Well the third day has arrived. I spent last night sleeping between two handicapped signs in a Baptist Church parking. It ranks about a 4 on the scale of weirdness. I’d give it a six on the frigid scale. One never gets a good night sleep when they know at any point they can be forcibly awoken and removed from their location. Luckily I was rogue enough to avoid such happenings. I hastily packed up my things and was on the road by 7:30am. I decided to take the interstate. Upon further review I learned that bicycles are allowed on I 10 and it is in fact not heavily traversed by automobile traffic.
The shoulder of the road is actually free of debris, however it is riddled with piss bottles. Piss bottle after piss bottle obstructed my path. I tried to count but became flabbergasted when I reached double digits in less than 5 minutes. I stopped counting after 50. Enough about piss bottles already. No one cares.
It became apparent that I have finally reached the desert after looking around and seeing the vacancy of hotels, McDonalds, mini malls, and things of the like. It’s so refreshing to remove yourself from that barrage of visual diarrhea and absorb the unobstructed view of nature. I wish I was absorbing it in March or September because this desert is freezing in January. I anticipate doing a lot more complaining about the cold as this trip progresses. Sorry.
In Indio I stopped off to make the classic mistake of purchasing a gas station hamburger. Poor judgment and impulse took charge on that call, but I’m glad I stopped in because I had the pleasure of seeing a woman walk in the store, kick off her flip flops, yell something indecipherable and march out. I watched her flop onto a pile of sand and start bathing in it with a look of pure insanity on her face. Methamphetamine won this round. It will probably win the next too.
A little way down the road I noticed a dead fox. Now I have seen my fair share of road kill on this trip, but this fox was different. He seemed, for lack of a better word “fresh”. I also saw no real indication of it being struck by a car. I marveled at the creature and all its beauty from fang to paw. I named him Reggie and I kept cycling.
My hair is falling out like it is on fire. Being bald is really going to suck.
Right now I am at Chiriaco Summit. I am about 68 miles from Blythe, which I hope to reach tomorrow. Here I noticed a few cats frolicking. While chowing down on some peanuts I observed their interactions. The smallest one, who I have named Robert E. Lee Jr. seems to enjoy pouncing onto shrubbery. He and I share many things in common. Like a fondness for ice cream and a severe disdain for all things purple. I have an hour and a half of daylight. I’ll be sleeping in the desert somewhere between here and Blythe. I will definitely have to make a fire tonight to stay warm. I just hope it’s enough.
I found a place off the side of the road that looks good. I had to hide from some suspicious looking vehicles out of fear that they would tell me to go further down the road. I chose this spot because of its advantages. There was a dip in the ground where I could build a fire without being seen from the highway. There were two poles close enough to each other for me to hang up my hammock. Also there was a pile of debris someone had clearly just discarded for some reason. There was plenty of wood in that pile to burn. That way I wouldn’t have to use live vegetation. I don’t feel right ripping a plant out of the ground to keep me warm if I have other options.
I’m sitting next to the fire I just built, typing on a laptop. Oh god what have I allowed technology to do to me? Is the machine trying to pry me from enjoying the tranquility of watching a fire (a true joy in my mind)? If I just came to this realization, why am I still typing? Oh yeah my pen ran out of ink. Talk about a dichotomy. In one corner you’ve got one of mankind’s first creations which dramatically increased his/her life span vs. a machine which allows people on opposite sides of the globe to communicate within seconds. Oh boy that’s a humbling one. I must say it is quite impressive how far we’ve advanced as a species, although we don’t really have any other species to compare ours to. I mean we’re at the top of the food chain on our planet, but what about extra-terrestrial life on other planets? Yeah, I went there. But seriously, I think it would be foolish not to think that way, given the knowledge we have about the vastness of the universe. I don’t know, it’s something to play with. Well to me. Other people spend their lives’ work constantly searching to prove that theory a reality. Isn’t that the goal of all religions? Where am I going with this? I’m not really sure. But I think it’s unanimously agreed that at this point, the human race is just as dependent on a computers as they are fire. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a bad thing, but it’s definitely something to waste time thinking about.
I lie down next to this fire and stare up at the stars. Life is incredible. There is still so much I do not know. Wisdom comes from learned experience. Experience as much as you can.
Total Ascent: 2892 ft.