McDermitt, NV to Lakeview, OR – 286.9 miles
We were up before the sun again to make up miles from the days lost because of mechanical issues. We walked across the parking lot to the casino cafe which was the only place in town to find food. My scrambled eggs were tasty and even though the one armed bandit again promised huge returns on a small monetary deposit, I didn’t slip anything into his slot or pull any appendage.
The morning weather was cold and overcast in the desert, but we expected a quick warmup in temps and didn’t bother bundling up. The trail headed west towards Disaster Peak and we started the climb into the mountains. The road was extremely rocky with loose stones of all sizes bouncing us around the track. About 45 minutes into the ride our teeth were chattering uncontrollably due to the bumpy path and biting cold, so we finally piled on more clothes. I’m sure the views were great from the mountain ridge line. Unfortunately, I missed every sight for fear of moving any body part and breaking the seal of warmth I had created by trying to physically squeeze every ounce of heat from my motorcycle.
We dropped out of the Nevada mountains into a canyon that had a floor of green grass. The contrast it created with the grey walls of rock towering above us made the view even more spectacular. I was finally warm enough to enjoy the scenery and followed the winding road across the state line into Oregon. We filled up in Fields, pounded a Monster and pack of nuts, then hopped back on the bikes for more miles.
The trail then took us southwest back into Nevada towards the Sheldon National Antelope Refuge on mostly hard packed dirt and gravel. We wove through the park’s short climbs to the top of black rock cliffs and looked down on several dry lake beds that stretched across the canyon floor.
The park was enormous with plenty of room for hundreds of pronghorn, but after traveling over an hour we only saw two refugees running for their lives. Before exiting the refuge, we grabbed some CEUs on our newly obtained certificate with a few miles of sand riding. The sand had a consistency of talcum powder and created a cloud that coated every nook and cranny of my body. All rashes were instantly soothed and cured.
We powered across the border into California and ran the length of the valley into Cedarville for a quick fill up. The difference between the states was incredible. Cali had irrigated fields with lush green crops and trees growing on the hills, while just across the valley in Nevada all surfaces were scorched and dry.
We sped along paved roads towards the Modoc National Forest and peeled off onto wide gravel as we entered the pine tree lined park. The last 50 miles through the woods back into Oregon were fast and we arrived in Lakeview before dark. We grabbed a room and a bite to eat at a Mexican spot then relaxed after the long day.
Today’s lesson: A casino cafe window is a great place to watch the sunrise.