Monday – Riverside, California
I had my first police car ride today!
I woke up after a good night’s sleep quite early, just on daybreak in fact. After a nice hot cuppa and some breakfast it was time to pack up, the local fauna did not seem to put out by humans. I also was not disturbed by any rangers, so lucky I did not hang around for water.
I headed east through the park and found an interpretive sign outlining the reason behind the trees name.
There were heaps of these all around the area.
I had noticed the Joshua Trees getting sparser, now I know why.
There was a mine site here, but apparently it is not safe, and the road was crap anyway.
I came to a section of road where it said specifically, no stopping. The road was quite twisty, so I knew why, but also the countryside had changed again, this is where the Cholla, pronounced Choy – ya cactus garden is, quite spectacular and very dangerous too!
I walked around, it was quite interesting, I did not touch the cactus :)
Onwards to the next stop which is back the way I came, I had missed the sign, but I found the location, there just was no sign for Arch Rock? Anyway, after a short walk, it all became clear :)
Back past the Cholla gardens without stopping, not allowed :)
The next stop was the Ocotillo section, this is not a cactus but a deciduous plant, it can shed its leaves up to 5 times a season if it gets too hot. Very tall plant with nice red flowers.
This is where I met Jeff from LA, he works in video production and has a cool website. We chatted for a while before going our own ways, he was heading north, I was going south.
And that was Joshua Tree NP, a nice place, I could have probably spent some more time there with the extra hikes, but once again, I do not have time to do everything. I also had on my mind the problem with my sound system, it was now getting worse, so I needed to find a phone service area and call the chaps in Newport Beach.
I headed down and out of the park towards the smog infested area of Palm Springs and the surrounds, nice and green and fertile, also below sea level, but yucky air.
I eventually arrived in Mecca!
Not the right one though, I did not see any Muslims around. Remember I said I was below sea level, this proves it and this also was an area where they had a large amount of date palms.
I kept on riding through and took a turnoff that would take me via a town called Hemet, it looked good on the map :) And it did not disappoint me either as it was a very twisty ride up into the mountains, you can see the road in the photo from up top.
I stopped at the junction of a different road to add another layer of clothes, it was a tad cool up there.
The road followed the ridge a fair way before heading down into Hemet.
This is where I sorted my ATM card out at Wells Fargo, for some reason it would not accept the PIN I had nominated, but it is fixed now. I also called the guys at Benchmark Helmets about my sound system, the chap called Spence who I had spoken to a few weeks back was on another call but would call back. He never did and even though I made 5 attempts all I got was answering machine. I am hoping it was a busy time and not a brush off, I will try again later.
I headed into LA anyway, I figured if I could get close enough before finding a room, it would only be a short ride the next day, I was 130 mile from Newport beach at this time, so I planned on dropping that to about 60.
I ended up staying at a Motel 6 in Riverside, about 40 mile from the beach. I called again a few more times, answer machine, now I am thinking I am getting a brush off. After a few emails and a blog update, I went and grabbed some dinner and found a local bar called Jim’s Bar and Grill. Nice place, nice beer and nice rum, BUT, somehow I managed to get lost when I was ready to leave. I ended up walking the wrong way and became confused as well. The motel door swipe card has no address on it, useless. I managed to get a ride in a black and white cab(patrol car), the officer was very understanding but was worried about my safety of course. We eventually located the correct place and I was reunited with my bike :)
What a relief, I may have to give this Meyers rum a miss I think. I have never in all my years drinking Bundy Rum, ever been lost that way before, nor been for a ride in a cop car. Dangerous stuff, lol.
I crashed out late as I had walked a fair way.
Day – 224 miles and 360 km
Trip – 4,875 miles and 7,846 km
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