Day 2 Sept 31st Jacumba, Ca. To Brawley Ca. 60 miles
I left Jacumba, Ca. About 7 this morning. Unfortunately, I still had six more miles uphill. After you leave Jacumba you have to ride on I8 for about 13 miles downhill, yes, downhill, 6% grade downhill. It ranks in the top ten most harrowing experiences of my life. I was doing 30-40 mph and feathering the brakes to stay in control. Did I mention crosswinds? The In Ko Pah pass has hazardous crosswinds that often shuts down the interstate to big rig and RV travel. Twice I was blown off the shoulder and into the actual traffic lane. The total descent was 4000 ft. in 15 miles.
I stopped in Ocotillo Ca.for the first 32 of 162 ounces of Gatorade by 12:00 noon.
From Ocotillo I started across the Yuha Desert. Yuha is Spanish for sahara.(you'll get it later). The Yuha desert is one step above hell. Actually, when you die it's possible you could go to the Yuha desert. The road from Ocotillo through Yuha Desert to El Centro is the worst road I've ever ridden on. It's more like an abandoned stretch of pavement that,s been taken over by nature, except there is no nature there ton take over. The pavement just rots for eternity.
I went by a 100 ft. grain elevator in Imperial, Ca. that had the words "sea level" with two horizontal lines painted on the sign. It took me a minute to realize that the line represented sea level literally 60 ft above my head. Pretty impressive.
I still cramped most of the day but the elevation was tolerable.
It was 99 degrees at 8:00AM this morning. It is 110 in Brawley at the time of this post. If anyone says, "ya, but it's a dry heat" I will slap you all the way to San Diego. People keep asking me why I'm so early. Apparently bikers don't start coming through until October. Who knew? I missed that in my research.
I was so out of it last night that I forgot mention an interesting happening. I had been sitting in a Burger King for about an hour trying to relax the cramps. I was on the phone with Amy telling her how lonely it is when you don't know anyone. Right after the call I mounted up and as I left the parking lot to head uphill a guy on a bike flys into the parking lot from uphill looks me right in the eyes and says, "dude I know you" and rides off. I'm not making this up. I said out loud to myself, "was that an angel"?
Sidelight, I wonder how visitors feel when they come to church and don't "know" anyone.
I guess yesterday's blog left a good deal of concern out there. Amy is on her way to Phoenix and then here tonight. I have about a 90 mile stretch tomorrow which I was very concerned about, so I'm pretty relieved to have support.
I arrived in Brawley today averaging about 15 mph. Mostly because of In Ko Pah pass. But that's better than the 8 mph I averaged yesterday. I hit the motel about noon and got an early check in. I ate and slept this afternoon and feel better at the moment.
Your prayers are especially felt and I never intended to be a burden of worry.
We may take a day off tomorrow, if not, God willing I will write tomorrow night from Blythe, Ca. More climbing tomorrow, but from below sea level what choice do you have?
P.S. I did see some of those 162 ounces, for those of you who were concerned.