It’s Wednesday November 30th, 2022 and we’re up before dawn. We’re breaking camp, making coffee and oatmeal and it’s just a glorious morning in the desert!
The night was a little gusty for a while but the morning was calm as could be. We asses the damage to Mike’s camp chair and determine it’ll be tough but he’s strong and we’re going to attempt to carry on (sarcastically of course).
SECTION 2 (continued):
We’re maybe 1/2 of the way through Section 2. The end of Section 2 is a place called Sahara Oasis. Basically a gas stop. Today’s goal is to get to Primm. Mike wanted to stay in a hotel tonight and that’s not a bad idea. Primm is the End of Section 3.
While I thought we were in the Mojave, it’s not officially “The Mojave” until we cross Hwy 40.
I know we started out on the trail at 8:29 AM and moved along at a pretty brisk pace for a while. Not a lot of stopping for pictures. We get to Sahara Oasis and crossed Hwy 40 at 10:45. So much for Section 2. eh?
Apparently this is also a section of the original Hwy 66. and the convenience store sells all sorts of commemorative Hwy 66 stuff. Not to me. I buy a pack of M&Ms, bottle of Gatorade and a gallon of water to refill my hydration pack. I put 3 liters in my backpack and fill my MSR bag with the rest.
SIDE NOTE: I am strangely fascinated by the slight changes you seen in the desert if you are looking. The morning desert looked flat and mostly barren. It was a dry basin that had some evidence of moisture but any plant was scattered feet or yards from the next.
And just a few miles up the trail and at a slightly higher elevation, it’s still desert but wildly different. Bunch grasses, Cactus, and Joshua Trees. This was a nice looking spot and so we stopped here and had a small bite to eat.
We start up on the original Hwy 66 for a few quick miles and then it was off to dirt right at a place called Goffs. They have a huge compound that has an old school house and a train museum of sorts. There was nobody there so we didn’t stop or take pictures. Looking at the satellite view from tracking it’s very expansive. Worth a stop I would guess!
After the Schoolhouse it went paved for a while but quickly turned to the standard gravel roads we were getting used to. The next turn was a ways and called New York Mountain Rd. I thought that to be an odd name. Oh well.
We climbed up to a small summit of sorts (it was a low mountain) and then the route went through a chained cattle gate. This was my first. The rule is, if you find a cattle gate chained closed, you can enter through it but you also need to close it behind you. Which we did.
It was a rocky single track section that made it’s way past actual range cattle! We dropped down the south side of Pinto Mountain and then back up north towards Cima Rd. The terrain was sandy and the Joshua trees were thick around us.
At one point Mike’s Bike took a small Dirt Nap. We took a picture and moved on.
He mentioned that this was the same place he dropped it the last time and the sand just caught him out.
Just a few minutes later I came around a turn to find him on the ground again. This time it was a bigger event. I turned off his bike, then got him up. He had crossed it up and this time went straight over the bars we figured. In the process he busted his GoPro mount, banged his helmet, broke his left side handlebar switch, his USB charger in the dash oh yeah he went through his windshield, breaking it too!
Mike is tough. He’s a MX’r. But we took our time and busted out the Gorilla Tape for a few temporary repairs. In 30 minutes he was back and ready to ride.
Somebody asked me how I remember all this detail. I don’t. I’ve been looking closely at my tracking 2 minutes at a time. I can tell you this is exactly where it was as I spent 30 minutes here.
Moving on, we followed Cima Rd for a while. I was loving these Joshua Tree Forest and windy paths. How could you not?
We hit Hwy 15 and headed into Primm for the night. This was the end of Section 3. It was very different from the first 2 sections. It was just a little technical but very cool!
That night Mike and I discussed the nuance between “dropping” the bike and “crashing” the bike. We both had a ton of drops, and now we had one crash.
I found a kind of cool graphic in my Garmin tracking that gives me some stats for the day. I think it’s going to be accurate for time but not so much for distance as it clocks a ping every 2 minutes. On curvy roads where I’m traveling fast that distance from ping to ping is going to be as the bird flies and not actual mileage. But hey, it’s close enough.
SCORECARD: We started at 8:29 AM and finished in Primm at the Hotel at 3:30 PM. I’ll call that 7 hours on the bike.