After dodging beater pickups being driven like trophy trucks and finding a load of locked gates and finally one big ditch I was not willing to attempt, I decided to go look at the east side of the interstate.
My GPS was not that helpful,
After coming to another deadend at a ranch gate I'd about decided the day was over. I turned around again, but back up the road a bit I came upon a van and a lady struggling to unhitch a gate. I had not even noticed this gate. I asked if this was Table Mesa Road and it was, so I helped with the gate and we fixed it so it was not such a struggle. Still good and tight, just not enough to tweak my back again.
After we got the van and my bike through we re-hitched the gate and the two ladies were off to the river beyond. They had warned me I might not get the bike very far, and after I passed them bouncing along about a half mile up the road, I came to my first water crossing in quite a long time. Long enough ago, I don't recall when it was. The approach was all babies head rocks but a nice shallow angle. The exit was into deep soft sand, a bit smaller than pea gravel. The bottom went the same way from rocks to sand. I walked it just to be certain and on my way back the van with the two ladies caught up. I told them I was going to cross, and should be fine, they drove across in the van and I followed after a bit. All alone.
From the sandy side looking back from where I came,
After taking the picture a family in a Suburban came by and I waved. I found a spot for as they say, a nature break, then saddled up in the heat and headed up the road. The desert went from scrub to cactus. On the other side of the freeway I'd seen a rattlesnake, which today I found was a diamondback. I wished I'd been able to catch a photo.
After a few more miles I caught up to the suburban he was semi-lost and asked about directions. I showed him the Garmin. Then I checked my water in my backpack. Hmm, not good. Less than a liter there and I got maybe 35 miles home. I really should have grabbed a couple big bottles when I got gas.
Now, I know that for next time. I ran back across the water it was easier going having it under my belt and going from sand to rocks I liked better.
It was a fun outing If I'd had my maps loaded and more water I might have ridden further. As it was I headed straight for Safeway and some much needed water by then. The three liters were gone about two exits north of the store.
I got a two liter bottle and drank that while I walked around picking up the rest of what I needed.
Some fat tires just in case I felt the need for a tall cold beer.
I felt the need.