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Almost in Mexico!

posted Nov 14, 2009, 3:54 PM by Paul Gareau
Hi all! I'm in Campo California, about 10 miles from my border crossing in Tecate. A lot has happened since my last post. Let's see... I had two options for getting out of Death Valley. One would have taken me through the town of Shoshone, and over three passes. The other way was completely flat and more direct, but was a remote dirt road that was sandy in places. I went with the flat dirt road, and had to do some pushing through the deeper sandy sections. It was tough going, but there was some great scenery toward the end, and since I haven't done much dirt-road riding recently, it was a good change from the pavement. After that it was down through Baker and into Mojave National Preserve. Mojave National Preserve was nice enough, but wasn't as nice as Death Valley or Joshua Tree - although there was a newly renovated railroad station in Kelso, and I happened to be passing through on the 15th anniversary of the preserve. After that I had a looooong downhill that took me to what's left of the town of Amboy (famous for Roy's Cafe), and after that I passed through 29 Palms on my way to Joshua Tree. From Joshua Tree I rode down into Palm Springs/Palm Desert, where I met my Dad and step-Mom Jude for a really nice relaxing week. They fed me very well, and I don't think my Dad has ever seen me eat so much. We did some typical touristy stuff, like taking the Tram up to Mount San Jacinto State Park, relaxing in the hot springs at Desert Hot Springs, and just hanging out by the pools at the hotel. Since then I've ridden around the Salton Sea, which is almost as far below sea level as Badwater Basin in Death Valley, and climbed over 5000' to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. I got into Campo today a little after noon, which meant I couldn't pick up my General Delivery package at the Post Office. Since they're closed on Sunday too, I was preparing to spend a day here so I could pick up the package on Monday on my way out of town. Once I got online, I found out they cancelled my order anyway so that means I'm back on schedule, but without the part I need to get my small camera working again. I had a little accident on my way into Palm Desert - I'm fine, but when I was rolling out of the fall, the camera in my bum bag got crushed. It just needs a new display, but once I get to Mexico arranging a shipment will be a little more challenging.

Phew... so that's it for the short update, sorry there aren't too many details yet. I was hoping to get my blog updated during my week off, but I just didn't have the time. It's starting to look pretty hopeless now, but I'll see what I can do to get caught up.

Next up. I'll be riding from Tecate to Ensenada, where I'll pick up Route 1. I'll follow that all the way down the Baja Peninsula, and I'll swing by Cabo San Lucas before catching the ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan. At some point, I'll probably take some more time off to take a Spanish class, but first I'll see how I get by during my three-or-so weeks on the Peninsula.

Wanted to say thanks to my Mom, Sister, Dad and Jude for getting the stuff I ordered to me in Palm Desert, my Dad and Jude for a great week off, and to everyone who has been leaving messages in the guestbook - that goes for the regulars and the one-timers. As you can tell by my out of date blog, I don't get online too much, so I can't respond to everyone personally, but I always read the messages and appreciate them all. Thanks!

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