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By definition, a desert has no rain

September 11, 2011

So when I started to plan this trip, I asked God to keep the temperature under 90 on the day we went through the desert. Unfortunately, he complied………

We left Virginia City around 7:30 and headed for Dayton, another dying mining town. We got gas and breakfast and then headed into the old part of town to see the Union Hotel. In the old days, it was a stagecoach stop and a Pony Exchange Station.

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Things are so bad around these parts of Nevada that The Union Hotel is for sale as are several bars and casinos. Not much money for historical preservation. And when I call these places towns, it’s more like one gas station, one “casino” and a few homes and businesses scattered on either side of the road.

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We left Dayton and headed for Fallon, our last gas before hitting US-50…. The Loneliest Highway in America.

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Even in the middle of the desert you couldn’t forget 9/11.

We gassed all of our tanks and headed out. The air was crisp and the sky was blue. Once we got away from all civilization, it started to warm up pretty well. We stopped to change gear again and get some pics.

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We stopped here to see some ruins of an old Pony Express Station built in……Dorothy read on the interpretive sign, they had no roves.

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My first actual tumbleweed.

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This is a large mountain of sand left over from a prehistoric ocean….it’s now a state recreation area….people bring their quads and sliding implements to……slide.

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Dorothy says this guy was on vacation from selling insurance.

Back to the road….

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Heading East…

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And heading East……

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This is were we ran out of gas

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This is how we fixed it.

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This is what we were driving into…..Armageddon.

WARNING: Mom and Dad, please skip this next section.

We put on the rain gear, and what we saw out in the open desert was amazing! If we weren’t so concerned about getting away from the weather, I would’ve taken more pictures. It felt as if a tornado would pop up at any time. The wind was so strong, we were battling to keep the bikes upright! The temperature must have dropped 20 degrees and when the ran started…..it felt like daggers. A bolt of lightening touched down in the mountains and Dorothy said she heard it sizzle. Fortunately….we were only a few miles from Austin. Austin is dead center desert. We got into town and swung into the first place we could find. It was a small, local cafe…we soon struck up a conversation with a bunch of other wet bikers. We were headed in opposite directions. They said weather was for shit from where they just were…..Great… We waited out the storm with a crappy lunch and headed out as soon as it cleared.

The thing about US-50 is that it’s a straight east/west road but…..it cuts through about 9 mountain ranges with elevations from 4500 to 6400 ft. When we were riding on the flat valley floors, it looked like the storms were clinging to the mountains.

The threat was always there, but were really only got spritzed a little after that first storm. However, the temp never got out of the low 60s. FREEZING! It was a 5 layer day.

Last pit stop was in Eureka…everyone said we had to see the old opera house. They told us, just go in and look around…when we got to town, it actually looked like the town had been evacuated. We got so town pics and head for the hotel. 320 miles on the day. Tomorrow…Area 51, maybe. We ran into a truck drive who told us they got 1.5 inched of snow over a 3 mile area, south, exactly were we’re headed. We’ll see what happens.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. maryjane permalink
    September 12, 2011 12:01 pm

    wow you two are having a great time…what beautiful pic.

  2. maryjane permalink
    September 12, 2011 12:10 pm

    i bet your thinking about a salad with grilled chicken..lol.or mc donalds..

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