David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
03/13  Your present plans...
03/14  Unscenic Lands
03/15  Arizona
03/19  Into the desert
03/20  Painted Rock Petroglyph Site
03/21  Canal Roads
03/22  Yuma
03/26  Border Town
03/27  Yuha Desert
03/28  Otay Mountain Truck Trail
03/29  San Diego
04/02  Traffic
04/03  Los Angeles
04/04  More Traffic
04/05  Camarillo
04/09  Los Padres National Forest
04/10  Uphill Against the Wind
04/11  Clingy Grass
04/12  King City
04/17  Cows
04/18  Trees
04/19  That Bridge
04/23  Milk Cows
04/24  Sea Ranch
04/25  Mendocino Coast
05/06  Fort Bragg
05/07  Usal Road
05/08  Honeydew
05/09  Humboldt Redwoods State Park
05/10  More Big Trees
05/14  Crescent City
05/15  Oregon
05/16  Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
05/17  Shady Cove
05/20  The hub is dead
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Yuha Desert


tl;dr: Across the desert, up the mountains, and into greener lands. You should eat the fish sandwich in Jucomba.

I slept horribly. I would have slept better out in the desert. I was up and gone from that room well before sunrise.

Yesterday I saw white school buses hauling portable toilets. Today as I was leaving town I found men with knapsacks waiting on groups. Link? I also spied a number of street people. I suspect street people are like alligators; for every one you see, there are ten you don't see.

I ate breakfast at McDonalds (finally) and waited for sunrise in a barred outdoor seating area. A guy named Joe (Jose) stopped by to ask about my bike. He's a migrant worker who is hauled around the country doing all the jobs that we no longer want to do. I tried to identify, but how can I? He spends his days bent over picking vegetables in a country of people who hate him, while I sit comfortably behind my computer living the American Dream of just getting by. He really wanted to travel for himself. I gave him the only advise that I've been able gather in my travels: Imagine yourself in three months looking back, and what do you regret more? Staying home living your day to day, or going off and doing something new and different? Even if everything goes wrong, at least you were off on story-worthy adventures.

The thirty-odd miles across the Yuha Desert was mostly flat, but there was a definite hidden climb that kept me in lower gears. I ate an excellent burrito at the Old Highway Cafe. Then came the I8 climb. That eleven mile stretch ate up three brutal hours. Fortunately, this stretch of Interstate is less ambiguous about bicycles. When I took a break under one of the lone underpasses, a sheriff pulled up and said "only four miles to go!"

Near the top a guy in a utility van pulled off into one of the many radiator-emergency pull outs so he could offer me water. He had never seen anybody climb this hill on bicycle (although I assured him I was not the first). He himself was constructing a bicycle to tour the Pacific Coast trail. He wanted to know how much my bike weighted, so I let him pick it up. He grunted. Yeah, it's kind of heavy. I actually packed along a bunch of food that I so far haven eaten, because I keep stopping at restaurants.

I visited the Desert View Tower and Boulder Park tourist attraction.

In Jucomba (the J is an H) I stopped at Jay's Southern Cafe (Soul Food Cuisine) for about the best fish sandwich and potato salad I've ever had. Seriously. Go out of your way for this fish sandwich.

It was all uphill again after leaving Jucomba. I found a campsite on the side of a mountain not too far from several fortified houses. There were man tracks in the sand, but I convinced myself that those were just from locals out hiking. Yep. Nothing nefarious going on here.

good morning California


Welcome to the Yuha Desert

the Yuha Desert

will do

beware of sheep

wind power

crossing this bridge was a horrible experience

Desert View Tower

it is greener on this side

hello Mexico

Jucomba Community Park

a good place to camp

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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