Except for the 2009 motorcycle in the foreground, it could be 1909 out here. The landscape carries a few more scars now, but modern amenities are still few and far between. I left the pavement maybe 20 miles back and aside from that ancient Coors can a few dozen corners ago, I'm riding the only thing man-made apparatus for miles. No cars, no Starbucks, no street signs, power lines or cell phone towers dressed up like palm trees. This is why I've been riding a BMW 800GS for the past year. The Garmin Zumo 550 clipped to my bar is standard equipment out here, and if a little satellite-based help is good, more is probably better.
It's hard enough to actually meet one of my friends for a Grande Americano, let alone a 94-mile dual-sport loop. So most of the time, I go solo. The principal downside of railing around in California's high desert alone follows directly from the upside. No cell towers means no bars on my phone and no easy way to call for help if something goes wrong. At least until now.