January 29, 2001
. . .
I was just on Route 2 this past Thursday, and we flew through to
La Rumersosa with ease. The toll is a bit high comparatively
(30 pesos, about $3.25), but well worth it. Once you get to La
Rumerosa, there is another toll, this one is 8 pesos, or about
$0.90. That is for the route through the mountains, which is
now two lanes in each direction, so no fear of on-coming traffic
in the mountains!
. . .
My wife and I just got back from a three-day trip to San Felipe.
Great trip, great weather. Decided to do it a little different
so we crossed the border at Tecate and took Highway 2 across to
Mexicali, then Highway 5 south.
The toll road portion of Highway 2 is great! The toll for the
first part (Tecate to La Rumerosa) was 35 pesos, or $3.80. The
2nd portion through La Rumerosa (Cantú Grade) was 8 pesos
($0.90). I hadn't been on this road in over 4 years, or since
the new roads were completed. What a difference. The first
toll road is one of the best roads in all of Baja, as good or
better than the toll road from Tijuana to Ensenada. Well worth
the trip if you are low on time.
. . .
Highway 2 from Tecate to Mexicali was my favorite drive in
northern Baja California when I first moved to California in
1966. Leaving Tecate, driving across the high plateau, and then plummeting to
the floor of the low desert, is an incredible ride.
The Cantú grade drops from the 4000 foot plateau to
almost sea level just to the west of Mexicali. The old road was
a feat of engineering, and named after the territorial governor
Esteban Cantú who championed its development. I've not
been on the new toll road, but I would expect that the amazing
views to the east may still be enjoyed from some overlooks.
One of my sharpest memories of this drive goes back to the late
60s when my wife and I took our small children for a long
weekend in San Felipe. On our return trip we traveled up the
Cantú grade to find . . . snow! Driving on
the highway at 4000 feet we followed two pairs of faint tracks
leading across a field of white. Carefully sticking to the
right-hand set of tracks we made our way past La Rumorosa and on
to Tecate, where the snow had not fallen. A magical moment in a