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Stage 1
Ushuaia to Santiago
Jan 2012 - May 2012

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Santiago to La Paz
May 2012 - Aug 2012

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La Paz to Panama C
Aug 2012 to Nov 2012

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Panama C to Phoenix
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013

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Phoenix to P Rupert
Mar 2013 to May 2013

Stage 6
P Rupert to Deadhorse
May 2013 to Jul 2013

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Mar 15, 2013:

Mojave Mayhem

Distance to Date: 18,411 km / 11,393 mi

It was too hard to leave Phoenix! Too hard! We were too comfortable there; nevertheless, the road beckons and we continue. But after a month of no riding, we were soft. Friends of ours were going out to Joshua Tree National Park (near Palm Springs, CA) to climb; therefore, we hitched a ride with them "to get us out the door!"

The adventure starts almost immediately. From arriving at J Tree N.P. with snow flurries to leaving it 3 days later and heading into the Mojave heat. That is, Mojave Mayhem! Who would have thought that mid-March in the Mojave Desert would be in the mid-90's! WOW!

We had to cross over two passes in the brutal heat. At the moment, we are in Baker, CA dreading the northward route through Death Valley. This kind of heat is probably normal a month or two later, but in March?! Northward to Reno we go!



At Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park with Intersection Rock in the background.

We coast downhill to Twenty-nine Palms and continue on towards Amboy, CA. One thing good about this route is the open country.

The following morning, we get ready for the heat and first mountain pass up ahead.

One pass down, and also Tauru. No shade to hide from the blustering sun... and this is March?

We reach Amboy and realize that there's not much there. Amboy was once a flourishing stop along Route 66, but now it's not much more than one gas station.

There's a motel, but it's abandoned. We were told that we could camp inside one of the rooms. There's no water and barely any food in Amboy -- we sponge bathe with the local salt well-water and dine on potato chips for dinner.

The bike takes the main room.

And we take the other room.

There's no electricity or running water. At the price of "free," we were quite happy.

The next day, we climb over 3,000 ft over 19 miles. Yikes! Yes, there was a lot of walking goin' on.

We make it to the Interstate 40 underpass (en route to Kelso, CA) and take a break during the hottest part of the day. Tauru is done. Done. DONE!

But we continue another mile or so and enter the Mojave Desert National Preserve and camp for the night.

Mountains in the distance remind us the following morning that we still have another couple of hundred feet to climb.

Christi finishes packing up our camp just as the heat climbs to "over-bearing."

The view is nice.

But it all looks the same after awhile.

We focus on the road ahead.

Those mountains are still there.

Not much of a bush to hide under. It's hot... very hot. March in the 90's!? Why?

From the top, we coast 14 miles down to Kelso! Woohoo! There's a train station and a cafe there, but the cafe is CLOSED!! We were hoping to get some food!! There was water, but NO food! However, good folks helped us out and gave us what they could to support us. Beer is much welcomed.

Then another pass to cross. Tauru walks without the bike. No more... no more.

Just kidding. At the top of the pass, there's a 24 mile descent down more than 3,000 ft to Baker, CA.

Down we go... to Baker... for food, food, food...

Christi's view.

Tauru's view.

Ah, this is Tauru's more preferred view. Taco Bell's processed food is like heaven at this moment.

Baker, CA -- known for it's biggest thermometer in the world. Unfortunately, it's not working. It hasn't worked for years now. Out here, it's either HOT, REALLY HOT or HELL.

We take a motel to recover from the heat. At first, we thought it was a Wells Fargo Bank... but luckily it was a motel, the only motel in town.

Finally, Tauru gets food. Lots of food. A giant pot full of food. Food. Food. Yum....



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