August 14 2008
80 Mile Day, 307 Miles Total
Hope Valley Meadow Sno Park, Highway 88 to the 395 and the 50, Carson City, Dayton, Silver Springs
NEVADA (Enter stage left): I am Nevada the state of ore and mines! Cross my deserts with caution, water is more precious than minds. Mirages are free and plenty, the people are free and few. The sun is my friend and visits everyday, but you visitors exit weakly.
Riding in the evening cool becomes an obvious strategy and I am not the first to realize it. I pause to photo the rising moon and a figure approaches.
The figure came into to focus as a fellow adventure cyclist by the name of David Runger. Shortly after meeting we realize that are ferries departing San Francisco were only an hour apart. Separate routes in the Sierras and likely delayed are meeting. We decide to ride together until are paths part, and pitch tent.
August 15 2008
70 Mile Day, 377 Miles Total
Silver Springs, Fallon, Middlegate
David it seems is riding on a strict diet of gas station pastries and hamburgers, not his normal diet but an adapted one for the journey. His fascination for carrying large quantities of water (up to 10 liters) through the desert baffles me. When we reach a new place with running water, roughly every 70 miles, he takes on more. Eventually he will be storing water in his bicycle frame once he figures out how to seal it properly. He has limitations in heat and climbing hills, but when it comes to down hills he simply retracts his landing wheels and takes flight. He has experienced no apparent side effects in converting to a nocturnal schedule.
The 18 people of Middlegate are friendly and permit us and all other travelers to camp on their watered lawn. My bicycle takes on several hours of repair and by the time I am finished it is a new day. My sleep for the night is limited to a few hours before we head out into the desert at 4:30 AM.
August 16 2008
88 Mile Day, 465 Miles Total
For about two minutes David took to my fully shaded method of avoiding the suns full strength, and in those two minutes we come across Joell, J, , riders going coast to coast in the opposite direction. They are supporting Obama along their ride primarily through their website obama.am, I unravel my Obama sign and we pose to early for my long timed photo. The three also managed to convert David from fully shaded to near fully nude. David now embraces the hold nothing back exhibitionism adorned by European beaches, his skin has thoroughly tanned now and it rejects any attempts by the sun to burn.
August 17 2008
78 Mile Day, 543 Miles Total
Eureka, Little Antelope Pass 7,438 Ft
Eureka’s little hidden park provides a welcomed public bathroom for washing clothing. The town is a petite mining town with abandoned tunnels behind the gas station and every house.
In a dream Mary Oliver, David Whyte, two other books and my possessions fall out of my pannier while I cycle on unaware. (Note to bicyclists: I always wear a helmet when riding upright.)
We are riding along the old postal pony express route, and it is filled with historic points, unfortunately only a few are historical points of interest.
August 18 2008
66 Mile Day, 609 Miles Total
Little Antelope Pass, Ely
It is Olivia’s 22nd birthday and I call her with my phone in a cooking pot to achieve reception. The conversation is trying but successful and she has plans for a home film festival with friends.
August 19 2008
67 Mile Day, 676 Miles Total
Ely, Majors Place, Baker, Garrison, Highway 50
A Swedish couple, Jonas Gartman and Nicoline Gartman, are on their honeymoon and riding a tandem bicycle across the country. Before getting married they rode along the coast of Australia. Jonas is a Nordic cycling champion and Nicoline commetes to work 40 kilometers daily. They report that the entire EU supports of Obama. Since they are flying out of Washington DC on November 6th, we may gather again and celebrate Obama’s election to presidency.
The Great Basin National Park calls to me and I visit the entrance, but do not stay for a tour of the caves due to my preference to reach the Democratic National Convention in Denver CO. For this reason I depart on my own route and David heads further South towards beautiful Zion.