It was still kind of dark but I wanted to go outside for a little walk to 'wake up' and put some exercise into the legs. (Sitting in one position with extremely limited flexibility is what a rider must put up with. It is compensated by a sensory experience of wind, sun, vibration, and adrenaline)
Wow, was it cold. I began telling myself that I did not have enough clothing along this journey. I asked the man at the desk what temperature was it outside. He answered '72 Today', well I meant what is it now. It turned out to be 44F. I saw a small wooden bridge between the hotel and another building ICE'd over from some silly sprinklers that had been misting the grass.
Even seen a field being watered in early morning and freezing as it hits the ground and metal?
OK, some would argue that if one is at 7000 feet elevation, clear sky, then 44F is not bad. However, I had been in the 'go somewhere' mind set, and not the 'planner of details' mode.
For the next 5 hours my bike and I stayed at or above 6500 feet and topping at 7700 feet. What a cold ride. Thanks goodness for heated grips on the bike. I had 4 layers on. Yet, the stunning blue/violet sky, the sun rising behind me, and mountains curves, trees, rock outcroppings stole the temperature away.
Did I say that there wasn't any traffic on US50 through this section? I might see a car every 10 minutes or so. Amazingly beautiful area.
This was my longest ride of the journey, 600 miles. Perhaps this was because the posted speed limits were often 65MPH. As Utah turned into Nevada, the trees started to thin, the earth showed a bit more often, and the temperatures rose.
Just before Fallon, NV there was a unique outcropping of a huge sand dune.
How this huge sand dune got where it is is a mystery to me, but it is there, all by itself not connected to an adjacent sandy area. Off road vehicles, 4x4's, sand rails enjoy going up and down this huge dune. My telephoto lens really worked great to bring the cars and people into focus from far away.
US50 in this area is called the Loneliest Road in America
Here is a great summary by another author of US50 in this area
The Pony Express came through this desert area. Still standing are the remains of several way stations that had horses ready for the next stage.
The Pony Express operated for a year and a half only. It fell victim to the technology of the telegraph. What a life for those brave and daring riders and station attendents.
East of Fallon is a section of US50 that has unique writings of people who place rocks into the wet soil when the sides of the roads have water in them. These 'writings' remain for a long time. Here is a You Tube link to see a video that someone else made
US50 also has many areas set aside for US Naval and Government use. LOTS of top secret planes developed and tested in this remote section of Nevada. There is a site where the B-17 bombers from WWII practiced bombing.
Try looking up 'US Navy Centroid Area' and see what you get. Lots of mystery in the Fallon Area.
Guess what? I was in for a 'thermal shock' leaving Sparks, NV. Read the next blog entry for Mon 11 June to find out how cold it can get on this 'summer' adventure.