March 21, 2017: Day 11, Brawley, CA to Alpine, CA

Today started out being my day off this week, but once we got past the hideous Brawley/El Centro/Plaster City area I decided to take Snoopy for a spin.

Pictures of this part of the trip are trapped inside my Samsung camera, which I hate more than sand and wind, but not heat.

Brantly took no photos as he was disgusted by the agribusiness of the first part of the day and busy trying to keep the Cube on the road for most of the second part.

I biked a mere 29 miles before calling it quits. The wind was beyond brutal. Brantly said it was (and this is a direct quote) the worst wind he’d ever driven through. I made him repeat that, just because.

Anyhow, the high wind warning signs were permanent fixtures that threatened treacherous gusts for 77 miles.We haven’t gone the full 77 miles, yet, but I can honestly say the signs delivered on the first 50 miles.

Seriously? 77 miles of killing winds accompanied by a 4000 foot elevation change??  Uncle, already. Uncle!!

After about 10 miles I felt I could have made better progress using a pair of spoons to claw my way up the sheer cliff face. Here is a map, for what it’s worth. It doesn’t do justice to the steepness of the ride. If I had a functioning camera or Xerox machine I would include the elevation profile that is printed on the back of my American Cycling Southern Tier map. It reminded me of the first day of this trip and Emory Pass, except with wind.

Map from Plaster City, California to Alpine, California

We saw a sign for a “luxury” casino in Alpine, CA and rapidly adjusted our plans-plans which had involved me continuing to cycle.

Instead, we stopped at the Las Viejas Casino (old ladies in Spanish).

I gave Brantly $20 and sent him off to the poker tables to have a good time while I checked into our room and did a face plant into the bed.

I awoke in time to join Brantly at an all-you-can-eat buffet and then go back to bed.

Approximately 35 miles remain to get to the beginning of the Southern Tier in San Diego. I made an executive decision that tomorrow would be an official day of rest–for Snoopy, you know…

Here is a picture of Sparky and Shmoo to make up for the lack of other visual aids. All the critters back in Taos are in the gentle, caring hands of Marjorie and Andy, who dandle each animal individually on a daily basis.

Sparky and Shmoo being so cute it is downright painful!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Sparky and Shmoo