The GreatGrassJointVenture Begins!

At 7:15 this morning (9/26/2015), Bill Grass and Jeff and Kim Grass started the epic adventure of crossing the United States on the Southern Tier route. Their auspicious beginning was shrouded in San Diego fog and gray ocean as they took off from Ocean Beach, California.

Team GreatGrassJointVenture
Team GreatGrassJointVenture

The hardcore team members are the 3 cyclists pictured above. The Gypsy Cyclist, aka Karen Grass, is taking a break from cycling. Instead she is driving the SAG wagon, getting meals ready, reading and playing her violin in her spare time.

Karen and Bill would like to extend a gracious thank you to Kim for the Team shirts – they are a great birthday present and we will all wear with pride and know that they will be filled with many memories from the next 60 days.

Okay, back to the ride information… With temperatures close to 100 later in the day, Jeff and Kim stopped in Alpine for lunch and a cooldown, as Bill had to take a quick trip to the ER for a few stitches. Afterwards Jeff and Kim continued on a few more miles to the Viejas Indian Reservation, where Bill and Karen picked them up and headed to our campsite for the night.

As you can see the 5 stitches do not keep a good man off his bike!

Bill starts the second day with a few stitches and going strong uphill
Bill starts the second day with a few stitches and going strong uphill

 On the second day after a cool respite in the Cleveland National Forest (6000 ft. elevation) and a starting temp. of 59 degrees, the cyclists started their day with a continued climb towards Pine Valley.

IMG_20150927_074338_174
Beginning the second day, near Viejas Indian Reservation.

After a short climb on  Interstate 8, the cyclists returned to off-highway riding with a downhill run (obviously enjoyed by Kim) into the Japutal Valley.

Going strong on the second day, downhill into Japutal Valley
Going strong on the second day, downhill into Japutal Valley

After a short coffee, muffin, pastry, apple, leftover pasta, water, Gatorade and dewatering break, the cyclists climbed out of Pine Valley, traveling Historic Highway 80 with as Bill describes it “alligator pavement”, similar to what you see in the photo above (Beginning the second day).

Jeff and Kim climbing out of Pine Valley, CA
Jeff and Kim climbing out of Pine Valley, CA

GGJV finally stopped for a lunch break in Jacumba Hot Springs and debated whether to stop for the day or conquer a few more climbing miles and the 100+ degree heat.

Lunch in the Jacumba Hot Springs Resort Restaurant
Lunch in the Jacumba Hot Springs Resort Restaurant

6 more miles later, good sense took over and the cyclists were transported in the cool SAG wagon to Brawley for a nice, clean, cool hotel room. The desert beckons tomorrow.

But tonight we are enjoying the beautiful Blood Red Supermoon.

Blood Red Supermoon
Blood Red Supermoon