San Diego to Jacumba Hot Springs
First things first, I need to start with a correction to yesterday’s post. I was chatting with one of my fellow riders that has an inclinometer, I judge the last 10 miles of yesterday’s ride to be a 5% grad on average. I was informed that actually is was between 7% and 8%. Makes for a better story doesn’t it?
I didn’t get enough carbs or protein at breakfast, so about two hours into the ride I stopped for “second breakfast”, I definitely felt like a Hobbit. The restaurant was quite remote, but I knew I was in for a treat because there was a good gathering of cars in front. I went inside and the hostess offered to fill my water bottle. I told her I was there for breakfast and she was mildly surprised. I’ve noticed that as a group, cyclists are pretty stingy when it comes to exchanging something of value (money) for a water bottle refill. I ordered the pulled pork and scrambled egg hash with refried beans and a giant tortilla. It was awesome, I mean really good, I mean like out of this world good.
Yes, I was hungry… Half-way through my meal I thought it would be a good idea to back it up with a waffle - for the road - so I ordered a “plain” waffle to-go. It arrived in a box, which was perfect, but when I peeked inside I saw that it was covered with butter in the process of melting perfectly, and along side of the waffle was a big container of syrup to go with it. So being the resourceful person that I am, I went ahead and ate it on the spot. About half-way through the waffle I realized I needed to back it all up with a large orange juice. I walked out of the diner feeling full (imagine that) got on the bike and immediately started up a hill. Everything turned out all right, although doing that is a risky proposition, I have to admit.
This was the second day of climbing, as in thousands of vertical. I’ve never done this much vertical two days in a row. I felt stronger today than I did yesterday. I’m guessing it was the waffle. Whatever the case, it was a better day and I arrived in Jacumba Hot Springs feeling well enough to go into the market and buy a beer. The lady there informed I couldn’t drink it in front of her store. So, I drank half of it in front of her store, then went down the street to finish it on a bench in front of the art gallery. It was a tiny gallery, but it was right in my wheel house. The artist showing there was a metal sculptor specializing in welded creatures. My favorite one was a pelican on roller skates. You really needed to be there. The gallery was closed because they were getting ready for an exhibition in two weeks. This is how it rolls in a small town. I sat down on a log bench in front of the gallery to finish my beer. An old lady walked across the street and sat down next to me! She pointed at the cactus in the planter box and then pointed at me knee. She didn’t speak any English, well, very little. If anyone knows what she meant by that please get word to me. We tried to talk in sign language for awhile but it was pointless, so I told her I had to go and she grabbed my arm and said what I assumed was “wait”. Then she said something in broken English that sounded like “dollar”. Ah! The light came on! I walked over to my bike and dug a dollar out of my front bag and walked back. She gave me a big smile when I returned. At that point I knew I had guessed correctly. It was clear she wanted a hug, so I gave her a big hug and then started walking away. I heard something that definitely sounded like “wait” this time, so I turned around and there she was standing, pointing to her bright rid lips, and saying what was clearly the word “kiss”. How could I resist? I kissed her and she was delighted. And that’s how I got kissed by a prune-faced, red lipstick wearing octogenarian in Jacumba Hot Springs.
I wandered over to the bar across the street, at the resort where we were staying for the night, and ordered a Manhattan. The bar tender looked at me and said, “we don’t get a lot of requests for that.” She asked me what went in a Manhattan and I said, “well, Bourbon for starters, and then Sweet Vermouth. She looked at me a little disappointed and said they didn’t have any Sweet Vermouth. Well, they had a bottle three months ago, it hadn’t been opened in six years, so they threw it out. Just my luck. I should have done this tour in the Spring instead of the Fall.