By Daniel Smiechowski
Spa exterior, restaurant and running pictures courtesy Daniel Smeichowski. Spa water photo courtesy Miriam Raftery
July 14, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- As I drove east on Old Highway 80 about five miles to the I-8 east junction, I came upon a God-forsaken outpost of ramshackle homes, a trailer park, County library, elementary school, a few churches and a grocery store. What brought me here, however, was the iconic spa named after the town itself, the Jacumba Hot Springs Resort & Spa.
It seems like yesterday when my Mother and Father brought me here on a Greyhound bus from Milwaukee 54 years ago. In 1966, this spa served as a waystation for Greyhound bus lines. Interstate 8 did not exist in 1966 going through the El Centro corridor. But what was my real motivation in coming here? I came here for the sake of my beloved sport of triathlon. It was a match made in heaven. Mecca in the high desert. Blissfully sensual and healthier than 20 Spanish Pamplona bulls. Yes, I considered the extreme temperatures but common sense solved any dangers to the body and mind.