Originally Posted by Easy-Z
For some reason this picture makes me think of middle-of-nowhere Nevada and the deafening silence.
Middle of nowhere Nevada. I think I can help you out there
Ok, so we're up early because the restaurant opens at 6.30am. I think we're up at 7, plan is to eat, put on new filter skins and be moving around 8am. There is however a minor problem, Lectrolux cafe is locked, no sign of anyone inside. Ok, we'll load up the bikes, do the filter skins and they'll be open soon. By about 7.45am we're starting to consider bailing upto the Border Inn when finally around 8am, the managers of the Lectrolux decide to open. No "sorry we're opening late" or anything like that. Oh well, breakfast of home made granola and yogurt was pretty tasty.
We gas up at the Sinclair, which I believe is also owned by the same person who owns Silver Jacks and we're off.
Here is the route for today:
Almost right away, we can't find the track. We wander around for a couple of minutes but we're starting to be seasoned loser's when it comes to TAT routing, if at first you can't succeed, rapidly give up. We detour on Hwy 21 for a mile or so (we're pretty close to Garrison) and pick up the trail on the other side of Pruess Lake.
First third of today is pretty much two track through the sage within the Great Basin, great riding.
Big Springs ranch:
Checking out the map, at this point we're a few miles from the long straight down Indian Springs Fence Line Road:
We're making pretty good time, the riding is pretty easy but you constantly have to scan ahead, washes running across the track are common place. We're standing on the pegs probably most of today and the visibility helps for sure:
Indian Springs Fence Line road, Patterson Peak in the distance.
There is a big bike bypass around this next section. Right as you approach Patterson Peak the trail becomes very hard to follow and you're zig-zagging through trees on what used to be a road but is now probably only passable on a quad. I wish I'd taken some pics here. Someone (maybe Docking Pilot?) had marked the initial part of the trail with yellow construction tape which was great
Here is the only pic I have from this section which was taken a few minutes in where the trail flattened out for a second:
Gouge Eye Well, between Patterson Peak and Patterson Pass:
After Patterson Pass, we drop down to an intersection of some larger dirt roads and we start heading North to Ely on Cave Valley Road:
I think at some point just after here some kind of bug gets under my Koerta and starts nibbling on my back. I pull over and start stripping off. Shortly after Brian bends over and one of his contacts falls out. Brian is pretty smart and computes the approximate vector and distance the contact would have gone in the wind so we spend 15 minutes grubbing around in the dirt looking for it. Just as he's about to give up he discovers it nowhere near there, rather it's sitting just under his rear tire. It's windy so I get to try and block the wind as he cleans and reinstalls. Unfortunately there is a problem and the lens isn't working? Initially Brian suspects its in backwards but it turns out he put it into the eye that already had a contact
Anyways, it was all pretty amusing.
We get moving again and shortly after I come around a bend in the road, doing maybe close to 45 and there are 6 cows in the middle of the road. Brian doesn't show up and I realize I missed a left turn, so I head back to find Brian waiting at the intersection. Silly me, I got all caught up in a nice fast road where we could make some good time ....
We turn West towards Lund which is West over the next mountain range over mostly jeep trails:
A steep rocky downhill near Lone Pine Swale. I dropped the bike here, I couldn't figure out why and neither could Brian:
We start descending town towards Sawmill Canyon:
Over the range and a short straight section into Lund:
We stop for lunch at Whipples Country Store in Lund. It has gas (87, no premium). It's pretty packed when we get in, we're both tired. My blood sugar must be low as I'm a teeny bit cranky. There is one guy working who has to handle the prep, cooking and also the register for the grocery part of the store. As a result it takes *forever* to get our food, eventually it arrives, the food plus a few refils of sugar water help banish my crankyness.
As is often the case in towns, the routing is messed up. We ride around Lund for a bit, Brian seems keen to stay on the track. We get stuck at a dead end in someones private property. Brian takes a detour down a drainage service line. He gasses it through this ditch but it's way deep and the next thing he's 10 foot to the left and the bike is on top of him. Fortunately he's unhurt:
I have a different idea so I turn around, get back to the highway and head North towards Preston. One more issue where a diagonal road is basically long closed but pretty soon we're on the route again heading NW on country road 10 which is fast well graded gravel as is county road 11. Eventually we split off 11 and head North on some FS roads towards the California Spring FS Facility. Lots of open range ranching here:
We're close to US50 now. I see a truck heading across it at one point, seems maybe a couple miles away. We stop for a pic:
Couple miles is on the direct route but of course we don't go that way, rather we head West. It's fun two track, standing on the pegs, fast:
Eventually we end up at US50:
We head East on US50 for a couple of miles where the trail then heads North. It's late by this point, we have maybe 30 minutes of daylight left. We decide to press ahead but we both agree there will be no major offroad night riding on this trip
Just after the trail turns West at Lagari Well, I stop and discuss with Brian that maybe proceeding isn't smart. We have maybe 20 minutes of light ahead, we can see it's raining hard over the mountains. We're at 5921 feet and Newark Summit, the highest point on the road is 7469 feet and probably 25 miles away. We decide to turn back and take US50 into Eureka. Probably a good decision as it's twilight shortly after we turn onto US50 and fully dark/raining for the last few miles into Eureka. Losers!
I'd forgotten how small Eureka is. Somewhere in the back of my head I recall thinking about making a reservation but my buddy Toddler had assured me we'd need no reservations for the entire trip (this was right before he made a reservation for Salida
). It's also Saturday. As we roll through town we see that the Sundown has no vacancies. Only other option is the Best Western. They have 2 smoking rooms left, $100. Ouch. Brian unpacks while I go upstairs to give the rooms the sniff test to figure out which is the least obnoxious. I'm not entirely convinced Brian delegating this task to Dr Gasoline was his smartest idea but I give it the old college try.
Room is nice, spacious. We hit the hot tub for a while. Then head out for dinner. This would be the start of our mexican run. La Fiesta is the universal recommendation and it's probably some of the best Mexican I've had it a while.
Today was a great day. One of the top 3 days of the trip for me (the other so far being Green River to Richfield).
We get back from dinner and hit the sack. Tomorrow we have a short day planned to Battle Mountain where we'll do some bike maintenance.