Monday, January 9, 2012

Visit to Yaquitepec, home of Marshal South atop Ghost Mountain, pt.1

Yesterday, Sunday morning, I got up ready and eager to drive down for my
first visit to the Anza- Borrego State Desert Park, the site where the writer,
Marshal South and his family lived on a ridge top in the desert for 16 years,
building a life away from civilization during the Great Depression, and finally
abandoning the homestead in the late 1940’s after a breakup between the writer and his wife, details of which you can read on the website linked earlier
and in other places on the web, or in books or magazine articles.

I strongly recommend that you click on the above link, and read about this man,
if you are unfamiliar with him and this article which discusses Marshal South along with another 1930’s explorer, the young Everett Ruess, as well as Ed
Abbey and others. A truly great read, especially about Marshal and Everett.

Let me say that it is not easy to get to the site via state highways 78 or 79, here
is a screenshot from a video I took while driving that illustrates the difficult terrain and highway conditions.
ScreenHunter_02 Jan. 09 17.40

My first destination was the visitor center in Borrego Springs, where I was bitterly disappointed. I had read online that in their theater, they showed the
15 minute film, “The Ghost Mountain Experiment,” instead another film was
screened about the park instead. They did have the film and a book for sale
in their gift shop about Yaquitepec and Marshal South.

After a 20-25 minute stay, I took off in the Morongomobile for Park Hwy S-2
and the 3.2 mile long dirt road leading to the home site. After about a 17 mile drive, I arrived at the turn off and slowly began the dirt road journey, dodging
the potholes, and hoping no vehicle would meet me head on, as most of the
way the road is only wide enough for one vehicle, someone would have to back up to a turnout.
ScreenHunter_04 Jan. 09 18.16

In the above video capture, one vehicle could pull off to the right, further down the road that just isn’t possible.

The temperature was in the high 60’s F and there was no wind when I arrived
at the trailhead.
01082012yaquitepec 002

This is as good a place as any to stop and process my videos and photographs
taken this day, while you readers check out the links mentioned above. I can
not over-emphasize that if you have never heard of either individual, you really
should read a little about them to truly appreciate, in Marshal’s case, the desire
to build a life way out from the world, in the remote Blair Valley, in the Anza- Borrego area.

Part 2 will come shortly, please do return for it, here is a video capture image
showing the view across the valley, near the home site, Yaquitepec.
ScreenHunter_03 Jan. 09 18.06

In the video, overcome by the beauty of nature laid out before me, I said
that if it wasn’t so much effort, that I would ask my brother to spread my ashes
here when I was gone, that is how awe- struck this sight made me.

This poor photograph does not do justice to this scenic view.


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