In preparation for tomorrow's bus/train trip back to the world of employment and mortgages, I ride from Cima Dome to Baker "the long way" (via Kelso-Cima Road, Kelso Depot and then Kelbaker Road).
"The long way" is better than the shorter options, which would require riding many miles on the I-15 freeway or riding across Cima Dome on the rough power-line road. (The power-line road would be a fun choice if my bike rack weren't broken.)
My broken bike rack didn't give me any problems on the way up here to Cima Dome, so I'm confident that my repair will hold for the rest of the trip... as long as I stay on pavement and don't bump around excessively.
63.2 bicycle miles today, dropping from 5000 feet at Cima to 2100 feet at Kelso Depot, up to the Kelbaker Road summit at 3800 feet, then down to 925 feet at Baker.
Since my camera is still broken, "today's photos" are a mish-mash of images shot earlier on this trip, or during previous trips.
- With a bit of sadness, I pack up and leave my Cima Dome campsite to mark the last day of this Mojave National Preserve trip
- The six-mile ride down the Cima Road hill to the Cima Store, 800 feet below, is a blast
- To my left while descending Cima Road are views across the valley to the Butcher Knife Canyon area of the New York Mountains
- About 1.5 miles before reaching the Cima Store, I pass that power-line road again that crosses Mojave National Preserve
- I'm lucky again when I pass the Cima Store because it's open
- I start the 19-mile ride down Kelso-Cima Road to Kelso Depot and stop after 5 miles at the junction of Cedar Canyon Road
- As I descend into the Kelso Valley, it's becoming noticeably warmer
- Just a few miles to go before reaching Kelso Depot...
- Here I am yet again taking a break at Mojave National Preserve's Kelso Depot visitor center
- I stop in at Kelso Depot to buy a souvenir t-shirt and donate my half-full propane bottle to someone who can use it
- Back on the road at 14h30 to start the climb up to the summit of Kelbaker Road
- The climb is going really well, probably because it's the end of the trip and I'm stronger now after two weeks of this
- The pavement is wearing out on parts of Kelbaker Road, but that adds to the character of the area (we don't need a freeway here)
- I'm up out of Kelso Valley now
- The Kelbaker Road summit lies just ahead where the power lines cross the road at the left
- Here it is: the final little hill at the top of which is the summit of Kelbaker Road between Kelso Depot and Baker
- I arrive at the Kelbaker Road summit at 16h15 and feel a bit pooped
- While at the Kelbaker Road summit, I take a look at the power-line road which I could have taken to get here from Cima Road
- I depart the Kelbaker Road summit at 16h30 and the final 22 miles down to Baker is as enjoyable as ever
- I'm so zoned-out on endorphins that I didn't even notice the junction of Aiken Mine Road that I zoomed by a few minutes ago
- After coming around the last big curve on Kelbaker Road, I have a final 10 miles (dropping 1000 feet) to ride across the valley
- Artless graffiti on the red pavement of Kelbaker Road approaching Baker
- Almost there...
- Just before arriving at Baker, California, Kelbaker Road crosses the I-15 freeway
- Baker, California has a sort of skyline with its "tallest thermometer in the world" and its motel and fast-food signs
- I check in at the Royal Hawaiian Motel for the night, which is an interesting example of kitsch from the 60s or 70s
- Retro 70s furniture in my room at the Royal Hawaiian Motel at Baker, California
- Mojave National Preserve map: Day 14: Cima Dome to Baker, California via Kelso Depot