Bike Odyssey
North America 2004

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Journal for 17-Apr-2004 : Mojave

Rather pleasant cycling up and over on the Vasquez Canyon Rd then just up on the Bouquet Canyon Rd. For 20 miles (more than enough Ks) this road twisted it's way next to a quaint little stream through a narrow valley lined with desert shrubs. Squirrels darting periodically across the road. The other cyclists doing this ride (and there were quite a few as the route appeared in the free magazine “Californian Bicyclist”) were very well rugged up. We soon found out why.

Huge water reservoir near the top (along with ice on road warnings). Pretty damn cold, and very unpleasant when it started raining. In some ways, this country was dryer (looking) than I expected, in others ways (climate) it was wetter. One more tough little climb to go then we'd crossed the San Gabriel Mountains and descended into the Mojave desert.

Our road skirted the (current) edge of the exploding LA satellite of Palmdale, then ran dead straight dead flat for 40ks across sparsely vegetated, sparsely populated and sparsely used desert.

Passed a genuine ghost town with it's own abandoned 19th century mine. Either that or a movie set. (Or both)

As we got closer to Mojave we came across a few more hills, and bit more attractive desert scenery.
Tried to avoid the freeway for the last bit into Mojave. Proved impossible, thanks to a 3km rake of train wagons blocking the way to the alternate access road.

Could see the famous aircraft graveyard just out of town.

A huge wind farm on the desert slopes of the Southern Sierra Nevada mountains. We soon found out why they were placed there. Those last 5km to Mojave along the freeway shoulder took about 45 minutes as we struggled into the rather intense source of renewable energy.

Motel lady had a slightly familiar accent, and didn't need to ask where we were from. She was an ex-pat kiwi.

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