Sunday, December 18, 2022

Mystery Mound, Center and End of the World


We were camped close to ‘The Mound’ off Sidewinder Road, Felicity, California.  No one seems to know the reason or origin of this monument, but it seems to be well maintained, as someone has recently raked the gravel in the rings. vlcsnap-2022-12-10-11h21m07s058


Lots of little angel statues surrounding the central pile of white rock, but I guess I didn’t take any pics.  You can see them in the video link above.

Looking back towards our camp from the Mound.


‘Centre of the World’ is in the background (!), and Sidewinder Road is known as the ‘End of the World’!   So – perhaps we’re camped on the Edge of the World?

vlcsnap-2022-12-10-11h22m50s251Needed some exercise, so headed over for a hike up Pilot Knob one day.

First part of the trail skirts an inactive quarry, and follows this high, steep, narrow ridge.


Great views back to Yuma and Arizona in the distance, and looking right down into Mexico to the south.


That’s Algodones, Mexico in the background.


There’s a flag pole on top, but the flag has long ago blown away.  There are also some small solar panels and amateurish antenna on top.  Not sure if it is a Ham radio repeater or something?


There are some old foundations on top that likely anchored a tower of some sort in the past.


And, here’s the border wall, with a huge open gate.  Anyone know why the gate, and why it’s open.  There is a fast flowing canal along the border there as well, so even making it past the wall would not get you very far. I think I spotted this open gate last year as well …


Northeast view toward I-8, and the Sidewinder road junction.

IMG_0257Depending on the wind, from our camp you could often hear the distant hum of the Interstate from outside, and I was starting to get used to the regular train traffic and whistles, so it was time to make a move.  We flipped a coin and headed west on I-8. First, the Imperial sand dunes.IMG_0276

And the border wall gets pretty close to the highway for a while.  As well as the wall, there are miles of vehicle barriers right along the edge of the Interstate.


There are convenient RV dumps at the rest areas just west of El Centro, so we took advantage.  There was no fresh water other than for flushing, but we were fully loaded with fresh water anyway.


Lots of solar facilities on both sides of the Interstate.


Nice to get back into some mountains again!


Pulled off the Interstate at Ocotillo and headed north on the S2, into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.


Downtown Ocotillo.


The highway was as deserted as can be.  I think I was the only vehicle for miles.  But the border patrol was waiting for me with a full complement of officers, two vehicles with flashing lights, and ugly zig zag rumble strips!  I guess they were really bored, and actually asked me for ID!  I think this is only the second time for that request in 15+ years of regular border patrol check points.


Sweeney Pass on the S2


Anza – Borrego park has a number of developed campgrounds, including full serviced ones near the town of Borrego Springs.  There are a couple of primitive campgrounds in the southern end of the park as well, but random camping is allowed in most areas.

My preferred spot was occupied, but the alternate spot worked out just fine.


No trains or traffic sounds here, just silence. Great scenery all around, lots of hiking and biking options, and warm sunshine to enjoy it all.

Kicking a few stones for ‘Bayfield’ Al!  Not sure if we’ll make it up to check out Marshall South or Jilbertos this year?  Had a weak moment and picked up an iPhone14 this fall, so it is responsible for most ground based photos, good or bad!



  1. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Ivan.
    We often wondered about that mound on Sidewinder, I guess no one knows.
    Nice spot you have there, we are heading that way but not for a while. We usually park in Truck Haven near the Salton Sea on the edge of the badlands. We too will kick a few rocks for Al. Maybe even visit the stone snake. Safe travels.


    1. I see my blog has dropped off the radar (I mean side-bars) again. Glad you found it anyway!

  2. Anonymous8:43 am

    The pictures and weather look great there.

  3. I was told the openings in Trump's Wall are for migration paths of the desert critters like the deer and sheep. There's another near Jacumba that had a tethered 'blimp' to monitor the traffic.

    1. That sounds like a good reason to have openings. I'm sure there are thousands of other areas where wildlife is not able to cross to find feed, water, mates, or normal migration routes :-(

  4. Oh how those photos of the Borrego Springs area tugged at my heart. One of my very favorite places for sure. Great photo of Hailey on the table. I think those smartphone cameras are amazing. The color, clarity, and density, are always bang on. Keep up the great work and thanks for kicking around a few stones for me. Maybe the next Saguaro you see you could give it a great big hug for me too eh:))

  5. Theres no photo better than a kitty sleeping in the sun!

  6. Merry Christmas, you two! I hope to head that way in the near future. Such a beautiful place. Enjoy!