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{ Tag Archives } california

needles

I emerge from the desert dirt roads onto pavement. After passing through the small settlement of Goffs, where I spent the morning chatting to a volunteer at the East Mojave Desert Museum, who kindly lets me download my photos there, I find myself on the Route 66, a highway which actually no longer exists, heading […]

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a few small misadventures in the mojave desert

By morning the constant stream of cars has been replaced by a constant stream of trucks. It is time to flee. Without having any idea what to expect I head towards the Mojave National Preserve – I haven’t had enough of the desert yet. The desert, as always contains surprises. I ride to Kelso where, […]

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baker

I continue on corrugated gravel track across the desert. The road is being worked on as I ride and the surface is deep and loose. The men working in the graders stare at me, as if I might be a mirage, as I pass. I’m so glad I chose to struggle across the rough dirt […]

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saratoga springs

I am in search of another fresh water spring that Mike told me about.  A sandy track turns off my gravel road towards the hills and I struggle over it. Saratoga Spring sits in a small basin surrounded by a curve of bare hills, black, brown and gray – looking almost like slag heaps, mining […]

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death valley

The next day I wake and my mind is still full of yesterday’s encounter. The men are breaking camp in the distance and soon speed off in a huge cloud of dust. I cook breakfast and break camp more slowly and then get on my bike to cycle fifty miles over corrugated deep gravel road, […]

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in the shadow of the valley of death

When I return to the men’s camp site dinner is ready and people are scattered around eating and talking. The conversation drifts over a variety of topics, as it always does in large groups. One man is expounding volubly on the difficulties of negotiating life in prison. He is discussing the conflict that exists between […]

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city on the plain

The following morning I set off towards the end of the valley where sand dunes shimmer in the distance. I round a corner and find myself confronted with a veritable tent city near the base of the dunes, an American flag flying in the centre of a ring of tents. A lone figure is seated […]

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the road to death valley

When I leave Bishop the wind is still icy and it blows me smartly along the highway to Big Pine where I stop to stock up on water, filling my two four litre bags to the brim. I ask the guy at the service station for information about the road. The man, it transpires, is […]

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staying warm in a cold and windy place

With the clouds hanging heavily on the mountain tops and a fierce, frigid, wind blowing from the north I ride back to the highway. Once I reach the highway a north wind is a tail wind – for the most part – and the ride to Bishop, where I hope to have somewhere to stay […]

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another quest in search of a hot bath

In Yosemite Valley I heard rumours of hot springs around Mammoth Lake and so I quizz Doris and John for further information. The critical clue I already have at my disposal is a green church marking the turn off on the highway. John, however is able to furnish much more specific directions and a reasonable […]

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