My race against time is over when I reach the gravel of Kelso Dunes Road and head toward the camping area at the end of the road
A car leaving the dunes is heading toward me, but besides that, there's no other traffic on this road.
As I near the end of the gravel road almost four miles down, I pass a well-lit campsite and the two people there shout "hello" at me.
I select a random spot for my tent near the cul-de-sac at the end of the road, almost the same spot where I camped during my Spring 2006 trip. My cell phone has a signal here (just barely), so I call a friend and then settle in for another instant backpacker meal (Backpacker's Pantry Kathmandu Curry; very good).
At 37 miles and significant hike-a-biking out of Jackass Canyon, I have a few tired muscles to relax, but I'm surprised how relatively easy the day's trip was.