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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Death Valley to San Diego

It's hard to do justice to the country I'm riding through. Words and photos just seem pale by comparison. The desert is subtle to begin with. You need to be quiet and wait for it to come to you. 

Then you notice the little things; varying shades of color in the sand, a tiny lizard scurrying across the rocks, a bird soaring high on unseen air currents. 

I sit to the side and watch people flying by in their air conditioned cars, occasionally sticking a camera out the window to take a picture of what? Something to prove they were here to their friends back home? Don't forget to buy the t-shirt too!

On the road south I passed out of Death Valley and headed toward the Mojave desert. 

Along the way I passed the Dumont Dunes and the Kelso Dunes. Way to soft for me to do anything but approach cautiously and then turn back before I got stuck.

In Kelso I found this restored train station.

It's a National Park Service site now. The lunch counter is ready for use and they are looking for someone to run it. A retirement opportunity?

Crossing Rt 66 was totally unexpected. I took a chance that nobody was coming to grab this picture.

And everyone loves a train.

After that I continued into the Joshua Tree desert and later the Anza-Borrego desert. By this time it was getting late and I was more interested in getting to San Diego than sightseeing. 

I made a tactical error in heading west through Julian rather than staying on Rt 86 south to El Centro. Julian is a nice little mountain town that I remembered from days past. What I had forgotten was how tight and twisty the roads were getting to and from there. Lots of fun in the daytime, a real pain in the dark. I might have saved some miles but I lost time from my slow pace.

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