This is a little town in the middle of the desert. I’ve finally reached the otherworldly landscapes I was looking for ! It’s really a shame I can only share these incredible views with words and pictures (and videos when I come back).
The views stretch far to the horizon, with batches of steep hills here and there, boulders, plains of sand and scarce vegetation. There are quite a few homes scattered around, and a couple of small towns along the way. This is a great place to feel the land moving under the wheels, as I sailed around large hills formations, being south of them, and north one or two hours later.
Apart from the initial bit after Victorville, the road was really good, and I averaged 25km/15mi per hour, best I’ve done up to now, after a slow day yesterday. Also, I left early and only did 60kms/38mis, so I avoided the warm hours – but these days are cool in general.
I had my first real dog encounter today. I actually had a first one around Castroville (yeah, this place again), but it was a small poodle mostly looking curious. I used the dominant approach with him, riding in his direction, going up on the bike and yapping ! That sent him running.
But today it was a huge mastiff probably heavier than me. He left his home from across the street right after Oro Grande and started chasing me on the right. After an initial reaction of trying to outrun him (which was useless even at 30km/h), I jumped on my pepper spray can. In 2-3 frantic seconds I had it unlocked and was ready for him to get closer. But he didn’t try that and stopped chasing after a minute or two. The bad point is that I was surprised and swerved a lot on a busy road. But I’ve proven that I can access my cans in a short time. And it gives me solace to think that if this dog continues to cross the road unchecked he’ll be the next roadkill, not a cyclist.
After this adrenaline rush and the ugly industrial bits of north Victorville, the magnificent desert opened up until Barstow. I stopped at 11am, with ample time to rest, unlike yesterday. Tomorrow I’ll start early for the longest stretch in the desert until Baker.