Finally some time to post up Day 4 of riding. This was from Twenty-nine Palms back to St. George. Overall, this was probably the best day. Great scenery through the Mojave Desert National Preserve from Amboy to Kelso to Cima to Nipton and out to Searchlight, Nevada.
These are some empty roads with some sweet curves!
Reasonable wake-up time. Poked around Twenty-nine Palms for a few minutes before hitting the road.
Little bit of modern art in the plaza of the visitor center.
Beautiful blue sky, much better than the grey of the prior afternoon. Check on CA gas prices. I would see higher, but much lower in Nevada and Utah.
Twenty-nine Palms has lots of building murals. This was great. An excellent tradition that somehow got started. Cement block buildings with no windows next to vacant lots were made for this. Well done 29 Palms!
So I start driving around checking out the murals.
Here's the whole building. Lovin' that blue sky!
Most of the murals focussed on local history, especially early settlers or prominent citizens.
Flying Constable Jack probably didn't hesitate to use that six-shooter from the open air cockpit of that Piper Cub.
Mural as tribute to Desert Storm.
Twenty-nine Palms is Marine Corps territory.
Big view down one of the main roads heading north out of town.
Large flag. Worth a stop and try to time the wind. Easy with digital to keep taking until you get it right. Back in the days of film this posed a dilemma.
On the Amboy Road, heading east then north from 29 Palms. All scenic all the way!
I like this pic. Overall an average pic, but it captures the vastness of the Mojave.
Striking colors here. This is a salt operation on the Bristol Dry Lake, just south of Amboy.
A look at the surface of the dry lake. Pretty hostile environment. Sky clouded up just to make the pic a bit more ominous.
Arriving at Amboy. This place is a classic. Serious time warp!
Here are some gas prices. Didn't really need much, but topped up anyway. Good to always head out full. Plus, important to keep these guys in business. We want them to be there.
Very friendly guys running the place.
History of Amboy and Roy's Cafe. The "mother rode" -- Route 66.
Lots of Biker Club stickers proudly displayed.
Apparently the locals take turns plugging their RV generators into the Post Office electrical outlet. Another RV was out back doing the same thing. No wonder the Post Office is going broke.
Broken down old church and abandoned school. Amboy almost qualifies as a ghost town.
Had to grab the Route 66 photo. Perhaps at some point I'll organize a road ride that is all about Route 66. Endless possibilities out there with a motorbike.
Official entrance sign. Just north of Amboy and I-40.
Map. I was headed north towards Kelso. Eventually I'd go to Cima, then follow the Morningstar Mine Road to Nipton, and out to Seachlight, NV.
Excellent roads and great scenery. I had lost the blue sky, but was having a great time. In the zone on the bike.
Arriving at the Kelso Depot. This place was cool. It has been restored and turned in to the Headquarters for the Park Service. Poked around here for a while. This was a real highlight.
Simple jail cell to control the unruly drunks. Typical railroad town. Not like those "nice" pioneer agricultural towns of Southern Utah.
The railroad station. Classic mission style.
Details. Similar to the railroad station in Caliente, NV.
Restored lunch counter inside the station. Order a simple meal!
I browsed the museum. A few pics:
Kelso was "chosen" as the location for a station because it was at the bottom of the steep grade up to Cima. In the early days, extra steam-powered helper engines were required to get trains up the grade. Kelso provided the turn-around and staging area at the bottom of the hill.
Inside the old ticket office.
Nearby, the old post office has long since been abandoned. No free electricity here.
Several other old ruins in the area.
On the road toward Cima.
Bridge work from 1928.
Looking down the tracks.
This sign is wishful thinking. Nothing left in Cima. Just a first class abandoned railroad stop. The sign was in surprisingly good shape.
Out behind the Cima store.
And the train coming up the opposite side of the Cima grade. Even these diesel engines are working hard. Living history. How cool is that?
Always good to grab a pic of a sign post. The key (only) intersection of Cima. Heading northeast on the Morning Star Mine Road. All paved. Fast.
Near Nipton, CA. Back to some blue sky.
Candidate shot for the Long lonely highway thread. This is actually looking towards Ivanpah, CA, a direction I didn't go.
Wanted to grab a mirror shot. A loose mirror (vibrations) was the only problem with the Versys. Constantly needed minor adjustments. Otherwise the V was terrific.
This was my last real tourist stop on the trip. After Nipton it was back to Searchlight, NV for gas. Then fast mileage back to St. George.
The Nipton Hotel.
History of Nipton. Railroad line. Farming/ranching and local mining.
This plaque caught my eye. We inmate road warriors can relate.
Also a small cafe. WhistleStop!
And the Trading Post. Checking out everything before getting back on the bike.
Sample of rocks from a local mine and the Nipton rail yard.
Left Nipton and quickly entered far southern NV on 164. That's a cool Nevada sign.
Passed the Wee Thump Joshua Tree area. "Wee Thump" - worth a pic. Lots of nice Joshua trees! My son thought "Wee Thump" was a silly name. Dead on.
Leaving Wee Thump and heading to Searchlight, NV.
Gas in Searchlight. Back to low $3 per gallon. No more CA prices.
That was my final pic. After Searchlight I was on familiar roads heading north to Las Vegas, then up I-15 to St. George. Put the camera away to make time and get home before dark.
Great trip to San Diego. Next time, I'll do it again. Lots of variations on roughly similar roads. I'd like to hit CA 127 north from Baker to Death Valley. Also could drop south from Boulder City, NV and stay in far western AZ until re-entering CA at Blythe. All good fun.
Thanks again for all the positive comments. Ride safe out there.