Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Into the Mighty Mojave

I stood on a high pass and looked down 3,000 ft. to the Colorado River. On the other side, the desert mountains of California lay in rumpled brown ranks. In a couple of hours, I would be in my last state, home.

I still have several hundred miles to go, but I'm writing these words from Needles, CA, where I'll spend the night and push on for the deep Mojave tomorrow. I'll be following "Historic!" Route 66 for much of the way though some stretches of Hwy 40 will be unavoidable. I haven't much time, but I wanted to post a few shots and say that this has been a truly fantastic day, some of the best riding of the trip.

Mike and Mo led me out of Kingman, three bent riders storming the early morning streets. We left Mike at the turn to his work and Mo came along a bit farther. We dropped through a craggy, narrow canyon and out into the basin beyond. I left Mo and fell into a smart tailwind that pushed me on the gentle down grade for many miles. I devoured that basin like a lite snack. Then a big push up, up, up over Sitgreaves Pass, 3,550 ft., then huge, huge, HUGE descent through Oatman and all the way down to the Colorado River. I rolled down the mother of all bajadas until I was almost bored. Then, when I had to turn south, tailwinds again (heh, heh!) and I flew along, managing high teens to low twenties with minor effort. By 12:30pm California time, I was in Needles.

This town is something of a dump, but a motel and an early start tomorrow will get me out of here in fine shape. I've got a very long climb up I40 to get out of the Colorado River basin. I'll post next from Barstow, the finest little desert strip mall hell you've ever driven through.

Be well!


Anonymous said...

Damn! I was driving from Salt Lake City back to LA yesterday, and drove right through Barstow. Had I known, I could have made a little detour to say hello! Oh well...

I am still thoroughly enjoying your journal. Keep the rubber side down. Unfortunately, internet was inaccessible yesterday, or I would have known where to look for you.

Neal and I are already beginning to think about our now-annual winter trip. After driving through Utah, I declared it would be Zion National Park. I wonder what it's like there in February? Perhaps we will need studded tires for the trikes? Are you in?

Take care,

Scott Wayland said...

Hey, Dana! I'm in Barstow as I write these words. Had a flat along I40, but otherwise, I'm tearin' it up. Zion area could be very groovy. Inside the canyon will be freezing, however! We'll talk. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

Your Bent Buddy,