David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
02/07  How I spent my weekend
02/08  Three States and a River
02/11  Welcome to the Desert
02/12  A Cold, Hot, Dry Day
02/13  29 Palms
02/17  Joshua Tree National Park kicked my butt
02/18  Canyons, Farms, and more Desert
02/19  See, this is why I gave up on the van
02/20  It snowed
02/25  Temecula to Oxnard
02/26  Not nearly tough enough
02/27  Solvang and Buellton
03/06  (pictures)
03/12  (pictures)
03/13  (pictures)
03/14  (pictures)
03/19  From Solvang to Lompok
03/20  Nothing to Report
03/22  (pictures)
03/23  (pictures)
03/25  Technical difficulties
03/26  Pleasantly Not Soaked
03/27  Another Shortcut
03/28  (pictures)
03/30  (pictures)
04/01  (pictures)
04/04  (pictures)
04/05  (pictures)
04/08  Toxic Orchards
04/09  Los Gatos Road
04/10  Summits
04/12  CalTrain
04/15  San Francisco
04/16  Almost Car Sick
04/17  Pinnipeds
04/19  (pictures)
04/22  (pictures)
04/22  Terrorists Stole My Jelly
04/23  A Little More Peddling
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Canyons, Farms, and more Desert


tl;dr: Today's route took me through canyons, farmland and back into the desert. Where I was rained on.

I was waiting for dawn when a deer happened upon my tent. With much snorting and stomping of feet she communicated her agitation. I never got a good look.

If you ever visit Joshua Tree National Park you owe it to yourself to cross the Interstate at the south exit and drive Box Canyon Road into Mecca. Not only is it a very interesting ride through a canyon with ever-changing sandstone sides, but it's all downhill. For 27 miles. And though it hadn't rained recently there were many flowering plants.

Once you hit Mecca the stone and sand of Box Canyon Road are immediately replaced by acres upon acres of flat green farmland snuggled up to the Salton Sea. I suspect they grow everything in Mecca. Except maybe corn. I saw Lettuce, lemons, oranges, grapes, and acres of carefully planted seedlings. Just about every tree or vine was supported by wires or wood and had its own irrigation system. The manual labor involved in this sort of agriculture must be immense.

After a thoroughly unhealthy breakfast at an AM/PM truck stop I headed south on Highway 86. Back into the desert. Highway 86 is four lanes of trucks and RVs, but it has a 10 foot shoulder, so it wasn't too bad. Also, the draft of the trucks pulled me along. It runs beside the Salton Sea, though I never really got close to that "unpleasant curiosity". The highway bridges many "ditches". Each has a name. None were very interesting.

At Salton City I ate an unhealthy lunch at another AM/PM truck stop before heading west toward Anza Borrego. This is dune buggy country, and I saw a lot of them along with their supporting RV communities.

This is when I started hitting rain. I made much better time than I thought I would and pulled into Borrego Springs under a steady cold rain just as it was getting dark. I decided I might try to get a hotel, but when I saw the least-classy motel had rooms left for $120 I decided I would camp after all. After an unhealthy snack at the market I biked a very little ways out of town and set up my tent in the desert. It never stopped raining.

My stomach hurts.

good morning California


Box Canyon Road

Mecca crops


dune buggies

it's starting to rain

in Anza Borrego

rain in the distance

contact me at le@liverworks.com
< 2011-02-17 Joshua Tree National Park kicked my butt 2011-02-19 See, this is why I gave up on the van >