The Southwest is dotted with two things: interesting geologic features, and interesting man-made features. Like the geologic features, the man-made features range from the recent past, to the ancient past. In my opinion, while there is nothing like a ghost town, or other more modern man-made site, the truly mysterious sites are the ones that are from the ancient past. While there are many sites in the United States that are accessible to visit, there are also sites that are just across the border in Mexico that are equally fascinating as well.
One of the many strange things to be found out in the Anza-Borrego Desert are the ruins of the Dos Cabezas Railroad Station. The station was part of the El Centro to San Diego railroad line, which was completed in 1919. Construction on this section of line was first deemed "impossible", but the line was completed and used through most of the twentieth century. The Dos Cabezas station provided a watering stop for the steam engines; and a place for explorers and miners to access the rail line.
I can’t remember the first time I heard about the Blue Sun Cave. Maybe it was at a party, when I was discussing modern petroglyphs (graffiti) in the desert, compared to old, actual petroglyphs. Perhaps I stumbled across a mention of it online while searching for details on another trip. Or, maybe I read about it in my old, battered copy of Afoot and Afield in San Diego, by Jerry Schad. Even though I’m not sure how, where, or why I first heard about it, I do remember what Schad had to say about it, “rock art located on Indian Hill, which was purposely mislabeled on certain maps”.
As I'll discuss in detail tomorrow, sometimes it's not about the location, or how you get there, but the adventures you have trying to get there. I spent the better part of a month trying to find the Blue Sun Cave, and while at times I was frustrated, I had some great adventures trying to find it, and certainly saw some strange things. As I noted here: http://lastadventurer.com/last-adventurers-fieldnotes/2010/5/14/the-general-wastelands-are-not-lightly-traveledstories-and-t.html, any desert is not lightly traveled. But until I tell you about the Cave, check out what I did find over that month I spent looking (Including that sign that is featured in the link above!).
Directions: Guess I should throw these up here should you want to try and find these things, right? You'll want to head nine to eleven miles West of Ocotillo, and you'll either need 4WD, AWD, a good mountain bike, or shoe leather. Pretty much all this is off the Dos Cabezas siding, or near there.