|Distance||40.00 kms||24.85 miles|
|Climbed||887 meters||2,910 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||5.17||-|
|Avg speed||7.75 kph||-|
|Distance||90.20 kms||55.92 miles|
|Climbed||1,328 meters||4,357 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||9.04||-|
Monday, October 16th, 2017
I didn't sleep particularly well last night; the burros, coyotes, and dogs woke me up several times with their cacophony. I try to sleep in but that's hard to do in the desert, the sun had me running from the tent around 7:00. I manage to get a slow start nevertheless by hiding in the shadow of the tent where I goof around on the internet for a while. I filter 3 liters of water from the lake, eat the pancakes my host made for me, pack up and hit the road around 9.
It's hot (as usual), in the 90's. I've got 5 liters of water with me and I already drank 1 at breakfast. I drank 5 yesterday so I'm hoping this will see me through to Morristown. After about an hour on the road I'm thinking maybe not. This road is tough, lots of steep climbs on loose dirt, washboard, loose gravel when it follows or crosses washes.
About noon I feel like I'm running out of energy already. I'm wondering why I'm struggling so much; I set to analyzing it (plenty of time to think while riding a bicycle). Is it:
A) The road?
B) The heat?
C) The lack of conditioning?
D) Might I be getting old?
E) All of the above
I'm going with E. By 2pm the roller coaster has taken its toll. I find a wash that has some shade and lie down in the sand for a good 45 minutes. I've only got 1.5 liters of water left. I'm starting to worry about that given my slow progress, I've still got 15 miles of roller coaster ahead of me to get to Morristown. I get back on the bike. 2 miles down the road I see water seeping along the embankment. I follow it to its source: a small spring with just a trickle of water flowing out from under the rock. Enough to filter though. I just need to use the syringe that comes with the filter to suction it up. I do 3 liters-worth, I'm not making the same mistake twice in one day. Plus the extra water will allow me to camp comfortably in the desert before reaching the main road.
With 9 miles to go to the highway the road mercifully starts to head downhill, then flattens out with 4 to go. I get off the road into some state land to camp (signs say I need a permit, but oh well...) I set up camp in a clearing next to some tall saguaros. I'm so tired I really struggle to get everything done and make dinner... I feel like I'm operating on nothing but fumes. When I finally do get to lay down it feels positively delicious to relax. I'm hoping I can rebound tomorrow. Some coyotes and burros around making noise again tonight.