Sandy washboard texture along Cedar Canyon Road

Bicycle camping in and around Mojave National Preserve 2006

Day 4: Mid Hills campground to Caruthers Canyon

19.16 miles, 2:20 hrs, 21.1 max, 8.2 mph avg

Elevation: 5500 feet to 4800 to 5600

Heading east on Cedar Canyon Road, I fear difficult road conditions, knowing that it was closed for a while last winter due to wash-outs.

The road to the artist's residence off Cedar Canyon Road

Fortunately, it's mostly just the usual sand over washboard. Though this combined soft-and-hard texture seems almost unridable at first, one does get used to it after a few days during a trip like this—just so long as the sand build-up isn't too heavy.

Having shocks on the front of my bike eases the bumps, and I can't help but wonder how uncomfortable it must have been when I rode here five years ago with my old bike that didn't have shocks.

There's virtually no sign of habitation in this scenic landscape, but then I see a "Carl Faber—Artist" sign and conclude that it's too new to be yet another remnant of earlier times out here in the Mojave.

A brand-new outhouse sits near Rock Spring off Cedar Canyon Road

I resist the temptation to ride up the road to see if there is really someone's house up there somewhere, not wanting to disturb the occupant(s). I'm sure they get disturbed plenty by passing tourists like me.

I don't know it right now, but in a week I will buy a Mojave native plant book at the Kelso Depot visitor centre that has illustrations done by the artist who lives here.

A short distance further, I spot a stone house off in the distance, so I follow the two-tire-track road leading toward it. It's fenced off at the entrance to the property, so I don't go any further.

This is the Rock Springs area and there is a lot of history here.

Today at this site sits a brand-new outhouse that's not marked on any of my maps, and it has no toilet paper in it yet. I'm guessing that this facility is preparation for the future and that the stone house will be open for public visitation at some point.

Old stone house at Rock Springs area

Also right here is the crossing of another two-tire-track road, which I think is part of the historic Mojave Road alignment. Next week I might try riding a 10-mile segment of that historic road some 15 miles west of here.

This pause is a good excuse for an energy-bar-and-water break and I try one of the Kashi bars that Bonnie gave me because she didn't like them. It's not nearly as substantial as my usual Clif bars, so I eat two of them.

I enjoy the light natural-grain flavour of these Kashi bars, even though Bonnie didn't. It's easy to imagine how they could come off as tasteless to someone who doesn't appreciate this particular subtlety.

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