I thought I would finish today with my driving tour of Old Highway 80 in the boondocks of east San Diego County.
Old Highway 80 takes you very close to the U.S. border with Mexico, and since San Diego County built its wall back in the 2000s, it’s already complete and ready for pictures.
Border Patrol agents like to hide and watch you from afar through their binoculars. Several agents were hiding on the bluff with these structures….
….and descended upon me when I got too close to the border fence. I had parked my car just off the shoulder of the highway, got out, and climbed down under this 1931 bridge to get some pictures.
I was between the bridge and the border fence, and that’s when the Border Patrol agents descended on me like vultures on road kill.
Once the Border Patrol agents were satisfied with my explanation for being out there in a brand new car with temporary license plates, the head honcho radioed his agents and told them, “Stand down. Local tourist.”
Once I left them and continued heading east, I discovered lots of dead buildings. I could find no history about the following dead building, but I thought it was quite beautiful in its death and thought I could make a nice piece of Photographic Art out of it.
Next stop is Jacumba Hot Springs where there are all sorts of dead buildings to explore, such as this dead building in front of the Jacumba Elementary School:
It’s a good thing there were no dead buildings in front of the elementary school I attended. I never would have been in school. Of course, the principal would have known exactly where I was after the first couple of truant days….
Also on the south side of the highway is a dead chimney from the long-gone Hotel Vaughn:
I found a picture postcard of the Hotel Vaughn that was sold on eBay back in 2013.
When you get into Jacumba, it almost seems like the whole town is full of dead buildings, the largest of which is the old Jacumba Hot Springs bath house:
The hot springs became a destination spot in the 1880s, and Jacumba became a happenin’ place, a premier destination, in the twenties and thirties because of the Jacumba Hot Springs bath house. It was even attracting Hollywood celebrities.