The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

The desert

In photos: A pre-Columbian monument and trail in the California desert.

This has been a trip of extremes. First we had the cold, rain and snow.

Now the heat. We are experiencing heat in the 90s. The tour is now in Blythe, California, where we've taken the day off. We clean our bikes, do some laundry, and recover from the hardships of the last few days.

Some of the sights along the way:

• The fence along the border. We were in sight of that fence through the mountains. I grew up along the Canadian border, the longest unguarded border in the world. I feel very angry that the U.S. must find it necessary to build this fence to keep our Mexican neighbors out.

• The Imperial Valley, the richest agricultural land in the world, on flat rural roads, against a stiff , hot headwind. At the lunch stop we see a low stone to mark a pre-Columbian trail used by Indians from the Colorado River to the Imperial Valley. This desert, framed by the Chocolate Mountain, has left the mark of ancient civilizations.

In Blythe we tried to see the the Blythe Intaglios, very large carvings on the desert floor of men and animals, some of which are possibly 10,000 years old. We could have biked there but we're told that the road is very bad and best seen from the air because the carvings are so large.

The bike tour has fallen into a rhythm of sorts. Get up, eat breakfast, ride, eat lunch, ride, eat supper, sleep.

Then do it all over again.

Next blog will be about some of our travelers we've met along the way.

Click here to read more about the trip.

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