Wednesday, August 20, 2008

(Day 18) Another eclectic ride…

Monday, July 21st, 2008
Day 18
Richfield, UT to Great Basin NP, NV

At 7am on the dot, I started laying down tracks again and was looking forward to seeing a new state, Nevada. The trail would lead me directly into Fishlake National Forest and take me 4000 feet higher to almost 9000 feet in 23 miles:

And then, in only 14 miles, drops me back down 4000 feet. Here was one of the few areas that wasn’t straight downhill:

After about 5 or 6 miles of uninterrupted descent, I had to use a lot of front brake as I locked the rear up trying not to run through this fence, which was also on a decline:

My reward for making it all the way down was another fence to open/close:

Then it was time to boogie down Corn Creek Rd.:

Exiting Kanosh, UT, I got behind some government vehicles. I made eye contact with the driver in his rear view mirror and figured I’d move over like I wanted to pass. This guy never changed his speed or position on the road:

Fire damage was obvious around here, but I couldn’t figure out how it spread from one bush to another as the brush seemed rather spaced out. Once I started moving again, I see the government vehicles parked to the side, right in the middle of all of the fire damage, hmmm. Not too far away I encounter some old mines:

I’m not that adventurous. I think I’ll keep on riding:

I-15, let me see… is that on my itinerary… mmmm, no:

Shortly after the following picture was taken, 2 guys in a truck passed me (which rarely happened anywhere along the trail all the way across the country) coming the other way. The driver gave me the “rock on” sign:

Up until this point, the overcast weather and government feel had me down, but the simple “rock on” hand sign and smiles lifted my spirit a bit. Shortly afterward, the sky started to clear up as well. I’m going to have to go back and rank my pictures, but this is certainly a finalist:

After I-15, the scenery changes… must be getting ready for a new state. Geographically, Nevada was basically a series of North-South mountain ranges with large, flat basins in between. The trail along some of these basins lasted for…ev…er:

What does this sign tell you?

It means, you ain’t nowheres! You better hope you have enough gas and water or you’re going to die! [Insert Guns ‘n Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” jingle here] No, I’m just kidding, this was far from a jungle, but that was the song I had in my head at this point.

Shortly afterwards, I start to climb a soft, slow rolling hill at a fairly swift pace. As I reach the crest, the Orangutan locked her front and rears up and gravel was flying every which way leaving a nice skid mark out here in the middle of nowhere. I jumped off and yelled, “What was that for!?” She looked at me and pointed to the horizon and said, “Crystal Peak”:

Hopefully you know I’m just joking about that and no I wasn’t hallucinating, just going back and forth with myself in my head. Anyway, the view was grand. There was a salt lake (I guess?) to the north and if you look directly to the west on the horizon, you can see Crystal Mountain. It’s hard not to mistake it for a cloud as it appears solid white, standing in stark contrast to the rest of the mountain range. For those scoring at home, that’s just under 40 miles away. Let’s boogie down and get a closer look:

Getting closer?

I almost had to pee twice on my way to the base of the mountain, but I finally made it:

More long and straights:

And finally, Nevada:

Might as well get Utah in there too:

At 2:25pm, I reach Baker, NV, which is nothing more than 2 gas pumps and 2 bar/restaurants. At the restaurant I chose, I see the coolest Harley ever:

I think this guy’s name was Steve. He was from California traveling to Cody, WY to meet his wife. Can you say, packing light?

Great Basin National Park was about 10 miles up the mountain, so that’s where I headed to set up camp. Nice little information area here:


…by a creek:

It was about a 20-30 degree temperature difference on top of the mountain, a welcome relief from the dry and sunny lower elevations.


Tomorrow’s plan is a little bit up in the air. The trail runs south and back into Utah for a bit before swinging back around to Eureka. It looks like a mess on my GPS screen, so we’ll re-evaluate the situation in the morning. For now, I plan on sleeping on the picnic table and viewing the stars until I either fall asleep or the sun comes up.

Total mileage: 3631
Daily mileage: 178
Wildlife observed: Ran over a snake…
Favorite Sight: Crystal Peak
Favorite Scent: Nada
Favorite Sound: Didn’t hear much else beside the KTM today
Favorite Taste: Some random IPA at the restaurant for dinner.
Favorite Feel: Squishing that snake (just glad it didn’t loop back around)
Ailments: None

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