I could tell that Nevada was going to be strange. Utah ended with a lot of nothing unless you count dust and sagebrush. This wasn’t Las Vegas Nevada, this was mid-Nevada, land of the Pony Express. Anywhere you look it seems like a cowboy should be riding on the horizon. Maybe us and our bikes are all that’s left of that sort of thing. Perhaps I’m romanticizing too much.
I’d rate this sign high on the list of welcome signs we’ve encountered. Like the Utah sign, the image on the Nevada sign turned out to paint an accurate picture of what the state is actually like. I think the Virginia sign just has a cardinal or a dogwood tree or something like that on it. Lame, Virginia.
Our whiteboard usually denotes the day’s supply stops, temperatures, and wind; etc. Beginning in Nevada we seem to have given up. It’s hot in the desert and very windy in the valleys. Hot and Windy. No need to provide specifics. It’s not like it matters anyways how hot and windy it gets, we still have to ride our bikes through it.
I think for my next entry I’m going to go in-depth about what it’s like to ride in Nevada. Generally, it goes like this: it’s flat for a long time, then you ride over a mountain range, then down it, then it’s flat, then another mountain range. Aptly called basin and range country, the landscape is predictable and repetitive. In this picture above, that climb is probably 15 or more miles away.
After discovering that the campground in Baker was sub-par and expensive (even for our standards) Don was nice enough to give us rides up a mountain in the 4-Runner gondola to a better place to camp. Can you spot Seth in this picture? We decided to set up our tents on the other side of this mountain stream and we had to walk across a fallen log to get there. Dirty Dancing style. I love camping up in the mountains, minus the freezing cold temperatures at night and the swarms of mosquitoes. Also, due to my fear of heights I was unable to cross the log in the cool fashion of Jennifer Grey and instead had to crawl across the way a turtle might.
For no reason whatsoever, halfway up a mountain, there was a bar. There was no town, gas station, or houses… just a bar. It was a total dive, my favorite. For some reason my siblings and I have an affinity towards crappy bars that smell like stale cigarettes and fryer grease. I blame my dad. Anyways, the bar at Majors Junction was welcome break from climbing and Bridget and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy some Miller Lite. Because before he won the Tour, Alberto Contador probably stopped in a bar and downed a couple brewdogs.
- American flag
- Nascar themed Budweiser banner
- Plethora of deer antlers used as decorations
- Christmas lights still hung up in July
You can see some classic Nevada scenery behind this classic “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!” sign. Only in Planet Nevada is shooting things from the road such a huge problem that the state spends tax money erecting signs and funding a specific hotline to curb the activity. I don’t know why people would shoot things from the road anyways, given there is seemingly no wildlife here and no trees or rivers to prevent you from simply driving your car off the road.
This is the biggest thing that has passed us on the road so far. It took up both lanes and shoulders. It’s the back of what must be the biggest mining truck ever. Not sure why I included this on the blog. It was pretty cool at the time. You sure see some weird things out on the road.
On another note, I’d like to inform everyone that my fingers have officially stopped functioning properly due to all the hours I’ve spent leaning on them while riding. They used to just fall asleep, then they’d go numb, and now they are only semi-functional. It’s hard to type, open food wrappers, apply chapstick; etc. We call it “claw hands” and I’d say about 40% of the group has it in some form. So in case you were on the fence about donating, think of poor us, in the prime of our youth, temporarily unable to open Snickers wrappers with our disgusting claw hands.