Official Center of the World

Today we stood on the Official Center of the World!!  It is located just west of the Arizona/California border on Interstate 8.  Frenchman Jacques-Andre Istel somehow convinced Imperial County, California, to legally recognize a spot on his property as the official Center of the World.  Then he built a town around it, named it Felicity (after his wife) had it incorporated, held an election and was unanimously (2-0) elected Mayor.
Center of the World
You stand on the spot, make a wish, and you get a certificate stating that you stood at the Official Center of the World.

The Center of the World bronze disk is in this mirror-lined, pink granite pyramid.
“This town, dedicated to remembrance, fulfills our mission to unveil the planet’s highlights of the collective family of humanity.”
There are currently 100 granite panels, and plans for many many more, etched with history.
This is only some of the history in granite.
There is a wall of the History of the World
The History of the United States
The History of French Aviation
A US Marine Corps Korean War Memorial Wall
Princeton University Class of 1949 Wall
History of Humanity
History of California
History of Arizona
And there is a Wall For The Ages that is open to anyone who wants to have engraved on it his or her name for $200.  
This is a work in progress and we were told that next week there will be more engraving happening.   There are plans for lots more panels and walls.  Right now it did not appear to be a hot spot for tourists, but perhaps in the future.  The walls are engineered to last 4,000 years and become “the one book that survives.”
At first I thought it was a bit hokey but after being there a while it was really rather interesting.
Korean War Memorial
Princeton University Class of 1949
Museum of History in Granite
Literacy for Millennia
Only a few miles west of that are the Imperial Sand Dunes, the largest mass of sand dunes in California, approximately 45 miles long and 6 miles wide.  This is the most popular off-road destination in Southern California.   We saw several groups with RVs and 4-wheelers.  What a fun thing to do with a group!
RVs and 4-wheelers
Doesn’t that look like fun??
The area where we were is right on the Mexico border.  You can see the border fence near the horizon on this picture below.  The trucks are Border Patrol agents with cameras and electronic surveillance equipment.
Border Patrol
And then there are the remains of the old Plank Road, an Historic Landmark.  For a time, 1916 to 1926 this was the only way to get across the dunes from Phoenix to San Diego, other than going to Los Angeles first and then south to San Diego.  Can you imagine traveling this??
Plank Road

 This was at the Quartermaster’s Depot in Yuma.  Displaying the Plank Road travel. 

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