Curve in Tecopa Hot Springs Road as it approaches Highway 127

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

I ride carefully through the campground parking lot up to Tecopa Hot Springs Road.

"Badlands" landscape along Highway 127 between Tecopa Hot Springs and Shoshone

Careful not because of traffic, but because I just have my small saddlebags on the back of the bike today. Without the usual weight of saddlebags on the front of my bike that I've gotten used to, steering is too easy now and my front wheel veers back-and-forth. I struggle to keep it under control.

Heading north on Tecopa Hot Springs Road out of town, I slowly get used to riding a lightweight bike again. I start passing through the "badlands" of the area and really enjoy the unusual, barren scenery.

After a couple of small hills, I reach Highway 127 and turn north toward Shoshone. The road is generally level and I have a very strong tailwind that is pushing me along. The harsh scenery is quite beautiful and I stop to take photos.

This is a major north-south route and there is more traffic on this road than what I've been experiencing lately. I get used to the increased traffic quickly and the lack of a shoulder on much of the road.

Arriving at Shoshone, population 100

I'm so excited when I reach Shoshone. Food! I see the Crowbar Café and there's a pay phone just outside. I pull in. I try my cell phone, just in case it works, but of course it doesn't.

From the pay phone, I call my friend Trennel in the Los Angeles area. He knows I'm travelling in remote places, so one of the first things he says is, "Where are you, I hear people in the background."

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