January 25, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut
Looking South At The Border Field State Park Fence
The extreme southwestern point of the continental United States is encompassed by a California state park named Border Field State Park. After spending some time there, I am just going to come right out and say that this park is a victim of The War On Terror. The beach is barren because people aren’t allowed swim there, the monument at friendship circle is kept behind lock and key, there are no bathrooms or drinking fountains and you aren’t allowed to be within 50 feet of the actual border. Add to this that the road to the park is always flooded, meaning you can’t access the park with a car, only by walking or riding a horse or bicycle. In short, this park has “STAY AWAY!” written all over it. The ironic thing is that these stipulations and conditions only exist on the American side of the border.
A Man, A Woman & A Dog At Border Field State Park
On the Mexican side of the fence, you can play on the beach, walk up to and even walk through the fence. On the American side, as I found out the hard way, if you come within 50 feet or so of the actual border fence you will see a border patrol agent drive down to your location and tell you so keep back about 50 feet. There is actually a secondary fence the runs about 50 parallel feet north of the actual border, that ends about 200 feet of east of the pacific ocean that marks the limit of American citizen access. These objects of isolationism bear no signs or warnings. There is nothing in place at all to keep you from walking directly up to the actual border fence. You’ll know you’re in the wrong when a border patrol jeep drives up behind you to point out the imaginary line you are not supposed to cross.
A Mexican Child Retrieves A Ball From America
As I said before, from the Mexican side of the fence there is nothing to keep you from enjoying a wonderful beach that happens to be on the border between two countries… Swim in the water, approach the border fence, or just have some fun in the sun. As the photos in this post show, you are not entitled to ANY of these things on the American side of the beach.
Playing In The Sand… A Few Feet South Of America
I think tourists in Mexico will ultimately be just as disappointed as tourists in America that come to this park. I thought I’d be able to walk right up to the border and be able to talk with and photograph people on the other side. I was only half right. My trip to Border Field State Park has ONLY my photography to show as evidence that I was there. Just about every other human interaction activity is forbidden by law. Welcome to America.
I think I may have to return to this park in a year or so to see if anything has changed. The photos surrounding this text show my impressions of this place. The closer I reached the border, the more iron bars blocked my way. As I walked away, I came across a butterfly, dead on the sand pointed towards Mexico.
After going to Border Field State Park, it’s very hard to say what is doing the greatest good for the greatest number. From my eyes, the powers that be have turned the border area with a monument called, “Friendship Circle” into an uninviting area that no one wants to go to. What’s my proof? The empty beach in front of me and the national monument that is kept under lock & key, admissible only under of the supervision of a US Border Patrol Agent. Agents like the one that told me to step the Hell back from the border. This is the same guy I need to ask to permit me to see the monument at Friendship Circle. Can you say, “Uncomfortable?”
Friendship Circle Monument As Seen From America
I have plans to return to Border Field State Park, but I don’t know when. Actually I do know when… The next time I feel like America’s laws have become so constrictive that I can’t draw a deep breath, I will look towards this park and see all the families and children having fun… On the other side of the fence.