Eureka, NV to Battle Mountain, NV – 135.8 miles
We took a short walk to breakfast this morning and each ordered a fresh made sandwich and caramel latte from a small food stand. Multi-colored hula hoops hung from a hook on the stand taunting me in my tired state. Naomi grabbed one while we waited for our food and proceeded to work that thing like a pro…taunting me further. I reluctantly took it from her and had a small seizure then replaced the hoop on its hook. Breakfast was tasty.
Our bikes fired up without hesitation and we rode out into the desert with the sun blazing overhead. The trail alternated between hard pack and loose dirt as it ran between mountains. After spending a few days here, I’ve decided the desert of Nevada has a lot of charm. The wide open spaces, monotone color, and harsh conditions are beautiful in its own right. Beauty is found in subtleties, details, and character not simply flashy colors and a magnificent view.
The trail eventually took us through areas burned over by fire leaving dead trees scorched by the flames. The underbrush had all grown back, but the taller plant life remained in place with bare limbs as skeletons of their former selves.
We parked our bikes on the side of the road and grabbed our afternoon snack at the top of a low pass. The Clif bars were delicious and cool temps provided by the shade welcome after a hot ride. We took our time during the break swatting flies then mounted up for the last 50 miles of riding.
The second half of the day went pretty much like the first with roads that spanned the distance between peaks. As we approached Battle Mountain the trail took a sharp left onto an access road for a gas pipeline. We made the turn and plunged into what we decided must be our final exam for sand riding. The test involved extremely deep sand rutted by numerous previous vehicles who took up all of the clean riding lines. Our tires spun in the ruts and followed them instead of listening to our guidance and direction. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and giggled like a schoolgirl through every bobble and near fall. In the end, I give myself a solid B+ grade for the course.