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Home / Mojave bicycle-camping trips / 2007, Christmas: Mojave National Preserve Mountain-Bike Camping / Day 0: Baker, California, gateway to Mojave National Preserve, Xmas Eve /

After checking in at Baker's Royal Hawaiian Motel for Xmas Eve, I walk back up the road to get a meal at the Mad Greek

After checking in at Baker's Royal Hawaiian Motel for Xmas Eve, I walk back up the road to get a meal at the Mad Greek The Amtrak bus leaves me at Baker, California at around 20h30, gateway to Mojave National PreserveThumbnailsThe Royal Hawaiian Motel is the cheapest motel in Baker, and for good reason (at $49/night it's not exactly cheap, however)The Amtrak bus leaves me at Baker, California at around 20h30, gateway to Mojave National PreserveThumbnailsThe Royal Hawaiian Motel is the cheapest motel in Baker, and for good reason (at $49/night it's not exactly cheap, however)The Amtrak bus leaves me at Baker, California at around 20h30, gateway to Mojave National PreserveThumbnailsThe Royal Hawaiian Motel is the cheapest motel in Baker, and for good reason (at $49/night it's not exactly cheap, however)The Amtrak bus leaves me at Baker, California at around 20h30, gateway to Mojave National PreserveThumbnailsThe Royal Hawaiian Motel is the cheapest motel in Baker, and for good reason (at $49/night it's not exactly cheap, however)The Amtrak bus leaves me at Baker, California at around 20h30, gateway to Mojave National PreserveThumbnailsThe Royal Hawaiian Motel is the cheapest motel in Baker, and for good reason (at $49/night it's not exactly cheap, however)

The Mad Greek restaurant at Baker's four-way stop sign is one of just a few non-chain restaurants and shops in town.

Mostly, Baker is just a huge freeway service stop for motorists en route between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, oblivious to the existence of Mojave National Preserve. With just one main street and a resident population of about 900, there are nonetheless numerous gas stations, adjoining well-lit convenience stores and uninteresting chain restaurants, as well as three motels.

Baker also hosts "the world's tallest thermometer," the tall structure in the photo. It's 50 degrees F tonight, which is much warmer than what was forecast. The unexpected balmy weather is being caused by very high winds blowing warm air in from the south. I hope these winds don't make bicycling difficult tomorrow...

The bright light in the sky is not a UFO taking off from Alien Fresh Jerky just up the road; it's the full moon rising.