It took a few days, but I was starting to sleep like a dead bear at this point in the trip. I still didn't make it much past sunrise, but the sleeping was good out here. I'd usually get moving first, start the coffee water, and start breaking down camp. Most nights we didn't even bother with the tent or tarp, so it went pretty quick. Then I had some time to read my book while John stuffed everything into his dry bags. As it turns out, hard cases make for convenient packing. Panniers...winning.
Out of camp we thought we'd be into Eureeka quickly, but Sam had other ideas. His route along the road less traveled got a little out of hand at this point as the road nearly disappeared entirely. We finally made our way out to something resembling a trail.
This took us onto the Loneliest Highway and into Eureka. The highway was aptly named, until we hit some construction and found it to be damn near the most social highway.
We talked to a couple from California for awhile (the truck behind us). He said he'd done a cross country trip on a Harley in the 60s and come through this section of road. I guess it was even lonelier back then. Sounded like he had a good time. Finally the flag lady let us through and we said farewell to our highway friends. Around the corner was Eureka.
We got gas and water and had a funny conversation with the Sheriff who accused us of being a motorcycle gang. He called us 3 percenters and then started laughing. Apparently he didn't think we were very threatening. Oh well.
After Eureka it was back to the burnin' desert, which was really earning it's name today. The rains of yesterday had passed and we were headed into the mouth of the dust bowl.
Dust hazard: Next 700 miles.
Between Eureka and Battle Mountain, there's a whole lot of empty space. We would cross mountains and valleys and do it again between sightings of man-made structures. The scale of it all was amazing. You just don't want to think about crashing and having to get yourself out of there.
No crash, no crash, no crash, no crash, no crash, no crash, no crash....
Eventually we hit ranch land again and welcomed the return of our old friend the cow.
This was a surprise. We didn't see any sheep before or after this. But here they were, packed into the shade like cord wood.
More private property for us to amble through.
Don't shoot, we like beef, too. Well, not John, he's a vegetarian. Okay, if you have to shoot somebody, shoot John.