Cycling to Florida, Days 7 & 8


Yesterday started out nice and fairly easy. The going started getting rough after about 15 miles. My goal was to make it to Palo Verde and stay in one of the hotels you would expect to find in a town with a population 92,226. Whoops, I misread the map. That was the zip code! The population is 171. So, no hotel to be found. I tried calling one of the Adventure Cycling hosts near there, but could only leave a message. I decided to pedal on to Blythe after nearly 70 miles. I was riding in the pitch black rural night, when a motorist flagged me down. She was the cycling host and came looking for me! Yay, a place to stay that was only 4 miles away instead of 25 in Blythe. She was like one of the trail angels you meet on the Appalachian trail. Fixed me a quick dinner of eggs, bacon and toast after which I zonked out. She said she’s been providing shelter for cyclists for a few years. When she first moved here, she wondered why she kept seeing cyclists pedaling by all the time. Her location is right in the middle of some of the hardest riding and one of longest stretches with no services.

Here’s the map of yesterday’s ride. Click on it to see more detail.

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Today, I slept in and left my hosts place around noon. She said I could stay as long as I liked and just to lock up when I left. I made this a short day of only around 27 miles. I made it to Blythe and will set out for Arizona tomorrow.

Here’s the map from today. Click on it for more details.

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Here’s the photos from yesterday and today:

Pretty nice temp to start the ride.

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Mostly farm land with lush green crops aided by irrigation.IMG_1787 IMG_1789 IMG_1793 IMG_1794

An orange grove protected by some vigilant palm trees.IMG_1797 More road.IMG_1801Rick, I think he said he was from Portland. Another solo traveler with way too much gear. We rode together for awhile until he left me in his wake. He gave me some good advice on stocking up on water and I stopped at a dune buggy rally place and picked up a gallon jug. Later on, I caught up with him at a convenience store where he was waiting to see if I made it up the hills. Everyone is SO friendly on the road.
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The sand dunes where a bazillion 4-wheeler, dune buggy and motorcycle enthusiasts have much fun and walk with big carbon feet. I stopped and watched them for a little bit.IMG_1805

I think these are the Chocolate Mtns.IMG_1810

A million cows being fed at an automated cow feeding lot. It looked like it was powered by solar energy.IMG_1791

More orange groves.IMG_1798 IMG_1808 IMG_1811

Rest stop where I caught up with Rick.IMG_1812

Here was my lunch. A 5 dollar dried up sandwich, pepsi and mayo.IMG_1814This is the Chocolate Mtn. Naval Reservation Aerial Gunnery Range. Didn’t hear any explosions but a lot of cyclists have. I did see a couple jets and those odd vertical lift off planes. IMG_1820

More Chocolate.IMG_1823IMG_1824

Some pretty desert flowers beginning to bloom.IMG_1826IMG_1829IMG_1831

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Beginning sunset on the Chocolate Mtns.IMG_1839

One against nature.IMG_1835IMG_1836IMG_1838IMG_1839IMG_1840

 

Here’s Nancy, the Adventure Cycling Host AngelIMG_1847IMG_1846

The cyclist’s bedroom.
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And here’s what you wake up to out the front door.IMG_1844IMG_1841Leaving Nancy’s homestead, I spotted this blooming cactus.IMG_1849

Nancy said there used to be several restaurants and bars in Palo Verde, but they’ve all closed up.IMG_1853The first clouds I’ve seen. IMG_1855IMG_1860IMG_1852

IMG_1860Lush alfalfa (I think).IMG_1863

I thought these were dwarf palms or pineapples, but a local told me they were date palms.IMG_1866A tiny town with a great taco stand.IMG_1868I forgot to take a pic of the taco stand but it’s there with the green awning.IMG_1869Freshly plowed, perfectly straight rows.IMG_1870Some that have already been planted and had irrigation started.IMG_1872A little pink house with a loaded orange tree beside it.IMG_1875

 

 

No weather pic because there’s no AT&T service. Its 8:30 pm now and the temp is 78º

 

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