Looking back toward Kelso after some nine miles of climbing Kelbaker Road toward Granite Pass and Arrowweed Spring; the day began on the other side of the mountains on the left

Bicycle camping in and around Mojave National Preserve 2006

Day 10: Willow Wash to Arrowweed Spring

36.2 miles, 4:40 hrs, 23.9 mph max, 7.4 mph avg

Elevation: 2200 feet to 3800 to 2123 to 4000

I leave Kelso Depot with full water bottles and Camelbak and begin the slow uphill trudge toward Granite Pass and the Arrowweed Spring area, some 1800 feet higher.

The powerline road through the Bristol Mountains heads westward from Kelbaker Road, with the massive Kelso Dunes to the right

I'd really like to keep on going over Granite Pass and down to old Route 66 somewhere, but I only have a couple more days left out here and don't have time for another out-of-the-way side trip. Maybe my next trip out here should be three-weeks long instead of two-weeks long.

The first eight miles up Kelbaker Road toward Granite Pass and Arrowweed Spring are the same that I rode over a week ago on the way to Kelso Dunes.

It's very slow! Just past Kelso Dunes Road, I stop briefly at the powerline road that heads westward through the Bristol Mountains for 25 miles until it reaches Ludlow on old Route 66. I really wanted to ride that powerline road during this trip, but didn't manage to squeeze it in. Another item to add to my next-time list!

I keep riding slowly uphill. OK, I admit it. I'm still tired. I never did regain all of my energy today. Who cares? The road curves to the left as it starts to approach the Granite Mountain, so I'm getting close now.

The curve on Kelbaker Road, about 800 feet above Kelso, as it approaches Granite Mountains and climbs toward Granite Pass and the Arrowweed Spring area

But I can't go on without another brief Clif-bar-and-water break. I pull over onto the road's sandy shoulder and fuss around in my saddlebags trying to find a Clif bar. A passing motorist slows down to ask if I'm OK. This has happened to me a number of times out here when I've pulled over for whatever reason.

It's great that people out here are willing to watch out for each other like that. I've almost come to expect this now, so if I see a passing car while pulled over, I usually grab my camera or walk away from the road to signify that I'm stopped for sightseeing and not due to trouble.

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