The last day of a bicycle tour is always a bit harried and sad–so many partings, and so much to do. Plus it is a return to the non-vacationing reality. But first, a bike ride!
What goes down into Death Valley must come up to depart. Our ride out covered 19 miles of steady, gradual climbing up to 3,000 feet. This is at the turn-out to Zabriski Point and our last long look back into the valley.
We all stopped and walked up to the Zabriski Point viewing area–looking out over badlands and the valley, it was a fitting goodbye to the park.
Badlands…I would love to see this when it is raining and water is rushing through the carved channels.
Once we left Zabriski Point, we continued climbing through more badlands.
For the readers who enjoyed the 20-mule team details, here is another: a canyon named for the mule teams.
Our next pull-out was at around 2,000 feet. A lone raven came to see us off–and guard the pit toilets, apparently!
Farther along the road…
Finally, 3,000 feet! It was much cooler up here, and windy, making for more comfortable riding. I had a flat tire, the only one of the entire trip, up here. Fortunately, I was within sight of the van, and the whole thing was dealt with expeditiously.
Which meant I was in good shape for the next stage, a 10-mile descent down to Amargosa. It was also gradual, so we pedaled the whole way down. We met a group of self-supported riders, two from Belgium and one from England. They are headed for Tierra del Fuego and have already been on the road several months. We filled up their water bottles and pressed cookies and energy bars on them, as we no longer needed them. Here is the descent…
Our final stop was the Amargosa Cafe, which I highly recommend!
Out in the middle of nowhere, I got to have this for lunch:
Then it was back to Las Vegas by shuttle, and many partings at the airport. The 15 of us are now scattered to the winds, and I am looking forward to being on my way! Until the next trip…