Day 430 – Ocotillo, CA > Jacumba Hot Springs, CA

Last night the wind was blowing in the 20-25 mph range so I was a little concerned that it might continue into the morning. Thankfully it died down and I was on the road by 7 am slowly grinding my way up the hill with traffic zooming past as the windmills majestically collected power from the passing wind.

I didn’t see any cars overheated, but there was a sign telling people to turn off their AC to avoid doing so. There were also cement tubs of water every mile or so for people to fill up their radiator. Of course there weren’t also vending machines or drinking fountains for cyclists to fill up their “radiator,” but such is life.

The closest call of my entire trip came about half way up when a guy driving a burgundy mini-van slammed on his brakes to avoid running me over. It was a two-lane road in each direction and I was on a bridge with no shoulder so I decided to take the entire right lane so that people wouldn’t be tempted to sideswipe me. Well this guy wasn’t paying attention and almost ran me over.

What to do? What to do?

There was another much longer bridge a little way up the road and I decided to stick on far right edge of the lane in case another person that wasn’t paying attention. Yes, it means drivers wouldn’t give me the full lane, but it also meant that I would probably have a higher chance of not being run over if someone wasn’t paying attention. Or so I told myself.

I am fully aware that irony could take me out in the last couple hundred miles of my trip. That is the tendency to go a great distance on a bicycle without being hit only to get hit a block from my final destination. Irony increasing the closer I got towards the end. Trust me, I was keeping this in mind and consciously riding as safe as possible.

Luckily I had no other problems and was soon off I-8 and onto the much less traveled Historic Highway 80. After riding 18 miles and graining 3,000′ I decided to stop in Jacumba, CA for lunch. After a buffalo burger and a few beers I was feeling quite relaxed. The restaurant was at Jacumba Hot Springs Spa & Resort so it was an easy decision to stay the night and make use of their spring fed swimming pool. It had been closed for a long time and recently reopened after a remodel. It is a very affordable place to relax – I paid $108 for my room after tax.

Jacumba is right on the boarder with Mexico so it was interesting to see the border fence (pic). It isn’t continuous and seems to act more as a way to funnel those that want to cross illegally to certain points that are easier to monitor.