The burg of Pine Valley was a nice place to relax for a day. The mountain views were serene and the people friendly. Being a smallish community I was able to sample cuisine from three different establishments. In fact, I had a very cheesy (as in good) piece of pepperoni pizza to start the day as I re-engaged with my mountain challenger.
Reaching the crest of the mountain–nearly 5,000 ft. was much easier in the cool of the morning. What came next was nothing short of outstanding! One of oft repeated mantras has been “what goes up must go down”, yes it is silly, but these can be part of what sustains one while traveling.
So now came the piece de resistance — the chance to fly down the backside of the mountain. To my speed enthralled friend Mark and to everyone else I want to ensure you that it was worth the price of admission.
Sixteen miles down–hitting a top speed of 42 mph–on fat tires no less! Again it bears repeating the landscape was almost too beautiful for words. Awestruck!
At one point during the descent I was directed to join the freeway. These times are exciting because the roadbed is almost always in good condition. Whee, what fun going fast!
Alas, a stumbling block did arise. Road construction had shrunk the highway to one lane. At approximately 1500 ft. a construction crew waived me aside. I turned to look over my shoulder and saw a line of vehicles stretching back up the mountain. I was the cause of the delay.
The crew told me that would give me a ride in a van in order to maintain the peace and to perhaps even spare my life. So I got a ride for the final three miles down the mountain.
This stretch of roadway had also taken me closer to Mexico than I had ever been. Jacumba, CA is yards away of the border. I witnessed first hand the very large wall we have built to keep folks out. The wall is nearly 20 ft. high and the border patrol is everywhere.
With a good chunk of time still left in the day I set out for El Centro which is located in the Imperial Valley. Now this was real desert.
My goodness it was hot–106 degrees in the shade. I rode the final 42 miles acknowledging that heat is not that easy to overcome. Needless to say, I was very glad to get to town.
I only have question at this particular moment how the heck do people live in this climate?
One thing I am very proud of is my UPS knees:
That is correct even I can earn brown (dark for me anyway) knees by staying in the sun long enough. My dermatologist will be so proud!