Wednesday, January 9, 2013

P4W2 Day 4 Mojave Magic Joshua Tree N.P., CA - Parker, AZ 120 miles

The overnight was a wonderful campground in Joshua Tree, National Park. This is a very pretty place, but only one that could humanly be visited in the coldest 3 or 4 months of the year. 

First thing in the morning I caught a 10 mile downhill to Twentynine Palms. The bike actually topped out at about 30 mph, so the monkey that jumped on the bike rack yesterday (it must have been on the rear rack, I couldn't see it...)  must have jumped off overnight. 

A bit of an intimidating site for a bicycler leaving Twentynine Palms says, 'Next Services 100 miles.' I would never try this route in the summer, but the air was cool and calm, and I packed extra water.
The farther I went the better I felt. Brown barren desert peaks spike up above the desert plain. 
The scenery reminded me a bit of the Moon or Alaska, sans water.  Unlike the sharp hills of days
earlier, the hills today were straight and gradual;  many times I could see the road 15 miles ahead.  My father once told me he drove 130 mph in
the desert; it must have been somewhere around here!

The smooth road and the gradual loss of elevation to the Colorado River really helped me make time.  The sandy shoulder was not amenable to
stopping often, so my breaks today were short.  The scenery was actually quite pleasant through a vast swath of the Mojave managed by the BLM.
The last five miles to the state line featured views for ~50 miles in many directions.  Two burros spied me just as I dropped down to the Colorado River and another time zone.

I had forgotten how diverse California really is...that the state with giant redwoods would have desert this dry.  Stunning for an east coaster.

No comments:

Post a Comment