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Tuesday May 3: First day in Nevada

Leaving Woodfords, we had a great downhill ride, and then we rode along the valley for about 25 miles into Carson City. In Carson City we found a park for lunch, and a crew there was setting up a big carnival. One of the carnival workers was an avid bicyclist, and has crossed the country a number of times and in a number of directions. He chatted with us for a few minutes, and gave us advice on heading west through Nevada. Nana came and met us for lunch at the park. After lunch we pedaled west for another 35 miles to end up in Silver Springs. The one room we had been able to reserve there turned out to have only 2 single beds. Two stayed in Silver Springs (with 4 bicycles), while the other three drove another 25 miles East to Fallon, where we were able to find another room.

View from our porch in
Woodfords, east side of the
Sierra Nevada
First historical marker in
Nevada. We were on a
secondary road, so there was no
big Nevada sign at the border
View back along the valley, with
the Sierra mountains to the right
Eating lunch in Carson City,
with the carnival trucks behind
Rt 50, long and straight, heading
east out of Carson City
The tiny room available in
Silver Springs

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Wednesday, May 4th: Silver Springs to Middlegate Junction, Nevada

Slow start this morning as three of us had to pack and drive back from Fallon to Silver Springs, where we ate breakfast with the 5 cent slot machines. Today's ride was long and straight. Rt. 50 goes East across Nevada for ever and ever. It is called the Lonely Road, and once we got out beyond Fallon we could see why. We crossed some large salt flats, saw dust devils on both sides of the road, found the Lonely Telephone and the Sand Mountain, crossed near a Navy Bombing Range and saw the jet fighters in action, and finally came to Middlegate Junction, which is a collection of about 5 buildings near the intersection of Rt. 50 and Rt. 361.

Breakfast with the 5c slot machines
Rest break with the salt flats and dust devils
Gary at High Desert Cyclery and his Great Dane
A lizzard at Sand Montain kept an eye on us
Annie uses the Lonely Phone
Quite a waiting line trying to use the phone ...
Annie checks her water supply by the salt flats
Annie and Mom arrive at Middlegate Junction
Our humble abode for the evening

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Thursday, May 5: Middlegate Station to Austin, Nevada

We had a long haul along Rt. 50 today, a total of 64 miles with a couple of long climbs. The last climb into Austin nearly did us in, and a storm came in just as we were coming into town. It started to rain on us as we covered the last 100 yards up a winding hill into town. Everyone was pretty tired, and with snow in the forecast, we decided over dinner to take a day off on Friday, so as I write this we are still camped in Austin, taking naps, doing laundry and poking through the rock shops. The big claim to fame here in Austin is that it was along the Pony Express trail between 1860 ad 1861, and they are still making the most of that brief period of fame.

We saw the 'Shoe Tree'. History has it that a man took his girlfriend's shoes and threw them into this tree so she could not run away. Now everyone seems to be following his lead. There are even more shoes in the ditch where they have fallen off.

Nevada has big long valleys running North/South, with ranges of mountains on either side. We cross a mountain range, then drop into the next valley for 20 miles or so, then climb another mountain range. We crossed a 'river' just before Austin. Eric traced it on the map and found it goes to a 'basin' where the water just dries up, this runoff never makes it to the sea. If there were more rain here, these valleys would be big salt lakes.

The 'Shoe Tree' just east of Middlegate Junction.
Riders pull up the first big rise of the day's trip
Crickets crossing the road along one 3-mile section, all going from North to South
Typical view of the countryside along Rt. 50.
More countryside
Eric trying to encourage blood circulation in his foot (or do yoga?)
Eric and Annie layering up for the next down-hill run
View to the south-east, the mountains at the edge of this valley

Friday, May 6: Day off in Austin, Nevada

Napping, catching up on email, calling home, waiting for the snow to melt ...

Eric found this kitty sleeping on the trailer outside our room early this morning
Snow fall overnight dusted Austin and the SAG wagon
Mom and Annie at a high point in town looking West
View down onto Main Street Austin, Nevada

Saturday, May 7: Austin to Eureka, Nevada

We got up this morning expecting more snow, but it was only raining. So we set out for Eureka at 8:20 (see picture on Home page). We started the day with a 1000 foot climb to Austin Summit, and then a long downhill into another wide Nevada valley. Once we were into the valley, the rain stopped, and we had partial sun and partial shade most of the day. These valleys are very long and we can see for miles, and the road goes absolutely straight across them. There were some beautiful views of the mountains, many with snow covered peaks. We could see rain sqalls coming for miles, some passed us, some gave us a few drops of rain. We pulled into Eureka at 3:30 having done 70 miles, so overall it was a fast day's ride.

Climbing to Austin Pass first thing this morning
Nick holding John's bike at the top of the pass
Nana and the SAG Wagon catch us down in the valley
4 Bikers with the Austin pass mountins in the background
Lunch at a roadside picnic table in the middle of nowhere!
Annie shows us her helmet hair
Eureka Opera House
Eureka Main Street

Sunday, May 8: Mother's Day, Eureka to Ely Nevada

Today was our longest day yet, at 79 miles. There is absolutely no place to stop between Eureka and Ely, not a single gas station, convienence store or even a pay phone. We had 3 big climbs and one small one during the day, but the hardest part was the continuous head wind that slowed us down. It is not often you have to pedal to go downhill! We did 9 hours of riding today, with an occasional rain shower to encourage us along. We are trying to outrun a big snow storm which is already dumping big snow on northern California, and probably Oregon as well eh CB? Alive and well in Ely, dinner from the deli, they left the light on for us at Motel 6. Tomorrow to Baker, on the eastern edge of Nevada.

Beautiful views up and down the valleys we are crossing
The long straight road across each valley
John tries to unjam his chain
Annie gobbles a goo for extra energy before the next climb
Nick and John make it to the top of another pass
Nick gets a little supper and puts ice on his sore legs

Monday, May 9: Ely to Baker Nevada

This was supposed to be a relatively easy 60+ mile day, but because of strong headwinds, the first 15 miles took us about 2 1/2 hours. We then had a long climb, and more winds on the downhill. On the downgrade we would zip up to about 30 mph, and then hit a gust of wind that would slow us right down to 10 mph. Once in the second valley we had about 8 miles with the wind, which was great! Then another long climb, snow, downgrade, then about 6 miles into Baker into the wind with a driving rain in our faces.

On the second uphill climb we passed a house where they offer hunting trips, and make art from antlers. We thought Bob Beaven and David Buckley would like a few shots of his place, so take a look HERE.

Now a few pictures from the day's ride.

The racing lanes on this reservoir show the wind we were facing
John tries to put his jacket on in the wind
Nick stretches his legs before the next segment of wind fighting
Most of the company we had on the road looked like this
Annie demonstrates her changing pad
When it wasn't acutally raining, the views were beautiful

On to Utah!

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