and ended looking exactly like this...
i would like to give Dirty and crew a heartfelt thank you for the wonderful tuesday night that allowed me to wake up drunk, sober up packing, and eating a 4000 calorie, heart clogging breakfast to keep me full and soak up what needed to be sponged out of my gut in order to allow me to drive to our next destination.
as we had no plan other than no plan, a quick pull off the interstate to jump behind a bush to take a piss brought us to the fact that between us and the Salton Sea was National Wilderness. which means camping bliss. basically leave it the way you found it and all is good. so not only is it free, it is as primitive as it gets, and as far as i am concerned one couldn't ask for more.
a quick jaunt through the Wilderness Area brought us to a vast body of water that could easily be mistaken for a "real" sea. that was until the doors of the truck opened and the familiar aroma of Atlantic City filled my olfactory glands. "The Sea was created by a flood in 1905, in which water from the Colorado River flowed into the area." and it is as salty as Quint. as beautiful and stunning it is to the eyes, the flavor permeates to the point you can taste it. a shoreline riddled with the mummified remains of fish bathing atop large swaths of sand made of scales and bones.
i have to admit it was an amazing thing to behold, and with every reason to never visit in the first place, i am glad i did. and as always, when you visit any natural wonder be sure to leave it better than you found it.
with the sun beginning it's drop below the horizon, it was time to motor back up to find a place to camp, eat dinner, and relax before the final push west to the point the adventure begins moving north.
one rested and rehibilitated from the last night in Phoenix (yes, it took two nights sleep), it was back on to not the interstate for the final leg of following the sun.
the climb up this mountain pass was so amazing, and every single person on a bicycle working their way up the thousand plus foot ascent had no idea how jealous i was watching them grind out the climb while my big toe gently nestled the accelerator keeping the truck at around 35mph with literally zero effort. this is the type of climb where you earn the descent, and it is worth every ounce of strength.
once over the pass and through the southern California desert and pines,the road lumbered along thin lanes and over small passes until the final drop down until my feet planted a few inches into negative elevation gain. the ocean air is one of the most cleansing things i have ever enjoyed, and with the theme music of the mountain pass still ringing in my head, i engulfed it as heavy as i could.