Baggage room in the restored Kelso Depot

Bicycle camping in and around Mojave National Preserve 2006

Day 11: Arrowweed Spring to Marl Springs

32.3 miles, 4:05 hrs, 23.4 mph max, 7.9 mph avg

Elevation: 4000 feet to 2123 to 4400 to 4100

Here I am, back at Kelso Depot again. This is the fourth time that I've stopped here for during this trip. The day is warming up, and it is certainly hotter here than it was earlier up at Arrowweed Spring. I'm guessing that it must be 90°F right now. Fortunately, it's a dry heat out here!

Nicely restored stairs at Kelso Depot descend into the basement

I go inside and say hello to park staff again and chat a bit. Of course, I fill up my water bottles and Camelbak downstairs from the hose in their utility closet again.

I buy two of the small bottles of cold water that they sell at the book store inside Kelso Depot. Mmm, something cold! I also purchase a book on Mojave native plants, which I should have done earlier during the trip.

Kelso Depot is air-conditioned, which entices me to linger for a while longer. I start browsing the books in their nice little library upstairs. I could spend a lot of time here because so many of the books are of interest to me as an occasional desert traveler.

After half an hour sitting in a comfortable chair here in the library, I'm actually starting to feel sleepy! This frightens me and I decide that I need to get back out in the heat and on the bike before I lose all my energy.

The old abandoned Kelso post office across the road from Kelso Depot

Gee, I know I'm tired (or maybe just a bit overheated) when the invigoration from the long downhill ride to Kelso Depot hasn't lasted as long as it should.

I've been sleeping an hour or two less than I should during the last several days due to the hot early-morning sun that keeps waking me up before I'm ready. The effects of this are accumulating, but I've been trying to ignore it.

Outside Kelso Depot, I pack my water bottles on my bike and have a chat with a guy about the area and its pleasures. He's amazed that it's possible for someone to travel around here by bicycle, but I can't resist adding that I'd also like to travel out here with a four-wheel drive vehicle some day.

In a motor vehicle, I'd lose some of the closeness to the land that I experience on a bike, and which I value so much, but I'd be able to carry lots more water. I'd thus be able to visit a few areas here that interest me, but which I haven't managed to get to on a bicycle yet.

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