Day 93 A cycle to Ocotillo

Our host Brian went for an early morning bike ride with his club (6.00 am) for an hour or so, by the time he returned we were all packed and ready to go (Janet did not want to go for a warm up ride).

Brian, so tough he cycles only in his socks

But before we left we had to have a good chat about bicycles and touring (a good delaying tactic). I did manage to get a replacement allen key (I left mine on the shoulder during one of the many puncture repairs). Then there was the picture and signing the visitors book, we also said farewell to Thomas, we wish him well on his journey.

Then it was on to the S80 out of El Centro, this started as a good road, it actually had a cycle path marked on the side of it. To our left and right the large fields of alfalfa were either being cut or were freshly cut and covered with bales waiting collection and stacking in the huge storage areas on the roadside.

Alfalfa before


Alfalfa after

The road got a little rougher and we lost the shoulder (it is very difficult to cycle with only one shoulder!) once we passed Seeley. At around 4 miles the fields vanished and the desert started. This was the Yuha Desert, no dunes but lots of sand.

A railway in the desert

We reached Plaster City, again take a moment to picture what you think it would be like……….. It is just a massive plasterboard manufacturing plant, nothing else. The road became very rough and potholed for a while after this, but traffic was almost non existant so a little bit of wandering around did not matter.

“The road” continued for another 10 miles to our destination of Ocotillo (population 286) where we are camping in the parking lot of The Red Feather Cafe tonight. On this section of road we had 2 people stop and ask us if we needed any water. one of these Walt stopped twice and did offer to give us a lift to the top of the hill tomorrow and we could stop at his house as well (he was 2.5 miles further away though) I graciously declined, much to Janet’s chagrin  (I am sure I will pay for this tomorrow though).

Arriving at the Cafe we had cold drinks and shared a burger. As we were a little early I did some bike maintenance, the chains really need to be replaced now, another thing on the shopping list.

Another cyclist arrived, Clay from Tucson, he is travelling the same direction as us. He is a travelling juggler / entertainer who is spending the winter cycling.

Clay with a club stuck to his chin

Once the sun had set we walked down to the bar next door, The Lazy Lizard where we sampled a couple of beers, got a photograph next to a bandaged (it is almost haloween) Lazy Lizard. Chatting to the locals about the election, they hate Clinton with a passion and also dislike Trump, it is really astonishing the disconnect between the electorate and the political  elite here.

Guess which one is the lazy lizard

A short walk back then the lights went out (in massachusetts).

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