Tent camping at Tecopa Hot Springs campground

Bicycle camping in and around Mojave National Preserve 2006

Day 8: Tecopa Hot Springs to Shoshone and back

16.6 miles, 1:16 hrs, 28.4 mph max, 12.6 mph avg

Billy explains that his car got stuck in the mud while passing through this area in the late 90s and he ended up staying here because he liked it so much.

Mineral deposits on the ground near Grimshaw Dry Lake

Though he has much more bike-touring experience than I'll probably ever have, he wants to know more about my trip and how I've done it since he lives out here now.

I pull out my maps and show him the routes I followed through Mojave National Preserve and where water can be obtained. I'm so excited to share my accumulated experience with the area because these kinds of specifics are hard to find out about about if one is interested.

Internet searches about bicycle touring do come up with lots of useful information, but I didn't find much information about bicycling specifically in the desert when I was planning my first trip in Mojave National Preserve back in 1999.

I'm really interested in his past bike travels, but I'm too engrossed in answering his many questions in appropriate detail. My speech is rapid, as if I fear that my comments might be inadequate or misleading if I don't say enough.

I write some things on one of my maps. I give him the map when I'm done.

The soothing drainage brook behind my tent

We spend about an hour together and Billy says he may come back to visit later after I get back from the day's sightseeing trip.

Indeed, it's already almost 13h and I've got to get started. I'd like to check out the little town of Shoshone, about eight miles north of here, and the China Ranch date farm, about eight miles south of here.

Shoshone has a restaurant in town, as well as a gas station with an ATM. These amenities are rare out here in the desert. I'm quite hungry and out of cash, so that will be my first destination. The sooner I get to eat a big meal, the better!

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