Thursday, October 6, 2016

Stuck in Jacumba

Hey Everyone,

I'm still in Jacumba! As I rode out of town last night, I hit a HUGE rock that completely shredded my front tire. After trying to repair the tire, it was getting dark. I set up camp, just off the road in a trailhead parking lot, frequented by the local border patrol. I know that it is frequented by them because they came through about 10 times in the middle of the night. Each time, I wondered, is this a Mexican drug cartel on the run? Am I about to get knifed by a muchacho for witnessing his escape?

A bit of a back story, for folks who don't know, Jacumba is a border town. You can see the huge fence. This is a highly active zone for illegal trafficking, smuggling, etc. While I was basking in the hot springs earlier that day, a local told me about all the high tech stuff they have to catch the people trying to cross. He said that there's a guy on the mountain just north of the town with infrared binoculars, and a sound dish that can hear cows chewing grass from 5 miles away. Maybe exaggerated, but believable. I saw the jeep at the top of the hill.

So, no, I didn't get knifed. I ended up limping the bike 3 miles back to Jacumba. I had to stop every 3-5 minutes and re-inflate the tube. I made it though. Once in town I ordered a set of new tubes to be over-nighted to Jacumba. Now I'm just catching up on my Life stuff. Planning my route for a few days. Setting up interviews in El Centro.

Hopefully everything will even out after I get these new tubes. It seems like I haven't gone far at all for how long I've been on the road. Getting out of the city is slow. Climbing 4,000 vertical feet is slow. I was ALMOST to the downhill part before the blowout. I'm just glad I didn't crash or blow the tire going down that hill. It would have been bad. When you're going like 40mph on a loaded bike, things get squirrely.

I held true to my promise of submitting a short film for the Talkeetna Film Festival also. I wish I could have perfected it by getting some extra shots I wanted, but there just wasn't enough time before I left. I'll attach it here.



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