Ride Day 3

The traffic in Brawley was pretty light when I  started off at 7:30 AM. I knew it was going to be one of the more desolate areas once I left town.0426160845

About 15 miles out on CA 78, I caught up to 2 men from Munich, Germany riding on their way to Yellowstone. 0426160846dThey had started from San Diego. They were going to camp at a county park well south of Blythe. We kept passing each other over the next 10 miles. Although I was riding faster because Becky was carrying my gear for the first 29 miles, I was stopping to take pictures and water the desert when I drank too much.

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Loading the panniers on Hidalgo

They passed me one final time, 29 miles into the ride at the last place to buy anything for the next 45 miles. I never saw them again after stopping to eat and receiving my panniers from Becky. The extra 20+ lbs. made me work a little harder and go a little slower.

At home I’m used to seeing roadkill comprised of squirrels, raccoons,  and maybe some small birds. Yesterday I got used to seeing some squashed snakes that were 2 to 3 feet long. The only roadkill I saw today were tire fragments and various pieces from car bodies. 04261609080426160932I passed some huge sand dunes, rode a lot of undulating hills, and stayed on the road shoulder that ranged from 8 feet to 8 inches. The traffic was light, but the semis create quite a draft!

I had a nice conversation with the border patrol agent along CA 78. The officer had moved out here from OH. I talked a little about my cause of Youth Mentoring and he told me how he 0426161212a_HDRspends up to 20 hours a week coaching sports teams, so he really appreciated the need. He told me that there was a prison near Blythe (my destination today) and many of the youth he encounters are children of single parents, where the other is in jail.

When I finally got out of the rolling highway of the desert in Palo Verde, the terrain flattened out, but then I was fighting some headwind.  I tried to reward myself every 5 to 8 mIles by getting off the bike, eating something, and transferring water out of my panniers if needed. I could lean Hidalgo against some scrub brush, but I had nowhere to sit for about 80 of the 89 miles today. After all, I was in the desert. Oddly enough, my mental jukebox box was playing “Green Green ” by the New Christy Minstrels. I guess it was something about the chorus “on the far side of the hill .. where the grass is greener still”. Something about constantly going up and down the hilly road and not being able to see over the next crest must have made it kick in. It was mostly Beach Boys as I got near the hotel to meet Becky.

20160426220711I am really going to miss her when she leaves me in Salome.

The Lone Rider