A whole week in already. We woke up and thought, "Hey, why not head West? Maybe a little North, probably some South, but mostly let's go West!"
So we did...again.
This was our first introduction to the burns of Nevada. In case we felt out there before, now we felt like we were on a different planet. It was like the moon out here (while not officially a planet, we're still talking about a different and distant celestial body, so cut me some slack).
The dust was getting oppressive by this point. The farther you go west, the finer the dust gets. Gone are the days of good, thick Utah sand. Nevada sand is like talc powder. We started to space out from each other to avoid the thick clouds. Sometimes we had to let the lead rider get a mile or two ahead before the air would clear.
You kids pipe down!!! Uncle John is trying to show you how to do the Nevada Moon Dust Shuffle...
The dust was killing John's already dead chain. Tightening and lubing it became a regular event. I think we went through this exercise 3-4 times on this day.
Somewhere deep in the talc pits, we ran into a water truck driver who stopped to talk. He shuttles water from the reservoir to to god-knows-where and said that in the last decade he'd seen thousands of guys like us. He knew all about the TAT but couldn't figure out why people would be out there for fun. He may have a point there. :) Interesting factoid: he told us that we'd just unwittingly passed the second largest gold mine in the world. For obvious reasons, they don't really advertise it much. We saw some fences, but would never have known. Thanks fella!
We asked him how far out the reservoir was...Johnny needed him some rinsing. Chimney Reservoir, here we come!
Clean at last, oh lord I'm clean at last. Pay no attention to the algae...
John cleaned up and I went swimming. We would both HIGHLY recommend this stop to any aspiring TATers out there.
Feeling refreshed and reinvigorated, we set out again into the wastelands.
It was definitely stark and barren out here, but there was a certain empty beauty to it. The treeless mountains were never far away and expansive vistas were our constant travel companion. Pretty hard to complain, especially when you have a nice gravel road to stretch your legs on.
Somewhere around here I dumped my bike. It was a first on the trip. I was in a rocky corner and the front wheel rolled a boulder enough to kick it out and wash out the bike. I dropped into some boulders at speed, but bike and rider were pretty unscathed. John was out front and the bike came to rest with the wheels uphill and gas pouring out. Shit. I spun the bike around (sorry panniers) and finally managed to get the wheels downhill and the bike vertical. No time for pictures of that one. John turned back and arrived just as I got it started again. Aside from a bloody knee, it was a pretty minor go down thankfully.