Laguna Salada

Entering via the Mexicali East border crossing, my van was briefly searched, complete with scent-sniffing dog. Any idea what they were looking for entering Mexico? Who smuggles drugs into Mexico?

Baja - Mexicali - Border CrossingBaja - Mexicali - Border Crossing - Inspection

Laguna Salada

I started with Laguna Salada. Here I am at the Highway 2 entrance to the dry lakebed, enjoying the shade of one these fat red pillars while I air down my tires. I suppose they're so big in order to be seen from a distance when lost out on the playa, but I like to think of them as the entrance gate remains of some long-gone lakebed tourist resort. See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth  32.5698, -115.7899 

Laguna Salada - Entrance - Markers

Driving on the lakebed. I was afraid recent rains would make it impassably muddy, but it wasn't bad. Still, I learned it was best to stay on existing tire tracks where the dirt has been compacted.

Laguna Salada - RoadLaguna Salada - RoadLaguna Salada - RoadLaguna Salada - SignLaguna Salada - Road NE to Mexicali - SignLaguna Salada - Dashboard Computer

I ran across this red mast way out in there flatness. It turned out to be some kind of safety beacon with a map, emergency call box, and a cache of water! Wow, very thoughtful! See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth  32.2653, -115.6660 

Laguna Salada - RoadLaguna Salada - Emergency Water Cache - Light Mast - MapLaguna Salada - Emergency Water Cache - IntercomLaguna Salada - Emergency Water Cache

At some point I climbed a little dune on the west side of Laguna Salada and stopped there for lunch. I was sitting in the sand, munching my sandwich while enjoying the view and appreciating all the little magenta flowers surrounding me, when I noticed the plants were all wriggling!

I took a closer look. No, not the plants themselves, but caterpillars! There must have thousands! Several clung to each plant, and they were all munching away. There were at least 20 just within my arms' reach. Some big and fat, some tiny. At least one had been squished under my butt.

Laguna Salada - Caterpillar

Cactus blooms.

Palomar Canyon - Cactus - FlowersCactus FlowersCactus FlowersCactus Flowers