|Distance||80.00 kms||49.71 miles|
|Climbed||410 meters||1,345 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||5.34||-|
|Avg speed||15 kph||-|
|Distance||504.74 kms||313.79 miles|
|Climbed||3,054 meters||10,020 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||37.90||-|
Sunday, October 22nd, 2017
The wind isn't taking the morning off like it did yesterday. In fact, it's so gusty that when I remove the rocks holding down the tent it flies off into the buses. It's blowing from the north, the direction I'll be riding in all day, so I've got my work cut out for me.
There is barely a shoulder on this road, just 4 inches in spots. A few times I get brushed by 18-wheelers and RVs. In one spot a guy pulls out to pass coming in the other direction, he sees me but goes ahead anyways, shaving me close in my lane. I give him a long look at my middle finger.
The road climbs ever so slowly up a pass between valleys, then descends for almost 10 miles into Needles. I spend most of the day on this seemingly never-ending climb into the wind, the monotony broken only by the occasional near-death experience when a truck gets too close.
I get a motel in Needles so I can take a shower and watch tonight's Patriots game. My first bed of the trip. The motels are cheap in this town -- I get one for $40 -- and I could have gotten cheaper if I wanted to go downmarket. The place I chose is run by an Indian guy who asks about where I've come and where I'm going. I tell him a few snake stories. I hop in the shower, drink a bunch of icewater, and turn on the TV for a long dose of football.
After the game (guess who won? yeah you right bro) I go for dinner at a restaurant a block away, run by an Indian guy (why so many Indians in the Mojave?). They have lamb curry on the menu -- I order it figuring it will be authentic -- and I'm not disapointed. I said I wanted it hot, the guy asks: "like Indian hot?". Yes. And it was all of that and more. I know it's good when my head sweats.
I chat in German with a couple of Swiss travelers at the bar. They are doing a portion of route 66 then heading north to fly out of Salt Lake City. Europeans just love Route 66.