Saturday, April 5, 2008

Jacumba to Ocotillo to Brawley

From the library in Jacumba to Ocotillo contains an incredible downhill experience. It was both exillerating and scary at the same time. It was basically a 6 mile downhill run at between 4 and 7 % grade. The road had recently been repaved, so the conditions were perfect. However, all along the way there were signs saying "Strong Winds". Neither Taran nor I did any pedalling the entire ride down. In fact, Taran had his brakes on most of the time. I could have probably broken the previous record of 45.8 mph, but I was too nervous. I averaged 38 mpg the whole way down. Keep in mind that we typically ride somewhere between 8 and 14 mpg most of the time.

Ocotillo and the Desert

Ocotillo is in desert country. The town itself is not much. Add to that incredibly bad roads and Taran and I were a bit nervous about staying here. We spent 20 minutes cycling 1 mile into the wind to find the RV park we intended to stay but the instructions on the Map turned out to be wrong. We had to spend another 45 minutes heading out into the desert to find the park. When we arrived at the park, we rode up to a fellow sitting in a bench rocker and introduced ourselves. He turned out to be the owner and he told us we could either set up our tent or sleep in the recreation (rec) room. We took a look at the rec room and quickly decided to sleep there. It had a big TV, Cable, tons of DVD's, tons of books, a stove, a fridge, and ice machine. There were laundry facilites and a great shower. When I asked how much, he said "it's by donation".
We were in heaven! It was like an Oasis in the desert. On top of it all, there was three different types of free ice cream in the freezer.

We spent a lot of time reading and watching TV. There was not much else in the town or surrounding area to see or do. I did spend a lot of time 'chewing the fat' with John. He's a 76 year old ex-marine who spent time on an Aircraft Carrier. He had lots of stories and things to say about his life and about life in Ocotillo.

Taran had not been feeling well the last couple of days so we decided to spend an extra day in the Ocotillo Oasis (actually called Jackson's ADULT RV Park). It felt like a holiday!

We left Ocotillo fairly early this morning anticipating a fairly long day. However, we soon discovered that we had a 25 mph wind behind us. It only took us one and a half hours to go 25 miles to El Centro. We're now at the El Centro and only 20 miles from the campsite in Brawley. We averaged 19 mph! Taran was a machine today. He kept the pace pretty high.

We're in Brawley now and our campsite is 5 miles north of a lake. It's 30 degrees and a bit windy. We had to travel into the wind from El Centro to Brawley. I'm hoping the lake is cool!

From Brawley there are very few services for 117 miles. We are going to try and make it to the nearest campground which is 75 miles away. If the wind is behind us, I think we'll be fine. If not, we'll be camping in the desert along the way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes! Good luck to both of you!