Battle Mountain, NV to McDermitt, NV – 154.1 miles
The morning started out great with a delicious continental breakfast of coffee, English muffins, and oatmeal cream pies. It was exactly the well balanced meal we needed to fuel our day on the bikes.
We were in for another dose of the Nevada desert and the weather called for abundant sunshine with temps in the high 80s. The trail led us past the city’s casino and into open spaces parceled off by barbed wire fences. Tan and grey still colored the landscape, but the occasional patch of bright green grass was proof of life in the area. Mountains rose in the distance with peaks spreading across the horizon and as we neared them, sagebrush suddenly stopped covering the ground as if blocked by a force field. It was replaced by thin bright yellow grass which seemed to sparkle and covered the fields for as far as we could see. Proof there is gold in Nevada.
The trail was a combination of hard packed dirt and gravel, mixed with sections of sand and deep ruts. We followed the road through mountain valleys and short climbs into the high ground. The route was easy going and pretty uneventful for a majority of the day. We eventually found ourselves back in the Humboldt National Forest where we climbed to the summit ridge. As we rode we looked down on hundreds of rolling hills that combined to form an inland sea. We started the descent and Naomi led the way as I trailed about 100 yards. Out of nowhere five wild horses ran across between us at an effortless sprint with manes flowing and dust stirring beneath their hooves. I nearly crashed my mount as I watched them instead of the trail, but I’m not a graceless lady.
We dropped out of the mountains back into the valley and came across a water crossing that was much deeper than any we’d seen before. Naomi braved the depths and waded in to her knees. We finally decided it’d be best to push the bikes across rather than risk getting water in our engines, so we both filled our boots with the murky cattle drink. The bikes got across unscathed, but I exited with visions of the Stand By Me leech scene dancing in my head.
McDermitt was a short distance away and we found it before dark. Hotels were slim pickings as was a dinner option, but we easily found both to suit us. The bread pudding was right on time and I didn’t mind the $10 I lost to a one armed bandit…he must have needed it more than me.
Today’s lesson: Cheap hotels look the same as expensive ones when you close your eyes for the night, but odors remain.