Did Shiprock to Chinle on BIA roads via Shiprock, the rock. VERY VERY nice and paved the whole way, despite what the maps say.
In Tonopah. Your two points are well taken. Not my first desert ride, but always a good reminder. The route from St George to Tonopah was fun. No gas in Rachel, but there is a new? Shell station in Ash Springs and that's only a few miles down 93, far closer than Alamo.
Really liked the extraterrestrial highway. I pictured boring flat terrain, but there are some mountains along the way and I thought it was very scenic in its own way.
So, thanks for the advice on the route.