Palo Verde, CA

route to palo verde
This is what Google Maps thinks about the ride time. Of course, it’s assuming a normal cyclist on an unloaded bike. The only thing for certain is that I will take longer.

I visited a little more with Richard and his friend Wayne over the free breakfast at the motel. Hit the road at 6:17 am.

irrigation channel
The first part of the ride was along agricultural land, with an irrigation channel running parallel to the road. Note that the water is flowing counter to my direction, meaning that I’m going on a slight uphill.
Ken and Flame
I met Ken and his Malamute Flame going the other way. Ken was from Australia, and almost at the end of his E to W Southern Tier. He had wild-camped the night before. I was prepared to do the same if necessary.
This was the general scenery for the rest of the ride. Totally desert.
The store in Glamis cannot always be counted on to be open. For good or bad, it was open when I got there, and I spent almost an hour.
Glamis is an oasis in the middle of the No Services stretch. I got a small Gatorade for $2.50 . The ice pop in my hand was $2. There is no water, except the bottled water they sell. I thought about The Book of Eli, where the bar is selling water.
This is Lamar, who started out from San Diego 2 days ago. His bike was built from scratch using scrounged or flea market parts. He was putting on far more miles than me, and in fact, may have burned himself out. Having only a 52 chainring on the front probably contributed to the problem. He was having a friend pick him up and take him to Brawley. His ultimate destination was Needles.
Tamarisk shade
There were rolling hills after Glamis, with turnouts for show vehicles. This was the only turnout on the whole route with a little shade, from a lone Tamarisk tree. I stopped to rest. There was even a puddle of water at the base of the tree, but it looked dirty, and had no algae or bugs in it.

There was a border check station shortly thereafter. The agent Willard there was interested in doing a cycling tour, himself. We talked for a few minutes, and before leaving, I asked if I could use the hose to fill my bottles. Instead, he asked another officer to cover for him while he took my bottles into the building to fill with chilled water. Willard, I hope you get to do your tour, and hope your family can go along, too, somehow.

On account of that fill-up, I was able to make it to Palo Verde without once touching the 1-gallon canister in my panniers. Had Glamis and the Border Patrol Station not been there, I would have gone through most of my gallon, and the only shade all day would have been that solitary Tamarisk tree.

The 15 or so miles after the checkpoint were generally downhill and rolling. The miles ticked by as if they were nothing.
palo verde 7
I was getting very tired by this point. It was also getting flat, so I was going slower, and feeling the heat and rough road.
Palo Verde AT LAST! It’s a town undergoing transformation. Most of the businesses, including the Lodge and Restaurant, are closed.
One place that was not closed was Mac’s Bait and Tackle, which is also the general store. Much better prices than the gas station store down the street. This was the first store I encountered, and I immediately got a coconut popsicle. Then I got a salad with ranch dressing. Then I went in again for another popsicle. The next morning, I went in for yet another popsicle before leaving town.  The man at the counter told me that he used to work at the mine nearby, and that they used cyanide to leach microscopic gold out of the sand.  Good thing I didn’t drink from that puddle under the Tamarisk tree…
Tamarisk RV Park
This is the only official lodging in Palo Verde.
Phil was the first person to greet me at the Park. He does maintenance. The manager was not in, so he told me to put $10 in an envelope with my name on it, and put it in the slot. He also showed me the facilities, which included showers, laundry, and a rec room.  And there is wi-fi in the rec room.
There were boil water notices around town, warning of TriChloroEthanes. The RV park had this giant water canister out for drinking water.
I was the only bike camper that day. It was about 99 degrees, but the wind was picking up, making the dry heat tolerable.
The RV park has a nice dock, where people can fish or launch kayaks.

I take back what I said about RV Parks not being social. It may be more of a big city / small town thing. The residents of this park were very social. In the heat, they came out to sit in the breeze, and their dogs socialized, too. I met quite a few.

Andy was one of the people I met at the park. He was once a landscape contractor in wealthy Orange county, but is now retired, in part due to injury. His dog is Zoey.

There was supposedly one deluxe cabin that can be rented for $150 a day, but other than that, the park seems to be patched together to keep costs low. The floor in the rec room is uneven concrete, and there is a variety of old furniture in it. Functional, my kind of place.

I didn’t even zip up my tent that night, just let the breeze blow through. No mosquitoes. I slept well.

Miles today: 69.9 (and I was too tired to care about going an extra block to make it 70)

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