Lund, NV to Eureka, NV – 102.1 miles
I woke up this morning from a hard sleep and realized just how badly my body is starting to hurt. The aches and pains from nearly a month on the trail are settling in for the long haul. I find myself struggling to get out of bed as my hands have become claws, knuckles are permanently swollen, shoulder grinds and creaks with every movement, and my coccyx is going to erupt from my skin at any moment giving me the tail I always wanted. Dreams do come true.
We had an exceptionally slow morning and didn’t get on the road until close to noon. The easy morning was fine because we decided to pull a short mileage day after a couple of grueling ones. Naomi also took advantage of the time by laying her bike on its side for a plate adjustment to try and alleviate a new noise since the clutch change.
Finally out of Lund, we found a wide gravel road that took us through the Humboldt National Forest. The path was lined with yellow wildflowers that added a shot of color to the otherwise grey scenery. We rode through the low mountains enjoying the mild weather and clear unobstructed sky that seemed endless. One area had several stone buildings that had been abandoned long ago and were now melting back into the countryside. Evidence of mining operations and mounds of displaced earth showed that it was once a busy place.
We found a shaded spot about halfway through today’s miles where we munched on jerky and nut bars. We chatted about the ride and caught up on our “best and worst moments” from yesterday that we missed because of how tired we were. Mentally and physically refueled, we mounted up and headed out.
The road soon took a turn and became the sandy double track we’ve come to love. We started seeing posts indicating we were traveling on the Lincoln Highway and eventually came across a sign that explained them. In 1913 the highway became the nation’s first coast-to-coast automobile route replacing the confusing system of named highways. The Lincoln is now a rarely used overgrown track, itself replaced by US 50, but the history of the road made traversing a part of it that much more interesting.
The last miles of our day took us through a section of desert that was completely devoid of color other than what we added. Even the sagebrush, whose light green color has accompanied us for hundreds of miles, faded from the landscape.
For the first time of the trip we came across a gate we couldn’t open by hand or use of tools. Disappointed, we pulled a u-turn and took the paved US 50 into Eureka. We found a good spot to lay our heads for the night and walked across the street to the Owl Club. Dinner was delicious, but the highlight of the night was the $20 bill I tripled on video poker. My luck is looking up.
Today’s lesson: Vestigial tails make twerking more interesting.