Frightful Hill (Part One):

Once Father was assured that I could manage my motorcycle well enough, we started taking weekend trips down to the Imperial Valley. The desert area was expansive, stretching for hundreds of miles, from the Mojave to the north, and beyond the Mexican border to the south. The area we rode was at the base of the Laguna mountains, where the clay mixed with sand, and rocks littered the hard packed earth. Still being timid of the unknown landscape, I alternated riding a circle around our camp and following a narrow but reasonably flat trail down to the end of the large embankment running east and west. The main road, known as Pole-line road for the massive electric towers it paralleled, followed a mostly north-south trajectory. Within sight of camp, the pole line rose with and crossed over the embankment I had been using as my guideline. Because of a trick of the angle, the road seemed to rise to the top of the mud hill, and then vanish. I wanted to follow the road, but I was torn. On one hand, I found it unlikely that a road would lead to sudden drop off, but then my eyes told me that was exactly the situation. I rode my motorcycle back and forth, eyeing the road suspiciously. One idea I had was to walk up there and inspect the situation under more favorable conditions, but whenever I thought to do so, I remembered that I would rather be riding my bike. And so I was at a quandary.