Day Two dawned bright and hot. Not that we knew since we didn't drag our carcasses out of bed until after 8:00. Once up and moving though it was time to get back on the road. This was the best day of the ride and where I took most of the photos.
The first leg was I80 West to Wendover.
The highway took us past the Great Salt Lake from whence the city gets it's name. It's huge, flat and salty.
The road is pretty much ruler straight and flat, with only slight rollers. The Throttlemeister worked well here.
Car Guy looking all nonchalant and bitchin' and stuff.
I mentioned an action shot in the first post. This is it. I set the throttle, pulled the camera out of the tank bag and took this shot as we motored down the road at 75 mph. I didn't have the guts to try it more than the one time.
At 124 miles we reached Wendover (West Wendover actually on the Nevada side of the border line). We gassed up, hit an Arby's for lunch and turned south on Hwy 93. We had a definite destination in mind but in the meanwhile were just enjoying then ride and countryside. I must admit that the reality did not match my expectations. I was assuming the area was flat, dry and scorching hot. It was none of the three. There were many mountains, lots of green and while hot it wasn't debilitatingly so. Really, I like north central Nevada a lot. Here's some random pictures.
The bikes, fully loaded and dusty from their travels. Both ran great and didn't give us a single problem on the entire ride. Well, except for that whole range limited due to smallish gas tanks thing but hey, that's why they call it adventure touring.
We knew the area was sparsely inhabited but until we started seeing all those "Last Gas' signs I don't think we truly understood. When we saw one that was 167 miles the reality hit us. We sweated the mileage more than once and tended to gas up at every opportunity. The run from Wendover to McGill/Ely was right at our limit. Luckily we found a very small pump run out of a shack by a very nice woman at Preston, 45 miles from Wendover. That took us all the way to McGill which is just down the road from Ely. We hit McGill at 108 miles from Preston which, considering our absolute mileage limits, gives you a good idea just how thin our error margin was.
This stretch of 93 is part of the old Pony Express route. McGill reflected that heritage. This was the station we stopped at. The owner was a nice old lady who agve us good advice and a hand drawn map of the route we wanted to take.
From McGill we went through Ely then hit Hwy 6 for a short run to Hwy 318. We turned onto 318 and headed dead south on a 100 mile run to Ash Springs. Which is just past the intersection with Highway 375. Hwy 375. Now why does that sound familiar? Oh wait, now I remember!
This is why we took this route. Both CG and I wanted to ride this road and visit Rachel, Nevada. But. Would we see and actual ET? Were we risking a potentially painful and embarrassing probing? Would some evil thing from beyond the stars eat our brains? Oh no! There's one now. Aaiieee! Flee for your lives! Note the shiny silver skin and creepy bulbous head. Truly an ugly and disturbing alien encounter. Kill it. Kill it with fire!
45 miles down the road is the little outpost of Rachel, home of the Little A'LE'INN. This is the place that's been in so many movies, TV shows and conspiracy theories. We talked to the woman behind the counter about that. I mentioned that Jesse 'The Scumbag' Ventura had been there recently. She confirmed that he's a douchebag. Heh heh.
They even had a flying saucer hooked up to a tow truck. Probably had the same range limitations we did. "Hey Zgforlghb, did we fill up in Zeta Reticuli? No? Shit!"
They even have a race team. When we arrived there was a collection of questionable characters outside the door discussing all things race related though frankly, I was hearing dueling banjos coming from somewhere. I didn't linger. Probing by aliens is one thing. Probing by a bunch of Nevada Troglodytes is something else.
We were now faced with another choice. Either turn back to Ash Springs for gas and then to Ely or even Las Vegas for the night or continue up 375 to Tonopah. I figured Tonopah at 110 miles from Rachel which would put us in at 155 miles or so. That's past where I figured I'd be into my reserve tank which makes me weak kneed. Still, we were on an adventure, wanted to run all of 375 and by going to Tonopah we'd cut off quite a bit of CG's return trip to California. Good enough. We pointed our noses north west and twisted the throttles.
The ride across 375 and central Nevada was a good one. Some cloud cover came in dropping the temps and making the run pretty pleasant.
Beautiful country but it's also open range. At one point we had to slow to avoid a calf that had wandered onto the highway. Mama finally noticed and called him back. Probably grounded him.
Just outside Tonopah we saw this.
Here's a closer look. Just to the south of the highway, off in the distance there, is the Nellis AFB Range, the Nevada Test Site and Groom Lake. The notorious Area 51!
Finally we made it to Tonopah at 156 miles. How close was it? I was on reserve for the last 5 miles. Remember those 'Last Gas' signs I talked about? This is the one at Tonopah at the north west end of Hwy 375 heading back in the direction we'd come from. This is a lie. I know, I rode and sweated each and every foot of that run.
543 road miles from Salt Lake City to Tonopah. 863 miles covered in two days with one more still to come. CG and I checked in to the Best Western Tonopah and discussed the next day. We'd come this way precisely to ride 375 but also to cut just a little off his ride home. Remember, he started this thing with a 640 mile jaunt just to get to my house and start the ride. It was decided. We'd had fun but it was time to head back. Day three would see us parting ways and making our solo way home.
This was by far the best riding day I've ever had. Ever. Good roads, little to no traffic, beautiful country, new sights, friendly folks and the company of a man I consider my brother. I emphasized this day because I enjoyed it so much. Day three sucked and I'll warn you here, there's not going to be much to tell and even less to see related to that ride. It was just a push to get home.