Elevation gained: 1,683 ft/Miles 70/Total Miles: 2,828/Total Fast Food: 19
I decided to get going early this morning to beat the heat. The forecast was for the high 80s with a slight wind from the west. As I rode out of Yucca Valley, I was surprised by the 30 minute, 8% climb right out of town; however, in hindsight the word “Valley” in the name should have given me a clue. Once I topped out, it was nothing but miles of desert with Joshua Trees and little else. In a few places, I passed through small communities with homes, junkyards and feed stores scattered along the horizon.
The route consisted of steep rolling hills; at times some would include short climbs of 16% out of the arroyos. There was no shoulder on the roadway, but traffic was light and the trucks polite, frequently moving to the other lane to give me room. Many of these were carrying freshly cut bails of hay. I grew to enjoy the sweet, moist scent that would trail these trucks for long distances.
When I reached Victorville, I turned south on 7th Street, which is part of old, Route 66 and checked into the only hotel I could find. After a quick shower, I went in search of dinner. The hotel clerk pointed me to a rib joint, but it was closed. There was a Mexican place nearby, but after my experience yesterday, my stomach wasn’t up to it. After walking a mile or more, I found an Italian restaurant in a strip mall that advertised pasta, salad, lasagna and pizza by the slice.
I walked in and asked for a salad. The cook (and only employee) responded: “No salad.” I then asked about the lasagna. He responded: “No lasagna”. So, I decided to go with a couple of pieces of pizza. His response? “Only sell medium pizza”. To which I asked: “Can I get it with tomatoes, olives and peppers?” He replied: “Only pepperoni”. I looked at him with incredulity and then my stomach got the best of me and I found myself saying: “I’d like a medium pepperoni pizza, please”. “Good choice” he exclaimed. And, at that moment, I realized that John Belushi (“No Coke, Pepsi”) had been reincarnated as a Middle Eastern cook working in an Italian restaurant in Victorville, California.
Although the ride today wasn’t the most interesting of the trip, it wasn’t without its moments of whimsy.