|Travelogue -- Dr Bob's US50 Motorcycle Ride|
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16 May 2012, 10:30 PM PT, Eureka, NV
I entered Nevada today.
US50 in Nevada is why I am doing this ride. More than 10 years ago I had in mind riding US50 through Nevada. It was/is called "The Loneliest Road in America." Quoting Nevada's Commission on Tourism:
In July 1986 Life magazine described Nevada's Highway 50 from Ely to Fernley as the "Loneliest Road in America." Life said there were no attractions or points of interest along the 287-mile stretch of road and recommended that drivers have "survival skills" to travel the route.
Needless to say, Nevada has used that phrase to gain tourists. When I lived in California, I tried to find a time my riding buddies and I could do US50 in Nevada. It never worked out. Then I moved to Florida. Almost a year ago I decided I wanted to do US50 as a ride this year. I decided that it made sense for me to do all of US50, not just Nevada, since I was coming from Florida. So, here I am.
I had in mind a picture I wanted to get this morning. It took several attempts to get just what I wanted. I wanted to show the long road ahead, a view I have only found in the west.
I really like that picture. It is worth a thousand words.
That is snow on the mountain tops.
Have you noticed how I park the bike on the road? There is no shoulder. The traffic is so light that it doesn't seem to be a problem. I must have done that a dozen times today, and only once did a car pass me going in my direction. There were a couple of cars that came past me from the opposite direction.
Speaking of being passed, a Mustang passed me in one of those long stretches, and I am confident he was going well over 100 miles an hour. I could tell from the sound that he had the pedal to the metal. His noise was far greater than my Harley. I could hear him as much as a quarter mile up the road.
I spotted this dry lake. I saw a sign saying "Silver Lake Bed". It was about 50 miles inside Utah before Nevada on US50. I just looked at it on Maps.Google in satellite view. It is huge. Looks like it is about 10 miles wide and 15-20 miles long.
Shortly after entering Nevada, I did a small ride off US50 to the town of Baker. Here's a view of Baker from a few miles away.
I had my lunch in Baker, at the Silver Jack Motel Restaurant. Yes, I had my normal lunch accompanied by half a ham and Swiss sandwich.
I have crossed quite a few cattle guards. In Utah and Nevada there are numerous areas where the road runs through open range. Cattle can be on the road. There are fences, fences between different ranches. The cattle guard keeps the cattle from going beyond their own borders. They will not cross this thing.
I encountered another windmill farm today. Not a single windmill was turning, though.
Much of my riding today was from one mountain range to another, crossing the mountains by climbing up a winding road to the summit, then descending a winding road, then across a valley with a long straight road, only to cross another range, etc. This pattern repeated about every 20 miles, and it went on and on, probably more than a dozen times today. I wanted to capture the scenery change in this routine. Here's the view from a summit looking back.
Here's the view to the side at the summit.
And here's the view in the next valley.
Quite a different view. Trees at the top, scrub at the bottom. It gets noticably cooler at the summit, and warmer in the valley. Often it was cloudy at the summit and sunny in the valley. And this pattern just keeps repeating.
Mileage details for today are as follows: Miles - 328. Total Miles - 4,368 since leaving North Palm Beach. I have averaged more than 45 miles per gallon not counting my first two days when I was going real fast on I-95 where I got about 38 mpg. I have had three tanks that were 49 miles per gallon or higher. I usually run about 60 mph on US50. That gives me a range of almost 300 miles.