Saturday, July 8, 2017

Tecate Peak

Hiked: 7/7/2017
Distance: Drive up
Summit Elevation: 3885'
Prominence: 1885'
Elevation Gain: 0'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.00
Round trip time: N/A
Recommended water: N/A
Parking/Fees: N/A
Difficulty: Easy

The dirt road to Tecate (#53 on the SDC) starts on Bowmans Road at the intersection with highway 94. It is not a straight shot and part of the road may be private. A sharp, non-intuitive left turn was required, then a right, but nothing Google Maps couldn't handle. The road was a little rougher than Otay Truck Trail, but less scary. It didn't have the huge drop offs and the road was wider. High clearance recommended and 4x4 not necessary. I didn't meet any vehicles on the road to Tecate, taking it all the way up. Tecate is very rocky and sits close to the border. It is also a popular border patrol hang out, but I had the summit to myself. I had a good view of Tecate, Mexico, the border wall and mountains on both sides. I noticed a border patrol helicopter flying well below me in the valley, but paid it no attention. I wandered around taking photos, then got back in the truck to descend. Just as I was leaving the summit, the border patrol helicopter flew over. It wasn't happy to see me there and buzzed me, no more than 20' above. He circled around and buzzed me a second time. I wanted to show that I was friendly, so I rolled my window down to wave. That's when I got buzzed a third time, the rotor wash blasting handfuls of dirt and twigs in through my window. Jackass. The helicopter then left me alone and flew off. I wasn't trespassing and hadn't committed any crime, but I half expected to be met back at highway 94 to show my papers. Thankfully, the coast was clear. I put it behind me and drove off to Sheephead Mountain.

Tecate Peak

Approaching the summit

On a steel horse I ride

Tecate, Mexico

Looking north, Cuyamaca in the distance (center)

Border wall

Border patrol helicopter circling back to harass me

Black vulture, the first I've encountered

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