Approaching the summit of the Mojave Road

Bicycle camping in and around Mojave National Preserve 2006

Day 12: Marl Springs to Baker

29.9 miles, 2:45 hrs, 21.2 mph max, 10.8 mph avg

Elevation: 4100 feet to 4550 to 923

Up at the junction of the Mojave Road and the powerline road, I take a short break. I'm quite sweaty and sticky just from that short climb. I'm also a bit smelly too because I'm wearing yesterday's sweaty clothes, having run out of clean laundry. Yuck.

Arriving at the Mojave Road summit; rock cairns like the one by my feet are found all along the Mojave Road instead of road signs

Staring at the power lines, I decide to take a chance and continue along the Mojave Road, rather than returning to Kelbaker Road via the powerline road.

I'm expecting the Mojave Road to be sandy, but hopefully the downhill will be enough that I'll be able to ride through it. If not, well, I will have some more walking to do, but I have all day to do it if necessary.

The Mojave Road is already less steep and less sandy, and I find that I'm able to get back on the saddle and ride again. The road rises a bit more for about half a mile beyond the powerline road to its summit at about 4550 feet.

Gee, that didn't take long. Time to take another break already and to contemplate and take photos of the excellent views of the landscape on this side of the powerline. I consume my last Clif bar, hoping for an energy boost.

Heading westward on the Mojave Road toward Baker, downhill from the summit

After hanging out here for 15 minutes or so, I figure it's time to put my tripod away and move on. Just as I start walking back toward my bike, which I left laying in the middle of the road, I hear a car coming. I hurry to get my bike off the road so that it doesn't get run over!

An SUV drives up over the crest of the road from the same direction from which I came, fresh out of a television commercial. This is the first car that I've seen since I left Kelbaker Road's blacktop yesterday afternoon.

The SUV's driver and I are equally surprised to see each other. I am expecting him to begin telling me an inspiring story about his trip across the desert on this old road, but it turns out that he's not even camping on this visit. He's just doing a brief afternoon sightseeing trip via the powerline road like I'm doing.

The SUV heads onward. Once it's nearly out of sight, and its dust cloud dissipated, I head down the Mojave Road behind it.

Next ->

Contact mojave2006 ... at ...