Thursday, January 21, 2010


"If you are on the quest for the 'middle of nowhere', you'll find it in the desert wilderness of the Mojave National Preserve, a 1.6 million acre jumble of sand dunes, mountains, Joshua trees, volcanic cylinder cones and sculpted rock formations. No services or facilities are available within the preserve" According to my Lonely Planet guidebook .

And so it was time to stock up. I visited a supermarket and loaded up 4 days worth of food. I then visited a restaurant and ate as much breakfast as I could. I then pedalled north into the heart of 'the middle of nowhere'. It was an amazing journey of pedalling across desert into the horizon. From 29 Springs, I headed north just outside a massive U.S. marine base. The air was filled with the sound of bombs going off as U.S. military did their training for desert combat elsewhere. Then I took a right back onto Route 66 and through the town of Amboy. I was told this town was abandoned, but here I found one old guy running a petrol station.
"Most people just come here to gas up and get out"
According to wikipedia, (,_California ) the population is 4. I continued north past the Devils Playground which is a collection of giant sand dunes. In Kelso, a retired plumber named Mike used his retirement savings to start up a sandwich and hotdog restaurant in the refurbished train station. (which is essentially used as the park rangers headquarters). I had not past a restaurant in 3 days and I wasn't expecting to see one out here. Mike told me he saw 4 touring cyclists pass this way last year. I continued north past Nipton and as I was putting up my tent, I could see an orangey haze of light in the distance. Each day in the desert closed with a fantastic sunset, but this was something different. This could only be the lights of Las Vegas. It still took me 2 more days of pedalling before I reached 'Sin City'. In total, it took me 2 weeks to get from San Diego to Las Vegas.

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