I woke up a bit before dawn and had thoughts of getting up to take pictures of the sunrise. The fact that I had no idea where we were and that I was really tired kept me snuggled in my sleeping bag for another hour or so. When the sun finally rose I got out to take a look at our make-do camping site. We were situated on a 100ft high bluff above the lake. Good thing we didn’t ride too much farther and that neither of us have a propensity to sleep walk!
We packed up and since we had no water for breakfast or coffee, we rode to Nixon for a quick bite and caffeine fix. We then took 447 out to Hwy 50, known as the “loneliest road in America”. We droned on to Fallon where we stopped at the Jerry’s restaraunt. Blake asked me if he remembered this place and it took me awhile to recognize it as the meeting spot for our 1992 trip to Colorado on our Sprints. This was to be the first of several deja vu locations that we visited.
We had some talk about whether we wanted to do a “scenic” tour of Nevada, or just buzz through on 50. I was in favor of doing a scenic tour but Blake wanted to get to the Trans-America Trail (TAT) as quickly as possible. Part of my thinking, although I didn’t express it to Blake at the time, was that I wanted to make every day count in case the trip was cut short due to mechanical failure, or even worse a crash.
I finally decided to use the day to see how many miles I could ride with my back getting over the recent stress. We rode about 350 miles, mostly uneventful as much of Nevada is. Parts of the ride were really windy, and with my huge panniers attached, it felt like I was dragging an open parachute behind me. The KLR just doesn’t have that much horsepower to spare. Throughout the day we played leap frog with several other bikers. One, on a BMW GS was going from SF to DC in four days. He had left SF that morning. When we met him in Ely we were done for the day, but he still had riding to do.
We stopped in Eureka for ice cream, at the same diner we stopped in at 1992. At least this time there wasn’t a cop waving at us even though back in 1992 we were doing the speed limit of 25mph through town. I guess maybe the KLR’s just don’t look as fast as a group of Triumph Sprints.
While refueling in Ely, I got to talking to a local who owned a KLR. I mentioned that we wanted to go to the ghost town of Oesceola and surprise, I found out he was the owner of that property! He got us all excited about taking that road, but then it started raining and thundering, and Blake and I talked ourselves out of being up on a mountain pass in the middle of a thunderstorm. Hey, this is an adventure, but we’re not stupid.
ElymotelSo we drove around Ely and located a motel room for the night. Room #43 was handed to us by chance, 43 being my favorite number. My second numerical experience of the trip that hinted at good things to come.
On the advice of the motel clerk we went to a casino for dinner. It was recommend because the owner is a biker and there is lots of bikes and bike stuff on display. That was the best part. Everything else, including the food and service was forgettable. I mean that literally. The waitress completely forgot to ask what we wanted to drink. This, in a casino where getting you drunk seems to be a priority. Blake really wanted his beer and repeatedly tried to get the waitresses attention. She was doing her best to ignore his looks, waves, and finally his calls of “Mam!” I was waiting for a roll to be tossed her way but we didn’t have any bread at the table either.
Finally Blake got her attention and a beer was delivered. The followup beer was also forgotten though. On the walk from the motel to the restaurant that covered a good part of town, this casino was the only restaurant that appeared to still be in business, so I guess they just didn’t need to try very hard.
It also brings up a point that I noticed on this trip while driving through towns. Small towns in America are dying. I noticed it on this trip more than any other trip. Every Main Street we visited seemed to have more boarded up businesses than open ones. A very sad trend to see.
After dinner we walked back to the motel and did our laundry in the bathtub. Afterwards there were wet clothes hanging everywhere in the room.