Tecopa Hot Springs' former U-We-Wash sags in the desert heat

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

Tecopa Hot Springs' former U-We laundry is at that stage where it isn't ruins just yet, but it will be soon.

Former U-We laundry at Tecopa Hot Springs and the old truck parked out front

I wonder when this laundromat was last in service.

There are some broken windows in the building, and washing machines are still inside. Some of the washing machines appear to be disconnected, as if they were going to be removed and perhaps then reused elsewhere.

But they're still there, like scattered furniture left over from a tenant who died while moving out of his rental apartment.

The U-We laundromat building is slowly returning to nature. Some of the piers upon which it is built are sinking and the deck around the outside is decomposing.

It's easy to imagine some well-intentioned bureaucrat with a background in the field of law ordering the demolition of this laundromat building in the name of "safety."

Abandoned washers and dryers inside the former U-We Laundromat at Tecopa Hot Springs

But it's equally easy to imagine a historian lobbying to keep the building alive.

Was a small town like Tecopa Hot Springs with no other services like a general store or a restaurant ever able to keep a laundromat in business? Apparently so, or at least for a while.

It's a strange thought because there isn't even anywhere in town to buy big bottles of drinking water. Tourist dies of dehydration while doing laundry at laundromat in 110-degree weather.

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