Many readers have probably driven out to SR-2 just north of Ocotillo and taken Dos Cabezas Road to its western terminus in order to hike Goat Canyon and see the wood railroad trestles and tunnels built between 1907 and 1919.
The so-called “Impossible Railroad,” a dream of John D. Spreckels, was to provide San Diego with a railroad for transporting cargo from the harbor to points east. The area used to be covered with wildflowers in spring and coyotes, roadrunners, bighorn sheep, all running free and surveilled by hawks and falcons.
This photo, taken from a private aircraft flying westbound from SR-2 at 500 feet above the ground, shows SR-2 on November 22, surrounded by 452-foot-tall towers sporting huge propellers for generating electricity. The cables running from the towers to the power station have been entrenched and roads disrupting the natural flow of flood waters off the nearby Jacumba Mountains have changed the terrain forever.
There will ultimately be 112 such towers at the base of the Jacumba Mountains where I-8 enters the Imperial Valley just west of El Centro.