A ride in the desert ! I’ve started passing north of the Mojave Preserve, and I will finish that tomorrow. The views to arrive here continue to be fantastic. I was literally teary eyed and jaw dropped most of the way.
The first part, before reaching the interstate, was a bit more difficult. First going around a marine corps base, then reaching Dagget. I did a small detour just to get closer to the ghost town of Calico. The reviews on the site were terrible (a Disneyland tourist trap), and I was there too early, but I wanted to have a look anyway. I had another dog encounter on the way, with a small pup and litter, but I saw them way before they noticed me.
After that I was supposed to ride along the interstate for a long time, before the road concluded on a junction with said I15 interstate – and when there is no other way, bicycles are allowed on freeways and equivalent (should have known that for Riverside).
But I saw a “road closed” sign on the side of the road at the previous junction. I wasn’t sure what to do, I thought it was just a warning that it was more or less a dead end until the junction. I decided to keep going. The road was extremely bumpy at this stage, I feared I would break the bike. Then I got another group of dogs leaving their home to give chase ! A couple of them was staying close but were obviously mostly having fun and stopped after some time. My can was ready in any case. It’s bothering to jump anytime I hear a bark now but I will get used to it, I suppose. Still, I’m thinking about getting something stronger than pepper spray.
One or two miles later this time there was no more doubt : a wooden barrier was blocking the path “road closed, you shall not pass”. I could either press on or go back, on a bumpy road, with full headwind, and dogs waiting for me. I passed the barrier.
There was still about 4mi/6kms to go until the (now desperately expected) junction. The road was better, and I was planning, in the worst case, to jump the fence that was between me and the interstate. Oh yeah and have the 40kgs bike and stuff jump as well of course, easy.
I ended up on a bridge that was not maintained, totally blocked for cars, with a concrete barrier, but I could go over. It certainly was the reason the road was deemed closed. After another few miles and a climb I saw the junction, opened and ready. There might have been a few cheers of much rejoicing 😉
After all these adventures I wasn’t half way there, but the rest of the road was easy. I completed the second longest stretch (116kms/73mis) with the highest speed (27kms/17mis per hour). A strong tailwind helped a lot ! I left early (7am) and temperatures were great all the way.
The interstate slaloms around desert hills, slowly going up or down. I was seamlessly going from one spectacular vista to another. I was sorry for the drivers rushing around all this beauty. I love old rocks and ruins and there was plenty of the first kind here, with all sorts of colors and shapes. The google street movie I made doesn’t begin to capture the views I had.
I was also amazed by how truck drivers are really nice (here) : most of them were switching lane to avoid passing too close and drafting me. In France it’s mostly a honk and the finger :p
And to conclude the journey arriving in Baker, I stopped at the Mad Greek Cafe, only to realize the two bottle holders I fitted behind the trailer had gone ! I couldn’t fathom how someone would have stolen them, as I was on the bike all the time. Then I supposed it was due to the bumps earlier. This should give an idea of the shakes I endured (while being chased by dogs, remember). It was the first time I filled them and the weight have increased their shaking.
At this cafe I had the absolute worst greek sandwich ever (Parisian Greeks included), and a Baklava shake, which was better than I thought 🙂
And as requested here is the Alien Fresh Jerky 🙂