Palm Springs, CA. The wind that was so strong Friday was unchanged Saturday. I resolved not to continue in such adverse conditions.
With the perilous ride of the previous day in mind, I needed a plan B and it emerged overnight. Could I rent a car in Palm Springs and transport the bike the 90-plus-miles to Blythe on the Arizona border, return the car to Palm Springs, and then take a bus back to Blythe?
At 9:00 Saturday morning I bid farewell to my wonderful hosts, George and Hazel Palmer, and rode from Cathedral City to the Palm Springs airport. I rented a van, loaded the bike, and departed for Blythe.
It was a curious feeling driving a route that I intended to cycle. The nine-mile climb east from Indio looked much tougher than I remembered and I wondered if I would have made it with an 8 to 10-mile per hour wind blowing. But the more serious problem would have been the absence of motels for 80-miles.
Arriving at the Chiriaco Summit 30-miles from Indio, the surroundings were bleak. There was a gas station, store and the General Patton Museum that attracted a few visitors. It was here in the low desert in 1942 that Patton trained thousands of soldiers for the invasion of North Africa. Strolling towards the Patton statue a heavy gust came up, leaving no doubt that this was not a day to be on a bicycle.