January 21
Km’s Pedalled – 41 km’s (CA – 7 km’s & NV – 34 km’s)

Destination –Nevada border

Some Notes – I was hoping to go to Beatty get my groceries and at least get back up to Daylight Pass. That didn’t quite happen.  I am camping on the Nevada border and have the better part of a 7 kilometre climb first thing tomorrow morning.

Last night I was camped at Daylight Pass and discovered this scat (right photos) 6 inches from my tent in the morning?

California / Nevada border

It was a sunny day but a cool enough breeze that I had to wear mitts biking into Beatty.

I saw 3 wild donkeys or wild burros coming into town.

I found this text on The Death Valley Facebook page – Adopt a burro and help a bighorn!

Death Valley National Park is continuing its work to reduce feral burro populations within the park’s boundaries. Originally brought in by miners over 100 years ago, burros aren’t native to this landscape and without predators here populations have soared — growing at roughly 20% yearly! Several thousand are estimated to be in the park right now.

Burros may seem cute and harmless but have caused significant problems, including trampling rare plants by desert springs, chasing wildlife (like bighorn sheep) away from water sources, and damaging historic sites.

Joshua Tree

As part of a burro management plan, the park has partnered with Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue (PVDR), a donor-funded no-kill organization, to capture and remove up to 2,500 burros from the park. PVDR uses baited temporary corrals to lure in and pen burros with minimal stress to the animals. The burros are tested for disease, neutered, and trained to be comfortable around human beings. Burros that remain wild in nature will be kept at sanctuaries, but donkeys (the name for domesticated burros) that like humans will be put up for adoption.

Already this season, PVDR has rescued 48 burros from the park, with plans to continue during the cooler months.

I couldn’t find white gas in town so I am using car gasoline for the first time in my stove.

January 22
Km’s Pedalled – 47 km’s

Destination – 3 km’s from Furnace Creek

Some Notes – A beautiful sunny day with a slight cool breeze.

I did a Road Show with Brandon first thing this morning.

I then had that 7 kilometre climb to get back up to Daylight Pass and then it was all downhill from there.  It was a pretty good headwind climbing up to the pass.

At the information station at Daylight Pass Road and Beatty Rd junction I met a couple from St Louis MO.  The woman asked me if I wanted any soup noodles.  I replied I just bought 10 packs in Beatty.  Then she asked me if I wanted “an” apple.  Because fruit is hard to come by in the desert I couldn’t refuse.  The gift of an apple turned into way more than just that.

An offer of an apple resulted in all this!

All I have to say about today was that this was not the type of day that I was expecting.  I was figuring on a fairly easy day of all downhill to the valley floor and hopefully a fairly flat valley.  While the downhill and flat valley floor where all true what I did not count on was how very strong the headwinds would be. And how relentless, they never subsided or slowed down for a second.  Fortunately, the temperatures were not cold but some very dark cloud formations started to form over various mountain tops surrounding the valley.  I actually found myself getting a little worried.  If a storm of some sort hit I had no cover what so ever.  There was absolutely no escaping the winds and no cover as everything was so flat.  I had no choice but to bike into the dark.  Because there was no cover it would be completely impossible to set up a tent in this kind of wind.

About 3 km’s from Furnace Creek I noticed some formations in the dark and that was all I needed to see.  Setting up my tent was very challenging but in the end was accomplished.  I was able to make dinner under my vestibule.  Just as I completed dinner and zipped up my tent door a huge gust of wind came through and literally blew the smallest of particles of sand through the mesh lining of tent.  I have never had this happen before or even thought it possible.  Now everything in my tent was covered in a fine layer of sand.

Fine particles of sand all over my gear

I held my tent down with rocks.  One corner did not hold.

That was it for me. It was all I could do to wipe the fine sand particles off my phone and battery packs and carefully back them away.  I ended up sleeping in my biking clothes as not open any bags unnecessarily for any sand to find its way into everything

At first, I even tried sleeping without my sleeping bag.  What a day and what a night.

January 23
Km’s Pedalled – 67 km’s

Destination – Past Mormon Point but before West Side Road

Some Notes – It’s amazing how quiet it is this morning after such a crazy night.

Today was basically perfect.  Perfect weather no headwinds and fairly flat and tons of great scenery and photos.  The photos were particularly good with some decent cloud formations.

Over the last few days I realized that between my solar panels keeping batteries charged and lighter vehicle traffic I can listen to podcasts again.  Podcasts are the one thing I miss the most from my days from driving a truck.  I used to listen to 8 hours of podcasts a day most days of the week in a truck.

But on a bike on most roads traffic is way too loud to listen to podcasts except out here in the middle of nowhere and my phone battery power has been way to precious.  I think I may have to actively search for roads in the middle of nowhere moving forward to satisfy my need for podcasts.

California Part 9 (Jan 17 to 20)

California Part 8 (Jan 12 to 16)

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