California that allows riding on the beach and horses can be rented at a nearby stable. (I hope I can convince my son to come down here and ride a horse with me when he comes to visit at Xmas.)
|HORSEBACK RIDING ALONG BEACH|
Another fascinating discovery was Friendship Park. It is the only place along the entire Mexican-US border that provides a place for loved ones, that are separated by immigration status, to reunite. Established in 1971, it is located within the Border Field State Park and open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 2pm. Families travel from great distances to be together.
There are a few ways to drive to this area and various parking options. We took the Dairy Mart Road exit west off of Hwy 5, and parked at the Tijuana River Valley County Park. We biked along Dairy Mart Rd which eventually turns into Monument Road. It is about five miles to the Border Field State Park and the ocean. This is all located within the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, a wildlife reserve. The road into the park is closed most of the winter months due to flooding.
|LIGHTHOUSE IN MEXICO|