Posted by: Alicia | June 26, 2007

Almost Arizona

Today we have landed in El Centro, CA.  We arrived a couple hours ago after beating the heat and starting our ride at 5:00 am.  We only rode about 25 miles today, but arrived after only a few short hours as the land has been relatively flat.  Our ride to El Centro has not been cake, but it has been an adventure.  I would have to say my favorite part has been our time at the Viejas Native American Reservation.  We spent a couple days camping and met a lot of really sincere people.

The reservation is located in a valley which meant that after a long 10 hour day of riding through the relatively colorless mountains, we arrived to this beautifully lush environment.  The Native Americans have farm land here and keep the place VERY well maintained.  Everyone we met had good advice for us and cheered us on.  It was definitely hard to leave the place.

After a day of riding from the reservation, we arrived at Live Oaks Spring Campground which was a stark contrast to what we had left behind.  Along the way we met people willing to refill our water bottles, offer us more advice and many people honking and waving.  The campground itself was surrounded by a trailer park and the sanitary quality of the place was definitely questionable.  The next morning we were more than ready to leave the place behind. 

Just outside of Live Oaks, we came to Jacumba where we couldn’t resist the opportunity to try our first bit of authentic Mexican food.  Passing the place, I saw a sign that said $0.99 tacos and shouted to Chris that we should stop.  A passing pedestrian shouted back at me that they were great, so of course I had to try it out.  The food at this restaurant was great though and the people of course were extremely friendly.  Jacumba itself is located right next to Mexico, so border patrol was incredibly tight. 

Our journey for yesterday ended in Ocotillo where we had been promised free camping at an RV Park by a guy who claimed that he would feel terrible charging anyone crazy enough to ride to Florida on a bicycle.  When we arrived however, instead of letting us set up tent, he insisted that we stay in the Recreational Room.  He told us to basically make ourselves at home and make sure to fill up on ice and water before we left.  After picking our jaws up off the floor, we did some laundry and toyed with the local cat a bit. 

This morning, we set out bright and early to beat the desert heat and thanked John, the owner of the RV Park for his hospitality.  Setting out from Ocotillo we stopped at a Mexican restaurant that John has recommended and had a plate of rolled tacos.  We watched as several members of the Navy strolled in and ordered food and listened to the roaring of jets overhead. 

The remainder of the journey for today was pleasant as it was relatively flat compared to the 3000 foot drop we had coming out of Live Oaks Spring riding through the In-koh-pah Pass.  However, this was a bit easier on us physically than the 3000 foot climb to the top.  As you can imagine, the view was amazing.  We also noticed that the people of California had placed flags along the highway to mark boxes filled with water for people stuck without water in the heat.  

Well, today we are relaxing in El Centro since they have a bike shop and we need maintenance done on our bikes.  Our brakes need more stopping power for when we come down off of hills.  The town itself is pretty desolate, but tomorrow morning we will be on our bikes bright and early to continue our journey.  

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Responses

  1. Sure glad you are saying where your next stops are. could you tell us more on the route, I really want to know where you will be going before you get there. Safety reasons.
    Good to here no one was hurt real bad. Chris you ride your bike like dad does his. Always looking around instead of where he’s going.


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