Tijuana River Valley: November 11-14, 2021


Kudos to the County of San Diego

Well this slipped under our radar. County of San Diego opened a new campground in April: Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Campground. A few weeks ago our friend Jenny went camping there and told us about it. From our house it’s a mere forty minutes, yet a world away. I know I’m always extolling the virtues of San Diego County, but it is truly an amazing place.

This is the first time either of us have been to this area. To our surprise it’s horse country. Driving into the regional park it seemed like every property we passed had horses and stables, with signs advertising horses for rent and beach rides.

The regional park is adjacent to the Border Field State Park. It’s a large swath of undeveloped coastline. From the campground to the ocean it’s a little more than a mile of open land. The only downside, sewage is a serious problem during and after a heavy rainfall. It all comes from Mexico. The Tijuana River originates in the Sierra de Juarez Mountains approximately 45 miles east northeast of Ensenada, flows through Tijuana, crosses the border and empties into the ocean below Imperial Beach. Definitely stay out of the area during and post storm! All that said, we would definitely come back to the newest county campground.

There are many thankless jobs in this country, but Border Patrol must be somewhere near the top of the list. As one would expect being next to the border, the place was buzzing with Border Patrol Agents, a lot of them were on ATV quads. We saw them apprehend a young woman that was by herself. It was heartbreaking. She had plant debris in her long black hair and her clothes were dirty, as if she had been making her way through the bushes, which were dense. She appeared exhausted and defeated as they loaded her into the Border Patrol van.


A peaceful morning and by midday there were multiple Northern Harriers flying inches above the shrub looking for prey.


Across the street from the campground is Spooners Mesa. It quickly rises 370 feet above sea level and offers spectacular views of the Pacific, San Diego, and Tijuana. It accessible only by hiking, biking, or horseback, and of course Border Patrol vehicles. That’s Point Loma in the background.


Tijuana and the wall from Spooners


From Spooners, the empty campground on Thursday. You can see our truck and Airstream behind the yurts. The campground was a little more than half full for the weekend.


Don’t disturb this marker, again on Spooners Mesa.


The Tijuana River Watershed is quite large.


The Border Patrol has more high tech equipment for surveillance than you can imagine, but they still utilize the dragging tires trick to spot fresh footprints crossing a road.


Just in case you didn’t know.


And just a few miles north is Coronado. We rode the Bayshore Bikeway (Silver Strand) for the first time. Paved and flat is a big disadvantage for single speed mountain bikers. Amelia was so far in front of me it was ridiculous.


I came across some fresh bobcat scat in the middle of the road one morning. Apparently this is a thing they do, pooping in the middle of a road or trail.


It’s kind of crazy we’ve never been here.


How apropos, the parking lot for the Border Field State Park, has a mini mesh chain link fence surrounding what, I don’t know, with really cool artwork and concertina wire on top.




Amazing. The roadrunner and coyote are really cool. The lower human leg, now that’s something.


How about that bone in the middle and the Snowy Plover.


Amelia loved the detail of the horny toad.


A beautiful field of Garden Nasturtium about a quarter mile into the Border Field State Park.


Two cairns and Amelia

Protecting the Western Snowy Plover


A pretty, late afternoon, direct into the sun shot.


This unmarked, but we are assuming Border Patrol helicopter, kept flying along the coastline.


Bullring by the Sea and the Tijuana Lighthouse.


The wall. On late Friday, October 29th of this year, one woman drowned, and anywhere from thirteen to thirty six people (depending on what news you read) were pulled from the water and arrested trying to swim around the wall to enter the United States.


On Saturday we rode our bikes to catch a fabulous sunset at Border Field State Park. That’s the Coronado Islands on the horizon.

I’d like to leave you with this song from Rodney Crowell.

9 thoughts on “Tijuana River Valley: November 11-14, 2021

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