Will we make it trough the desert...?

Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Thursday, November 22, 2012

so having said goodbye to San Diego, last night we drove 30 miles east to just outside a small town called El Cajon onto the sycuan indian reservation territory to stay in the casino car park... betting is not allowed in USA so there are no bookies etc they are only allowed to go to casinos and they have to be in indian reservation land.. interesting..!!

We had a good sleep and set off early for our desert crossing..we took the scenic route to highway 8 through japaful valley to have our first taste of things to come.. here the mountain ranges were arid with little greenery , trees or water... it was however spectacular and beautiful in its own way.. we passed many tiny ranches with buildings that blended into the landscape and a few scattered animals roaming around for what little food was available..

soon we reached the 8 and quickly the road rose higher and higher to peak at 4000 feet in the Laguna mountains.. now the landscape really looked like nothing we had seen before.. rugged, stoney and seemingly lifeless not even a cactus , it looked like something from the moon.. it was however fascinating.. there were few cars and the road itself was massively wide, until we reached the in koh path gorge where the mountains separate allowing the road to pass between, very very spectacular now..huge boulders balancing on cliff edges, big metal cages holding back sandy coloured falling rocks and a very windy steep road down..towards el centro...

as we descended the change in environment was amazing ..we quickly reached almost sea level again and boulders and mountains gave way to flat fields of crops and green trees being fed by the Alamo river from the north..... long straight roads seemed to cross the highway and go to nowhere... small houses and farms scattered the horizon and I felt much more at ease again...

the green fields continued for about twenty miles then quickly turned to barren dry cactus country...so long straight roads ahead with cactus everywhere. after about 15 miles we reached an area of sand dunes where loads of campers and RV ers were enjoying the dunes with boards and dune buggys .. it was quite strange as it was in the middle of nowhere with just a few small buildings and facilities scattered around..

next stop was Yuma.. halfway between Pheonix and San Diego , a large city stretching 20 miles in both directions N/S and E/W.. we stopped for lunch.. but did not stay long as the city itself has little to offer tourists.. so here we crossed the border and now in Arizona..we were stopped by border control just for a couple of quick questions ..Mark said later it was because the mexican border is so close to Yuma..

The rest of journey was all cactus and flat barren land but slowly as we got nearer Pheonix the mountains began to appear on the horizon which definitely made the landscape more appealing.. along the way another sand dune recreational area loomed from nowhere ..these were the only two areas of real sand we saw..

Eventually we arrived in southern Pheonix and Mark directed us to another Casino car park in Scottsdale..

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