Day Four – A Long Day Through the Dunes

Leaving El Centro

Leaving El Centro. Note the Sea Level marker on the tank! Click on image to enlarge.

27 March 2011 (posted on 3/28 from a Starbucks in Blythe, CA). I started the day in El Centro and pedaled all the way to Palo Verde, which is about 25 miles south of Blythe, California, and just across the Colorado River from Arizona.

El Centro seemed to go on forever—seeming far larger and spread out than its 38,000 population might suggest. I didn’t see the town center; I skirted it as I was heading for a route that Brian had suggested—much better bicycling. And, indeed, the old Route 111 was smooth with wide shoulders and virtually no traffic—cars and trucks choosing the new Route 111 that parallels it the whole way up to Route 78—about 15 or 16 miles. That would be the best pedaling all day by a long shot—at least relative to the safety and quality of the road surface.

Route 78, which I pedaled on most of the day, and will take almost to Blythe tomorrow, started out fine, relative to the shoulder. Not a really wide shoulder, but wide enough. It was pretty bumpy, though. We have frost heaves in Vermont. Here, they have heat heaves I guess. About every 20 feet a jarring bounce.

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