Tonight we are staying in the little town of Jacumba, CA. We can literally look out the window and see the fence separating the US from Mexico--it's high, red (like the Golden Gate Bridge) and goes on for as far as the eye can see. The Border Patrol is everywhere. Even as I type, lowing flying airplanes and helicopters are sweeping the area. Wish I had some night vision goggles--
As we continued toward Jacumba, it started to sprinkle! The last 6 miles were all downhill, and I was surprised to see that I was going 35.5 mph! That was great because we were anxious to get in before the predicted rain began. Our group made it in before the serious rain began, but most got drenched!
When we arrived in Jacumba, I was beginning to think we had arrived at the Bates Hotel. We were warned that we may be staying in some "no star' hotels because that is all that was available on our route. I certainly hoped this is one of them, because if it wasn't, I am afraid to even imagine what the 'no stars' look like. It's old and not terribly well maintained, but the people were friendly, the shower was hot, and the sheets were clean. However, this is outside the window...
PS (We found out later the casket was a left over Halloween decoration!)
Today when we left Jacumba, the temp was 50 degrees, the wind was blowing hard, the road was extremely steep downhill, and the rain was pouring down! The leaders strongly suggested that we should all be transported down to the bottom of the hill (15 miles). There were a few who rode it, but most of us didn't. We were glad for the lift, but we had to ride the rest of the 55 miles in pouring rain, sleet, and even some snow! (Thank you to my daughter, Shelley's husband, Shaun. He loaned me a great rain jacket!)
Today started with an 8 mile climb with grades ranging from 4 to 14%. In that eight miles, we climbed 1,800 feet, and there was more climbing after that--4% grade doesn't sound so bad anymore. A lot of the ride averaged between 5 and 8%.
On the exit to Hwy 8, one of our riders' family made this sign and put it on their car. I think it may have been Kathy Kirby's family ? ) Photo: Sue Hersman
Anyway, we had 7 miles of extremely rough road...it looked like the road cracked and buckled every 10 feet!
We arrived tonight (3/7) at a very nice hotel in Brawley, however. I can hardly wait for Linda's stroganaff dinner!
Our ride from Brawley to Blythe tomorrow will be 89 miles.