Day 17: The Loneliest Road in America

Ely, NV turned out to be the wettest place we camped.  This is partially my fault since I forgot to remove my sheepskin seat cover, so of course it rained all night.  Then in the morning we were hit with a heavy fog, which locked in the moisture and kept everything nice and wet.  With the prospect of sitting on a wet sheepskin all morning, I decided the best coarse of action was just to wear my rain pants.  Plus it was still pretty cold and an extra layer seemed like a good idea.

I did my best to dry off the rest of the gear before packing up, but it was obvious that everything would have to be unpacked and dried that evening.
For the first hour of the day, we were forced to ride in a fog bank with extremely low visibility.  We didn't meet much traffic which was good, but the cold made things pretty miserable.  Finally we descended into a flat plain and the fog cleared up.  The view was one that we would see over and over that day, flat plains with mountains in the distance.  Besides not realizing that we would be riding in high desert across Nevada, I also failed to notice the number of mountain ranges crossing the state.  We rode through at least six today.
Between the cold and the monotony we decided to take a break at Cold Springs Station which was an old Pony Express stop.  I shot some photos of the bikes while Tim took a nap.
Then it was back on the road.  Normally we would be about done riding for the day, already having covered 200 miles, but today's goal was Carson City which was another 120 miles away.
As we roared across the black top, we passed Sand Mountain.  From the road it just looked like a really big sand dune, but further research revealed that it is 2 miles long and 600 feet high.  Makes Jockey's Ridge back home seem pitiful by comparison.
Sand flats extended along the highway for miles past Sand Mountain and were littered with messages written using red/black rocks.  The best I can figure is that with a complete lack of bypasses and water towers to spray paint, local teenagers have no choice but to create their pithy sayings, marriage proposals and declarations of love using the natural landscape as their canvas.
Arriving in Carson City by late afternoon, we opted to get a hotel since there were not any campgrounds east of the city.  Plus sleeping in a bed after a 320 mile day seemed like a good idea.

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