Day 3: Oct. 12, 2003
A Visit & Turnaround



Catching up with yesterday with a few pictures of Pine Valley by daylight. There's the Pine Valley Inn where I slept and the Pine Valley House where I ate dinner. The Frosty Burger was instantly recognizable from a Kevin Finley illustration in his brother's guide book. I didn't eat there but assume that "frosty" refers to something that accompanies the 'burger and not to the temperature of the 'burger itself.

Descanso Junction Restaurant is not far down the road and was a good breakfast stop. Plenty busy and probably a good choice for other meals, as well.

Just down the road from Descanso Junction, a spur of Old US 80 makes a worthwhile side trip. Turn right on Wildwood Glen Lane and head across the bridge on a road that narrows suddenly where county maintenance ends then continues to narrow with overgrowth until the pavement comes to an end. Enjoy the view, turn around, and turn right on Los Terrenitos. This returns to the current Old US 80 on an even older alignment across a 1917 bridge.

The Viejas Indian Reservation was created in 1930 to replace land lost to flood. On one side of the street is a modern casino and a rather fancy factory outlet mall sits on the other.

I was still on Old US 80 but it was increasingly becoming just one more city thoroughfare. The older routing at Alpine (Arnold Way) seemed to mark the end of any "country road" flavor and, near El Cajon, I declared this phase of the Route 80 expedition complete. I headed off toward Chula Vista where former neighbors Tom & Monica live. A pleasant surprise was finding daughter Erin and her children there, too. There's Caitlin, Erin, Tom, Monica, and... Oh no. What an embarrassing time to experience a major senior moment. Caitlin's brother really does have a name but I'm going to have to wait for my memory to return to get it down. That's also Tom & Monica in the second picture along with another guy whose name I often forget. A great visit that included that seemingly always pleasant San Diego weather and distant views of Coronado & Tijuana.

ADDENDUM: With the aid of reliable sources, I can now report that the name of the handsome guy in the Spiderman shirt is Jakob. Sorry, about that brain cramp, Jake.

I had toyed with plans to head north and follow I-10 back to Phoenix but that no longer made sense. I decided that I'd use I-8 and maybe catch the plank road that I had somehow missed from US 80. Tom suggested taking SR 94 to US 80 and it made sense to me. What a great call. I didn't count the curves but they were many and the pavement was near perfect. A little more traffic than I would have liked but not at all bad. The road passes within a couple of miles of Tecate and I made a "just because" detour to, but not through, the border. I don't know the name of the impressive railroad bridge or even if it has one. I believe it is part of the San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad.

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