Woke up around 8, and randy took my bike down to the auto parts store to get something to fix his cable. Nothing. So we ate breakfast across the street, and parted ways… Randy to head north to Wendover and then to Morgan, I headed west to Tonopah. I debated whether I should go. 500 miles in a day isnt a short jaunt, its a commitment that might mean not getting home that night if something happens, or I take too much time. I decided to go.
The ride out of Tonopah surprised me.
It was nice! long sweeping turns and nice and cool outside. My head wasnt in the ride tho. I was feeling guilty for not heading home, spending money (even though this trip was extremely cheap) and not coming home and getting ready for my work week. I struggled to get my head into my ride untill at the junction of hwy 6 and 318: Halstead’s Blackjack Inn. For one, I love ghost towns. I love seeing civilization in the middle of nowhere, where a person has taken a risk and put his shingle out to start a business and to piece together its history. I love it.
Second, there was an old trailer that im sure had a ton of history that someone had spraypainted on that put my mind in the right place:
That was the ticket. I headed out with a new point of view, and knew this was going to be a great ride.
Nevada always suprises me. It wasnt what I was expecting, theres more there than just sagebrush. I want to explore it all now. Life in nevada comes in surprising places, and in little pockets.
At the end of a really awesome 50 mile ride I found Currant Nevada. its still on the road signs, but there isnt much going on there. I was there for probably 20 or more minutes and never saw a soul, let alone a passing car. It was almost apocalyptic — the abandoned bar/motel/rv park/gas station was overgrown with weeds, but looks as though the people were vaporized mid spot. theres still bedding and pillows on the beds, clothes hanging in the closets in the hotel. In the restaurant, theres an unfinished bottle of wine on the table. The bar has a cowboy hat on it, and a stocked bar. Theres vines growing under the doors, and the calendar reads november of 1996. It was trippy, if anyone knows a story, or THE story behind this place, please email me or post here. I’d love to know it.
From then on out, it was 100 miles of Flat and long, with the only turns coming at the mountainous rises from the high desert floor.
I’ve never ran my bike out of gas before. I know around 100 miles the needleleaves from being pegged full, and at 175 miles its pegged empty and pretty much out of gas. My ride was 170 miles between gas stations, and I was pretty confident when I left, untill I started wondering how much the extra weight and wind resistance on a full tour pak would make. I know at around 1/4 tank it drops visibly fast. You have about 10 or 15 miles max. I pulled into tonopah and i was nearly empty, and my gas gauge read 174.4 miles. Awesome.
Pulled into tonopah around 2:30 pm, checked out the place a bit, and stopped into a local watering hole for a brewski, and doubled back to head toward Rachel and home.
Warm springs is another place i’d love to know the story of. I stopped there, stretched my legs and checked out the old bar/cafe and the house across the street. some of the grafitti inside told the story, and theres a warm spring that runs into a pool on the site that is fenced, but I’ve read about people still using it. The writings on the wall suggest that the house was inhabited as late as 1988, but whether or not thats true is another story. The house is starting to fall in on itself a bit. In the back were evidence of an RV park.
Warm spring is at the junction of 6, and the Extraterrestrial highway I headed south toward Rachel.
At rachel I stopped to check the Little A’Le’Inn out. This place is famous if you run in UFO Circles (which I dont, but find it interesting), and is the closest town to area 51. I think its awesome to see a place survive for 20 years out in the middle of nowhere, and hopefully will for 100 more.
I walked in, and the only other people in there were from Pittsburgh. I had my penguins shirt on, and we talked for a bit. Really nice guys, just checking out area 51. Its just amazing that 5 penguin/Steeler fans meet in the middle of nowhere. I had me a patty melt, a couple of Guinnesses (obviously a place with good taste), took some pictures and started heading for home. Ill come back to rachel. They let you pitch a tent for free there, and are extremely friendly folks.
The guy at Little A’Le’Inn told me about the mailbox for area 51, 20 miles outside of town so I stopped and took pictures. The real story of the mailbox can be found here, but the box was interesting nonetheless. I guess alien afficianados gather around it at night looking for evidence, and holds the claim as the most famous mailbox in the world. I took some pictures and moved on.
20 miles of good road later, I was at the junction of Extraterrestrial highway and nevada state road 93. I felt closer to home now, but this was all new. If I go left, I go through caliente and the map says its a scenic drive, and Im home in probably 90 minutes. If i go right, its 3 hours. I went right. I figured left is a ride erik and I can do later possibly, and I didnt want to go home yet.
I got gas in ash springs, and was surpised to see so many people again. the pumps were all full of people and I had to wait, and the store was busy. Getting close to civilization again. Lots of trees and a couple of lakes. I opened it up and started heading south toward moapa.
I’d had the rain at my back all day, but heading south at moapa it caught up to me. It came down pretty good. Had to wait it out a bit in glendale. No big deal, the break was nice before the stretch home.
I made it home around 10pm. Id done 480 miles that day, and honestly, I could have done 500 more. The bike ran great and I 100% enjoyed riding in nevada. Like i said, it surpised me. I want to check it all out now. Nevada is no longer a state to just get through, its a place to explore. To be able to find places like I’d visited today that were so intact and not vandalized was amazing to me. I need to find out more about them and go back again.
Ride totals: 3 States, 485 miles in 12 hours
NOTE: I didnt realize but the date on my camera is wrong this trip.