Newsletter - #105-14q2-p17 - Andy Martin
April 8, 2014 - This point is located just a couple miles south of Interstate 8. Take exit 186 in California, and head south on Algodones Road about 1/2 a mile. You cross the All American canal, and maybe 1/4 mile further turn left on to a good dirt road.
A topo map is handy to see the road layout, as most of the dirt road is missing from Google Maps.
The road turns SSW and heads directly to the border. You will soon see the border fence in the distance.
We were perhaps 1/10 mile from this tall sheet metal fence when we noticed a border patrol vehicle just to our right, on the side of the road. I talked with the agent for several minutes. He did not prohibit our travel onward, but remarked ...
1) We could not see monument 206 through the fence.
2) Watch out for the sand near the fence, or you will get stuck.
3) People throw rocks over the fence.
4) Bullets from Mexico can easily cross into the USA, and will not pause to clear customs.
5) Four people were recently shot dead outside a dentist office in the small Mexican town across the border. [Ed: read the Mexicali MaryAnn (March 29, 2014) news article here].
This pep talk did not derail my plans, but my wife decided to remain in the car. I parked near the fence (being careful to stay on the new dark gravel, and avoid the deep loose sand) and headed west along the fence. There were small square holes I could peer through, and eventually I spotted the metal monument, in fine shape, a few feet on the other side of the fence. I loped back to the car.
At this point my wife decided that the rock and gunfire danger was tolerable, and exited the car. I told her to follow my tracks in the sand to the place where monument 206 was visible, while I headed east to the river. I soon reached the bank, and touched the water. Unfortunately this did not set a new low for me in CA (having been to Death Valley), and I was on the wrong river bank for a new AZ low.
This was still tens of feet from the true tri-point which would take a boat (or swim) to reach. There was a boat in the river, and with more time (plus a GPS) I might have persuaded a fisherman to take me to the tri point.
As I headed back to the car my wife passed me, heading to the river, so I lingered in the shade of the fence for a minute or two. Then the border patrol agent drove next our car, and I headed up there for a chit-chat.
He was curious about the big attraction of the area, so I waved my xeroxed topo map around a bit, an assured him that we were only the first of many USA + Mexico tri-pointers he would encounter - in fact there should be at least one or two more in the next year ... maybe.
We got in the car and made good time back to the interstate.
And don't forget that this tri-point is the northernmost point in Latin America as mentioned in the second paragraph of Wikipedia's "Los Algodones" article.