Well, the boys from Blythe Avenue made it safely to Blythe, CA, as did the girl from Prospect Heights. When I checked in at (the brand new, utterly lovely, why don’t we just stay here the rest of the trip) Comfort Suites, the guy behind the desk (who’s around my age) looked at my ID and said, “Brooklyn? Seriously?” Favorite line of the trip so far. He then went on to say he could never live in Brooklyn because there were too many people, by which of course he meant hipsters. Hey, don’t hate me just because I eat artisanal everything.
But let’s go back in time to yesterday morning. The guys left me cowering alone in the room, as you remember.
I couldn’t hold out till the 11 check-out time. At 10:45 I packed up and drove off, telling myself I’d go slowly to give the riders some extra time. Since there was no place for them to stop and refuel along the way, I was going to drive until I saw them on the road and then pull over and let them unload their jackets and refill their water bottles.
This was one of the best drives I’ve ever taken, and it was an honor to share it with Great White. The roads were nearly empty except for an occasional other vehicle.
Also, the landscape was incredibly diverse, shifting from flat green farmland to desert to short, roller-coastery hills to mountains to farmland again. The transition from irrigated land to desert was especially stunning, in part because it was so abrupt. There I was, bopping along to Mexican radio, trying not to think about Duel, when all of a sudden everything looked like this:
I stopped at a conveniently placed overlook to take it all in. The world was silent, no one else was around, and I had a few moments to experience a wonderful, incredibly powerful sense of tranquility and solitude. Great White looked at me and said, “This is a gift,” and I said, “I know.”
Soon after my respite, I came upon a very friendly group of border patrol agents. I asked them if they’d seen three old guys on bikes (kidding, I didn’t say old! or did I?) and they said they had. I found out later that Tim had instructed them to give me a hard time, but they totally didn’t.
I caught sight of the old bikers at a little pull-off on the side of a hill and somehow managed to stop without causing the car on my tail to hit me.
I got to Blythe around 1:30, then went to a grocery store for more beer, snacks, water, and Gatorade. The guys got in around 4 and we snacked it up, napped for a bit, then went out to dinner at the Courtsey Coffee Shop, the likes of which I wish still existed in every town, everywhere:
I might be going back here for lunch today, in fact. Or just to sit. Apparently there’s a whole other section.
I unfortunately went 0 for 3 in salsa, bringing my average down to a still-respectable .462. I’m not sweating it; everything else about the day more than made up for my salsa slackitude.