Algodones & The Anza-Borrego

Anza_Borrego_WildernessWe crossed the dwindling Colorado River and headed South to avoid the interstates. We were parched by the desert floor and exhausted from long months on the road. In the distance we saw what appeared to be a a heavily sculpted beach. Spanning the horizon. These were the Algodones Dunes and have drifted North from Mexico.

From desert floor to strictly sand, our paved road winded through terrain. Although short in width the length of these dunes spanned hundreds of miles. We met an eastward bound cyclist at the top of the sand bar and talked with him just long enough to realize he outranked us in every dimension of touring. He had crossed the country fourteen times by bicycle. We gleamed a few stories and philosophical teachings from this man and parted on our way. One thing he said struck me as memorable: “Stories are the currency of a life well lived.”

Onward to the Anza-Borrego Wilderness. We passed by a Border Patrol Checkpoint and continued to Ocotillo Wells, a location known for it’s off-road vehicle allure. Camping out at the base of the Pacific Crest we escaped the midday heat by a public restroom. We saved the continuous grade of 5% for 20 miles for the morning of the the next day. I promised myself a prepared burger at the summit, a town called Julian. We had are burgers later that day and many degrees cooler.

We camped out at a ‘luxury’ RV resort and contemplated the gravity of our last day cycling. Would it be eventful? Rewarding? Conclusive? We thought out loud before we retired for the night.

About Clint Valentine

Clint is currently enrolled in two undergraduate degrees in Biology & Environmental Science at Northeastern University. He enjoys pursuits of endurance and distance which have included summiting many peaks in New England during winter alpine ascents, sailing the Atlantic in a vintage gaff-rigged schooner, rock climbing in five states including Oregon, and cycling 5,000 miles across North America. He has goals of pushing the envelope of his limits and combining his many outdoors interests into one big trip. He has a passion for photography and hopes to one day produce a documentary for a round-the-world tour.
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