Early Riders in The Desert

The SAG Wagon didn’t transport the cyclists this morning as they left directly from the hotel at 0′ dark hundred (4:15 AM).  No photo, just imagine red blinking lights shining in the distance as they exited the parking lot. The desert sun and unseasonably warm temperatures motivated the cyclists to rise early and take to the dark city streets of El Centro, hoping to get a few hours of riding in before the sun rose.

Sunrise near Brawley, CA
Sunrise near Brawley, CA

So photos will have to tell the story of Day 4.

Leaving El Centro, the cyclists headed north and bypassed the town of Brawley. As the sun rose, the photographer cyclist captured date palm trees  filled with beautiful white cranes (white spot on branch).

Date palm tree with white crane
Date palm tree with white crane

About 3 hours into the ride, the SAG Wagon driver got a call to say,”Where are you? We’re in the middle of the Imperial Sand Dunes and we need water.”

Imperial Sand Dunes, near Glamis, CA
Imperial Sand Dunes, near Glamis, CA
Cycling past the Imperial Sand Dunes
Cycling past the Imperial Sand Dunes
Casting long shadows, Highway 78 near Glamis, CA
Casting long shadows, Highway 78 near Glamis, CA
Nice hat, Kim
Nice hat, Kim

SAG Wagon driver threw the last of our belonging in the RV and raced the 49.5 miles to their location past Glamis to pick them up and water them. Needless to say the SAG Wagon Driver needs to get on their new schedule; early to bed, early to rise, nap during the brutal heat of the day and prepare to follow the cyclists in those early morning hours when temperatures are more bearable, sounding more like a lizard. Afternoon siestas are important.

Interesting sidebar to our trip. We got to play Road Angel today. As we traveled the 55 miles to Blythe for our evening accommodations, I noticed a cyclist walking along the side of Highway 78 pushing his bicycle loaded with panniers front and back. I had also noticed this same cyclist yesterday morning after the GGJV left the top of the mountain. I was playing my violin with no one around for obvious reasons when I noticed the cyclist making a loop around the RV before starting the descent down the In Ko Pah mountain.  Today he was in need of transportation to a bike shop in order to purchase a replacement for a broken rear derailleur. We picked him up and took him into Blythe. He is traveling the same cross country route so we will probably see him again along the way.