In conclusion - Christmas in Joshua Tree - CycleBlaze

January 6, 2016

In conclusion

A few afterthoughts

A two week tour seems a bit short to draw any conclusions from, but a few things come to mind.  Space is cheap, so I might as well fill up a bit more of it with them.

First off, Rachael and I were quite surprised by this region and how much we enjoyed it.  We picked it mostly because we were looking around for a plausible place for a mid-winter break and this fit the bill.  We knew we would love Joshua Tree of course because we've been there before, but we were particularly surprised by the coast and foothills.  Unfairly, I've always mentally categorized this area as just part of the sprawl around LA and discounted it as a touring region.  It was really great though, with some of the most dramatic coastline we've seen anywhere.

We thought this was a good time to visit, but I think we were really lucky on the weather.  If we'd been down here a week later we might have been pretty miserable and limited in what we felt like doing.  When we come down here again, as I hope we will, we will probably come in early spring instead to see the desert in bloom, and keep a more flexible schedule so we can work around the weather.

The roads were in general better than I expected, but spotty.  I was surprised at how many wonderful, quiet country roads there are in the hills east of the cities and at some of the developed bike paths - but some of the minor highways (especially route 79 around Aguanda) we thought were pretty scary.  We would probably have a bit better experience by cycling off the holiday season.

This was a pretty bad outing on the lost objects front: 
   - we lost my multi tool wrench on the first mile of the tour - I still think The Kid swiped it;
   - we lost Rachael's mirror in Borrego Springs; then found it; then left it behind in our motel anyway;
   - we lost my hat, apparently forgotten in our motel in Hemet;
   - Rachael lost a minor, unmentionable article of clothing somewhere;
   - worst of all, we lost a complete set of our house keys somewhere.  We didn't realize this until in the taxi on the way home from the airport.  We hadn't taken a second set either (for the first and last time) and were just lucky that my sister Elizabeth was in town with another key or we would have been calling a locksmith.

Two weeks is a short tour, but we got a lot out of it.  It felt really packed with experiences, and we both came home revived, invigorated, and ready to put up with a few more months in our offices.  I feel a bit guilty about flying on such a short tour though - I'm pretty sure next time, after we are finally retired and have more time, we will take the train.

Thanks for following along.  Hope you enjoyed the tour, hope you get your own chance to visit this remarkable part of our country someday soon.

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