Across Continents

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Contemplations in Ocotillo

Little sign of the gusting gale force winds abating, I’d headed for breakfast in Ocotillo’s only cafe. The alternative, a 24/7 gas station on the other side of the Interstate, I’d decided to save for dinner. Sandwiches. But first a stack of pancakes with scrambled eggs, maple syrup and bacon. The latter crispy almost beyond recognition, the eggs oily and lumpy. I wasn’t quite sure if two pancakes actually constituted a stack, but each was the size of a dinner plate.

I assumed I’d a second night in Ocotillo, for unless the wind dropped fairly promptly, I’d loose the light before I’d be able to reach Brawley, my next stop. And I’d had quite enough of riding in the dark. For a while at least. My mug of coffee refilled by my server, I’d pondered the map. Still five days riding to Phoenix, with no realistic scope to shorten this. Limited daylight.

Progress east through the mountains inland from San Diego had been much slower than I’d anticipated. Strong winds compounding the situation. Two days lost. I’d allowed a margin for getting into Phoenix to ensure I’d reach the city before my parents flew in. And had now used it up. Unavoidable. I consoled myself with the thought that a section I’d planned to ride over weekend would now be completed during the week. Far less traffic, I’d been advised. Besides, I’d hardly a choice in the matter.

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