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.
The resort maintains a quaint little restaurant and according to my renowned author/rancher friend Wen Chang who lives right up the road in Boulevard, they serve the most nutritious and tasty food within a 40-mile radius. Having just returned from my second home in France, I was impressed! Although heavy at times, the samplings are without doubt of the highest quality, fresh as a fallen snow. I had the country breakfast, biscuits and gravy, two sausages, scrambled eggs, potatoes and a decent cup of joe. It was delicious.
Overall, the amenities of this resort being the ground fed hot springs mineral water in the spa, two pools and the dry heat infra-red sauna constantly lowered my blood pressure along with all normal vital signs. This, despite the intense heat and training for triathlon. It’s important to use common sense while at the Spa. It’s easy to understand why the Hollywood elite frequented the original Jacumba Hotel resort during the Thirties, which was destroyed by fire and located across the street. The mineral water here covers your body like a blanke
t of silk. The therapeutic benefits are unequaled.
The paved almost completely deserted road heading east to the Desert View Tower is a triathlete's dream, euphoria on earth. I sampled a stretch with my professional photographer and she was also impressed. Wow, simply amazing! This place rocks. Speaking of rocks, the renowned trail Valley of the Moon is practically next door to the resort. We shot some nude art pictures for my college modeling work high up in the middle of nowhere. Simply amazing. The rock formations much resemble Joshua Tree and are simply breathtaking. So, if you strive for health and happiness, please visit this outpost of 540 residents soon.