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50 States, Day 352

  El Centro, CA to Chula Vista   123 Miles

"Always plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
~Robert C. Cushing

"You taking 8 over the pass?" the guy asked. A biker. He noticed our ride as he entered MacDonald's for breakfast. 
"Be real careful. Windy today. Dangerous."

Dangerous. Great. We took off, headed West on I-8, and I wondered if we'd heard the voice of God and were once again doing something stupid. A sign warned of high winds for the next eighty-seven miles. An illuminated portable highway sign warned of high winds. Ahead we saw a windmill farm.

If you see a hydroelectric power plant, chances are good you'll see water.  You see a nuke, once again you stand a fine chance of spotting a lot of water. And what can you expect at a windmill farm? "Please, dear God, I hope we haven't screwed this up."

They hit us like a boxer. And the trouble with winding up a mountain pass, the winds can pummel you from left or right, and no telling where or how they'll hit. We passed a tractor trailer crawling up the hill with his flashers on and cut our speed as well. A surge of air would body slam us toward the shoulder, then evaporate as I wrestled the bike back to center.  Sections that cut through the rocks didn't seem to abate the blasts either. Finally we crested the pass (48 degrees), the winds abated and the drizzle began. The clouds turned to fog. As we descended the clouds lifted (actually we dropped) and visibility increased. 

A sign read, 'California Welcome Center,' so we turned in and rode four miles off the highway -a first- and found the place in a high end shopping mall. No wonder the state is broke! Every state sticks theirs at a rest stop or beside the highway. But California goes first class all the way. And out of the way. We got our brochures, maps and discount coupons, and headed out to finish our cold and damp ride to San Diego.

This is the bonus section of the ride, as we get five days in a row of relatives; Dad for the last few days, then Auntie Carol and Uncle Arden yesterday, and now Amy and Issouf with the twins, and Nick and Kim. The grandkid twins, Sam and Sarah, were born during the Adventure in October and have grown considerably. Let the spoiling begin!

And now, tops among grankid spoilers, Quilter Girl!

It was a cold ride over the mountains and didn't get warmer as expected in San Diego.  We geared up when we got gas. It was warm in El Centro when we started so I started out with just a windbreaker, so on went the Gerbing pants, jacket liner, sweatshirt and gloves.  I was toasty warm, a good thing because it just got colder as we went on.  I guess I can't put away the woolies!  We have had a great time rocking, playing, feeding babies.  Along with getting spit up on, it is a treat that can't be beat.  Samuel and Sara are much cuter and have so much more personality than when we were here in October.  Their smiles light up the room and they chatter very seriously about something that only they can understand.  Grandchildren are truly a gift from God.  

After a great dinner with Nick and Kim, we are getting ready to see some ships tomorrow.  



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