Follow my journey through the southern tier of America on my bicycle through my blog.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 43 (38 riding): Total overall distance: 2858.62mi Total distance today: 89.23mi Total time: 6.19.52 Avg speed: 14.1mph Top speed: 32.0mph

Random thoughts of the day:
-it's quite entertaining to pedal away from a jute box blasting Metallica's "Enter Sandman" 7:15 in the morning
-A homeless guy asked to recite a poem he wrote for a couple bucks...the deal died when it was a poem I've heard before
-This reflective vest makes me look fat, which coincidently helps my ability to be seen
-These sand dunes are someone tell me how the heck they got here
-I miss VCR's and VHS rewinding machines
-What does the G stand for in 3G on phones?
-Bow ties look dumb on 96% of people
-Nadine you don't have a flat's still round...just with no air in it anymore
-California has to be the hitchhiker capital of the country
-The world is truly a tiny place
-Ricky is ridiculous

Today was a beautiful day to ride a bike. We left at 7:15 and it was already sunny and 70 degrees outside. After a quick stop at Starbucks where a homeless guy tried to pull a fast one and get paid for an "original" poem about Timbuktuh that a few of you have probably heard before. It didn't work and I don't think he was homeless anyway, I mean he was drinking a coffee from Starbucks which had to of cost at least 5 bucks. Then we took off for what we heard would be the most dangerous road yet. It took about 25 miles to get to the bad part, but for 20 miles, it was easily the most dangerous section of road thus far. For starters there were no shoulders at all and on top of thr, if you went off the were in a ditch. That was especially bad in this section, because it was full of big dips and hills meaning while going down into a dip and then back up out of couldn't be seen by cars coming into the dip from behind you at 50-60mph. Long story short, the idea was to go from top of hill to top of hill as fast as possible while there was no traffic. Plus we wore reflective vests to add a bit of safety. We made it through those rollers and came out at the Chocolate Mountains which are named that because of their dark brown color. Really cool looking mountains and there was a US Navy artillery firing range at the base which we couldn't really see but is still cool.

Shortly after the mountains, we stopped for a quick lunch at the entrance to the Imperial Sand Dumes just past Glamis, CA. These dunes may very well be the most impressive naturistic things I've seen on this whole trip. They last for about 10 miles and are probably 15 miles wide. They are absolutely incredible to see and are a very beautiful sight. I have absolutely no idea why they are here or how they formed, but they are awesome.

Shortly after we left the dunes and entered into the ugly part of the desert, just shrubs and dirt, Nadine got a flat in her back tire. As you can tell by the pic below, changing the tire was pretty dirty business. It took a little while but luckily we had an hour till sunset (we spent a while in the dunes posing for pictures and just looking at their awesomeness) and 15 miles to go. That meant the timing was going to be about perfect in terms of arriving in Brawley, CA at sunset. After the desert, we rode through a lot of fields of I'm not sure what and some cow pastures. It was a really pleasant ride minus the slight odor of cow manure. The sun was setting behind mountains in the distance, birds were chirping everywhere, and the sky was still a beautiful blue color. Just fantastic. We rolled into Brawley and stopped to determine our home for the night. The only campsite was 6 miles off route and 8 miles we checked into a hotel. Then we went shopping at the grocery store and bought $70 worth of food for dinner and lunch tomorrow. As we were starting to prepare dinner, I text Ricky asking him where he was. His response was odd...saying "more importantly where are you guys?" I let him know and we texted a couple more times with him never telling me where he was. Then he called me and told me to open the door. The fact that he was standing outside was ridiculous. He started 60 miles behind us and 150 miles away from here!! 150 miles in one day is incredible, and through the desert no less. Anyway, it's cool that the 4 of us are back rising together for the last few days.

It's insane that I actually have to have a really short day in order to reach San Diego beach on Saturday and not on Friday. My brother Kyle isn't available to meet me at the beach on Friday so Saturday it is. Luckily, there is a hot springs campsite that is reachable tomorrow to kill half a day.

Here comes the fun part...I am at sea level now and obviously the beach is at sea level. Therefore I had an assumption that it would be an easy last 135 miles or so to the ocean. However, I forgot about the 4,600' mountain in between here and there. I guess America isn't going to let me finish this trip easily! So tomorrow we plan on climbing up 4,600' in 20 miles to the hot springs in Jacumba, CA. Should be awesome!!!! You can see the steepness of the mountain in the elevation picture below.

Oh, and we met a guy going east to D.C. Who has the same exact business card as me and is even using crowdrise too as a fundraising site...what a tiny world!!

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