|Distance||82.85 kms||51.57 miles|
|Climbed||870 meters||2,854 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||4.41||-|
|Avg speed||11.6 kph||-|
|Distance||27,974.04 kms||17,382.23 miles|
|Climbed||292,442 meters||959,455 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,982.28||-|
Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
I didn't get much sleep, the storm battered the tent relentlessly through the night. This morning everything (and I mean everything) inside the tent is covered in dust. The wind is still blowing hard but today it's coming straight from the south which means I'm going to have a rocking tailwind. I dust off as best as a I can then hit the road.
I roll along until I hit Badwater, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at -282 feet. There are lots of people there taking pictures and whatnot. I get to talking to two French couples about my trip, they have lots of questions. One of the guys has done some interesting cycling: to the Mount Everest base camp at 5,400 meters and a tour around Bolivia. We commiserate about the bad reception foreigners get in Bolivia. I talk to a few other people, the conversations are infinitely more interesting that the spot which is just a sign on the salt flat.
I fly along the road until Artist's Drive, a side road through some canyons and rock formations. Quite a bit of climbing on this road, with some long stretches of 10 percent, and a less helpful wind. Some cool stuff up there though.
Back on the main road I breeze into Furnace Creek where there are campgrounds, a resort, and some other (minimal) services. At the visitor center I get talking to the ranger about South American (much to the chagrin of all the people in line behind me). He lived in Paraguay for a few years and speaks Guaraní. I pay him for a campsite, 12 dollars plus the 12 dollar park fee, then find a nice spot under some trees to set up. Someone left a load of wood at the site so I'm good for a fire tonight.
The French people at Badwater told me that I could pay 5 dollars to get day use access to the resort with pool and showers, that's my next stop. I really needed a shower after the sand/dustblasting of last night. Afterwards I hang out at the pool. I get talking to a motorcyclist who is on a long trip. He has a blog with some professional-looking photos of the sights he has seen.
Back at the campground I have a fire and cook dinner. I'm the only one having a fire, perhaps because it is so windy, but I don't feel like messing around with my stove so I'm having a fire no matter what. A much better sleep tonight with the protection of the trees around my tent.