|Distance||97.54 kms||60.89 miles|
|Climbed||1,060 meters||3,478 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||6.12||-|
|Avg speed||9.9 kph||-|
|Distance||27,532.44 kms||17,107.59 miles|
|Climbed||288,536 meters||946,640 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,953.60||-|
Thursday, May 15th, 2014
I wake up feeling well rested. I needed that day off the bike. A lazy start including breakfast at a cafe then I start the climb out towards old highway 91.
The sun is relentless today. Not a cloud to be found. I go through some urban sprawl before getting into the red cliffs of the Paiute Indian Reservation. There's not a spot of shade to be found on the climbs so I revert to my trusty friend the culvert for lunch.
I'm well over 4,000 feet when I hit the top. A couple of miles down the descent I round a corner to find instant Mojave desert: Joshua trees, chollas, endless plains of creosote, and black mountains of Mordor. At 3,000 feet I'm hit in the face by a wall of hot wind. That's typical of the Mojave as well. When I get to the bottom of the descent I stop at a store near I-15, the girl behind the counter tells me it's 100 degrees. I follow old 91 under the freeway and keep going.
The wind is working against me but not too bad today.
Some dips into some canyons, some creosote plains, then I arrive in a city called Mesquite. I'm a little unclear on the state boundaries around here. At some point near I-15 I passed into Arizona but only ever so briefly, Mesquite is Nevada.
I pull into a park... in the 20 feet of gravel parking lot between the road and the cement walkways I manage to pick up 5 thorns in the front tire. Needless to say it goes flat. Ahhh yes, I'm back in the Mojave. I picked up a Schwalbe Marathon Plus in Springdale, keeping it folded under the cargo net awaiting a flat to swap the tires. Now's my chance. The front tire has been on there since Colombia so it's looking a little rough. It's a folding Dureme so I'll pack that back up as my spare for now. The Marathon Plus is a beast but it's just what the doctor ordered for Mojave travel.
I fill up on water in Mesquite then head down 170 until I'm into BLM land well past Bunkerville. I go up a rock road towards the mountains until I find a good spot to pitch the tent and cook dinner on the fire. Between the temperature, the fire, the fresh jalapenos, and the chile powder I'm sweating buckets while eating dinner. There will be no sleeping bag tonight! I'm not thrilled with my tent but I have to say one nice feature is that I can open it on both sides to let air through. The previous Decathlon backpacker tent that I had only had an opening in the front which made for some hot nights in the desert.
When all is said and done I've consumed 8.5 liters of liquids today, not including coffee and water at breakfast. Yup, Mojave.... Full moon (or close to it) rising to the east after the sun sets to the west. A beautiful desert night.