Sunday, August 5, 2007

Run For the Border

The First Border I Had to Cross Was the One into California

I started this mornings 19 mile run from down town, within in a couple of hundred of yards I had gone over to Colorado River and into California. I am pretty sure that this is only place where one can cross into to California from another state by heading north. Though the temperature when I started out was a reasonable 84, the humidity was for Arizona, wicked, 74%. I was drenched in sweat within the first half mile.

The No Longer So-Mighty Colorado River

For most of my run I ran on the Colorado River Levee. While the river certainly has some beauty to, it is also kind of sad to look at. By the time the river reaches the stretch that I was running along the only water that has been left in it is the water that US is bound by treaty to send to Mexico, and it's not much. The river that was once a might carver of canyons is reduced to just a trickle. I could walk across the portion pictured above without getting my armpits wet.

Border Approach

Finally I reached the Mexican Border, my destination. Because I had already gone though a quart of the Gatorade that I was carrying with me, I decided to across into Mexico and get something to drink. The town on the other side, Algadones, is a strange one. It exists primarily to cater to elderly American and Canadian tourists, as such every business is one of three things, a pharmacy, dentist, or an optician. This town of 10,000 has literally dozens of each. So I stopped in one of the pharmacy's just across the border and bought a large bottle of water.

Crossing into Mexico

Crossing back into the United States I had a bizarre exchange with the custom agent. He first asked me the question that they always start with. "Purpose of your visit to Mexico?"

I responded truthfully and told him, "To get a drink of water."

He gave me a strange look and asked "What are you bringing back from Mexico?"

"This bottle of water."

He looked a little incredulous and asked "You came all the way to Mexico to get a bottle of water?"

"Yup, I was out running and was thirsty."

"Running? but, where did you run from?"


"You ran all the way from downtown to here?"

At this point explained that I was training for a marathon this fall. Either this explication satisfied him, or he could no longer stand my sweat drenched stench because he let me pass into the US.

Finally Back Into Arizona

Unfortunately the 8.5 mile return trip was miserable. The forecast had been for a cloudy morning, the forecast was wrong. The sun burned through what clouds there where and began to brutally beat down, something made worse by the fact that the humidity had not abated. Then my Gatorade ran dry and I became parched, to the point where I stopped sweating, this despite that fact that had pre-hydrated with 2 quarts of Gatorade before I left home, carried with me and drank another 2 quarts, plus the liter of water that I got in Mexico. Fortunately I found a place to refill my water pack, unfortunately it was with warm water. It was with great relief when I finally crossed the bridge back into Arizona and my waiting car.

1 comment:

Whitney said...

I love your pictoral essays of your runs. The exchange with the border agent is classic. I would love to know what are the weird reasons they get for visiting Mexico or for entering the US. I bet they have some good stories.