Vacant sites 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

It's well past 16h and I've accepted that there's no possible way that I could make it to China Ranch date farm today as hoped before they close at 17h.

Minerals rise to the surface and form a crust on the shores of Grimshaw Dry Lake

OK, maybe I could get there just before closing time, but I wouldn't have any time left to visit the premises while they're still open.

It would be interesting to explore their oasis-canyon environment and try some of the baked goods that they're known for.

I wonder why don't they sell any of this local "produce" at the Tecopa Hot Springs campground office in addition to the chips, pop and other packaged junk food that they have there?

It would be very cool to be able to buy a little date loaf instead.

So I happily settle in for a slow, lazy end-of-the-day near my tent at the Tecopa Hot Springs campground.

A footprint in the mineral deposits crunches as if it were puncturing thin ice with soft sand underneath

I go for a short walk along the shore of Grimshaw Dry Lake, fascinated by the white snowy mineral crusts that cling to the grass, with soft sandy earth underneath.

The sensation of crunchy walking here is like treading on a thin layer of freshly frozen rain over snow during the winter months on the east coast of North America. Except that there's nothing frozen here—it's around 80°F today, not 30.

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