83 Miles of No Services - Baker - 9/25/2006
 

The day has come.  Looking on the maps, today we have to go 85 miles into the great unknown Nevada desserts without any services.  After 2 miles leaving our motel, we get this sign.  Scary.  If you don't get it, this means, there are no gas stations, no restaurants, no organized signs of life for the next 83 miles!

In the distance, I could see a mountain range in front of us as well as an opening to its left.  Hmm, I wonder if we're going to go over the top or veer to the left.  Here I am at the first baby summit.  Eh, 6460 feet?  I spit at this summit (again, imagine a French person spitting in disgust).

I'm not going to be too cocky, though.  I still have 70 miles to go.  Look at what else lies ahead for me.  Another hill followed by a valley, followed by another hill, followed by another valley.  Wash, rinse and repeat for a total of 3 times.

Great, today, my front derailleur starting rubbing again.  Dammit.  I couldn't get into anti-granny.  Since I had a big long valley to experiment in, I just kept playing with the barrel adjuster until I somehow fixed it.

Look at our new terrain.  Today was the first day in a long while that I had to wipe sweat off my face.  You can see how in my first picture I was in tights and arm warmers.  Then, the subsequent pictures, I shed the tights.  Interestingly, I still had my arm warmers on.

Not a sole on the road.  Since there were no services for 83 miles, when I needed to go the bathroom, I simply looked up and down the valley to see if Dave or a car was nearby.  Then, I just pulled down my pants and did #1 right on the side of the road.  No need to be all shy and move off the road.  It's not like there are any bushes or trees to hide behind anyway.  And, since I could see that there wasn't a sole on the road, why not?

Today, I was also attacked by flies that would not leave me alone.  It was terrible.  This one guy kept on swarming around me.  So annoying.

Here I am at the 2nd summit.  Judging from my reaction, I'm still not fazed by all the climbing.  When we crested here, I looked on the other side of the road and they have a truck downhill sign that says 8% for the next 4 miles.  That should mean that I just climbed for 4 miles at an average of 8%?  One tough cookie!  How crazy is it that the first summit and this one are at the same height?

After the summit, it was followed by another valley.  They all look the same.  Been there done that.

At 2:30pm, the sun was so bright.  I'm yawning to death because the road is endless; the scenery is drab and looks the same mile after mile.  This road is a definite contender for the "Loneliest Road in America" contest, in my book.

While we were climbing to the top of our 3rd summit, we passed a car.  Then a few minutes passed and that car turned around to talk to us.  They were a German couple/tourists trying to see what we were doing, smack in the middle of the desert on bikes.  We told them we were riding cross country.  They had never heard of such a thing!  They were in awe.  I find this interesting, though, because to me it seems like Europeans are always doing this type of thing.  The couple took a picture of us.  We've had many pictures taken of us.  I wonder what these people tell their friends about us.  Then, I noticed they had water in their back seat.  Thirsty and tired, but not necessarily out of water, but always the ant (vs grasshopper), I asked them if we could have some of their water.  Of course!  How could a motorist not help out a tired cyclist, right?  They had absolutely no issues sharing their water.  Dave practically took all the water that they had, though.  Whatever, it would take them an hour tops to get to civilization should they really need water.

Here I am at our 3rd summit of the day.  Not looking so energetic anymore.

We only had a slight grade downhill after the 3rd summit, followed by headwind, of course.  Then, pretty late in the day (you can tell by the shadows and glows of the sun in the following picture), we finally got to the border of Nevada and our last time zone of the trip.

Dave is either out of fun poses for each state border or he's pretty tired, too.

New flowers once we got to Nevada.

What is this?  A raging bull?

It was getting dark by the time we rolled into town.  Tired, I went into the restaurant/motel to get us a room.  The owner was really busy.  I had to wait a little then when he finally a moment to breathe, he told me he had only one room left.  Sold!

While waiting, I struck up a conversation with a fellow cyclist waiting in the restaurant.  I asked him if he wanted to do dinner with us.  Of course the answer was yes.  I mean, he's riding by himself.  Why wouldn't he want company, right?  Anyhow, off to my shower.

After my shower, I joined Joe and Dave, who got acquainted.  Dinner!  Feed me, Seymour and feed me a lot.  Service was a bit slow because apparently the chef was not in for the night.  At the end of the night when we were the only ones left in the restaurant and the owner told me this, I told him he should have told me.  I would have gladly gone into the kitchen and made my own dinner.

We gave Joe some of our used maps since he was considering going East bound.  Probably not a good idea at this late time of the year.  Recall how cold Utah and Colorado were at nights (and even during the day).  I can't imagine trying to cross the Continental Divide at this time of the year.  He'll probably get snow.

Here's a picture of 3 happy and tired cyclists.  Joe is camping outdoors tonight on the motel property.  If our room wasn't so damn small, I would offered to let him sleep on our room floor.  He's on the floor either way, right?  At least he would have been indoors.  I can't imagine sleeping outdoors tonight.  But alas, our room barely had enough room for Dave and me.

Look at the tan line on my legs.  No, I'm not wearing khaki shorts.  That's my un-tan upper legs.  And I'm not wearing thigh highs.  Those are my tanned legs.

I am completely exhausted.  I could barely stay awake at dinner.  Wow, what a day.