|Distance||63.40 kms||39.15 miles|
|Climbed||457 meters||1,499 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||4.56||-|
|Avg speed||14 kph||-|
|Distance||839.14 kms||521.33 miles|
|Climbed||6,450 meters||21,161 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||70.99||-|
Saturday, October 28th, 2017
Not finding whatever caused the flat yesterday has -- as it often does -- come back to haunt me: the rear tire is as flat as a board this morning. I just want to get to Barstow, I'm not in the mood to try and fix it, so I just pump it up and hope that it holds. It doesn't. 4 miles down I15 the back is wobbling from lack of air. I've got no choice now... I pull off behind a tree next to the highway and unload all the bags. After running my hand carefully over the inside of the tire I finally find it: a tiny needle that is embedded in the rubber and sticking through enough to have caused multiple punctures in the tube. I patch 2 holes.
I'm going against a strong headwind this morning. The wind has done a 180 since yesterday, from out of the northeast to out of the southwest. With 10 miles to go I'm out of water. It's amazing how that happens in the desert, I left the rest area late yesterday afternoon with 5 liters and poof, it's gone.
I come upon a "50's diner" in the hamlet northeast of Barstow. Too tempting to pass up, I go in and order a huge breakfast. I'm sort of out of it from fighting the wind all morning. The waitress and I have a few go-arounds before she understands my order... I think all this solitary desert time has affected my communications skills.
First order of business in Barstow is to shop to get some proper food. I end up at Walmart because it's the first thing that comes along. I stock up on food, get some tubes and other miscellaneous things I've been needing. I'm getting close to checkout when I get the urge...oh no! I'm going to have to poop in a Walmart! Afterwords I feel relieved yet slightly dirty, like I've compromised my morals by performing intimate deeds in this colossus of corporate greed.
Next up is to get on the internet at Starbucks. By the time I'm done the day has passed me by, I've got an hour and a half before sunset to find a place to camp. I arranged a Warmshowers stay for tomorrow night and the host told me that they are having a "Mardi Gras" celebration in Barstow tonight. It turns me off from looking for a motel, I don't know if this festivity is going to attract enough people to fill the motels, but it's Saturday night as well so things might be booked and surely more expensive with the weekend rates. Plus I've just gotten so used to sleeping in the desert...
I have a fairly tough climb up out of Barstow into the hills to the south. Just about sunset I wheel off into the desert to find a campsite hidden from the road by a rise. I've got a nice view over Barstow's valley while I make dinner.