I’m writing this from the bar at the Jacumba Hot Springs. A timeless piece from the Grateful Dead sings out to me from the jukebox;
“Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men
There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone”
I really lucked out rolling up on this place. I pedaled 28 miles to get here. The border fence is directly across the street. There is no shortage of agents patrolling. I had one take this picture of Jo and I.
I started out in Pine Valley. It was colder today, and raining the entire distance. I love it. It’s refreshing. Jo seems to love it too.
The climb from Ocean Beach to Tecate Divide is 3890 feet. I haven’t been training for this ride. Pulling a trailer, with a dog (44lbs) and panniers loaded down, isn’t the easiest thing one can do. On the hills, of which there are many, I’m geared down as low as I can go. At times I feel like I’m mounting biking, the path narrow and steep, the gravel road busted up and rough.
The map I’m following leads me down backroads, old highways, and through small rural communities. I’ve seen signs for two casinos, several Indian reservations I’ve been passing through: Campo, Manzanita and La Posta. A mammoth sized sign on the side of the highway advertises prime rib for $7.77. Tempted, I dropped in, dried off, chowed down and took a 1/2 lb burger to go for Jo. He waited patiently, outside in his trailer, wet and cold. He deserved a burger.
The last 14 miles were a downhill cruise, paralleling the border fence of Mexico. It was 2:30 when I arrived at the hotspring. I considered for only a moment continuing on. But why?
The folks at Jacumba Hotsprings were really friendly, helpful and provided superb service. Water was hand delivered to me as I soaked. My laundry was cleaned and folded. And upon arriving, Lacy who works here, invited me to dine from their Sunday brunch buffet, for free!
There’s so much to see in America. You can’t really experience it until you travel the backroads, witnessing how these small communities adjust, how they live, how they love.