Summit Time Summit Time Summit Time Summit Time
I read that somewhere.
Giant strings of mountains separated by wide, windy valleys that come in three colors: yellow, green, or ochre, with sweater-pill scatterings of juniper trees on the slopes of the ranges. Highway 50–fiercely proud of its “loneliest highway” status, according to the AAA–is a dream to ride, ‘cept when it’s a day mare. They produce a neeto passport you get stamped in each lonely town…and they’ll redeem yr stamped up book for a cool pin, and love letter from the current Nevada governor. Does this remind you of Tor hopping?
Yesterday we rode for half an hour in the dark, calling out stuff like “Possibility of a cattle grate”, and “maybe gravel”. A Chien Andalou moon was slashed by a swift moving cloud up ahead of us. It was a hundred mile day, I got to ride with the eaglets for about twenty swiftpainful miles. BR flatted, and when we restarted, I realized I had a ‘body flat’. No oomph.
Then had a great ride/blab with Caroline, the silent but brainy Mary Pickford stunt double. Then, after a lunch break, when the eaglets flew off, I hopped on my bike and reader I CAUGHT THEM. It took ten minutes, but it might be the fastest I’ve ridden this whole six week period. Heh.
Then today I was up first, and out first by an hour. No one wanted to ride in the dark. I got a second look at that gravid orange moon sinking resolutely into the jagged hills, as the sun thought about coming up… I had the road to myself for an hour, then a camper went by. Then another hour…and my comrades flew by, first solo Andy on another First To Arrive effort, followed by Phillippe (“I am zlow”) and then the trio. I got to hang with them for precisely twenty minutes, slogging against a strong sidewind that had us side-by-side across the road…
The poplars bordering our windy KOA campsite in Ely is bordered by poplars which HOWL in the wind! The gusts are pretty intense, and the twenty tents are shivering and trying to take wing. My site is a tarp held down with a pillow and two cans of beans, and two very very used 1992 vintage Shimano SPD shoes. I don’t hang out there much.
I hid in the 27 foot truck for a two hour kip– blissfully quiet, warm–then emerged to type this in the wind-shelter of Mikey Wally‘s tent. On his fine computer. Mikey, you are so kind to let me hog yr silver Mac. This blog’s for you.
Dare I try to describe the manic cackle of Mikey Wally? He was the first person I found on the web writing about this ride.
OK, it’s what you get when a hyena mates with a jungle bird.
And his look? Brown mop of hair that dreads naturally (but DON’T TOUCH IT). Fiendish schemy sort, don’t turn your back on him, he might just grab your hand and pet it, looking meaningfully into your eyes–if you’re a dude !
I tried to ‘steer some of this attention’ my way, and he insisted that he was only embracing Andy to knee him in the groin! I am sure this makes perfect sense to the sub-30 set.
Me, I pine for a hug. It’s 6 weeks since my skin has felt… oh wait.. there was that two hour massage in Park City…oh, well. I’ll survive.
But the day after tomorrow’s CC & my 8888versary. If nobody at least pats me on the head, then I will KILL THEM ALL. It is written.
Ten of us hit town by limo (provided by the Nevada Hotel) for a pretty good cheap meal…Mikey did a quick video called Limo Talk, watch for it nowhere…Then after our return, we went back in the Maa-aa-aaat Mobile for food at the local market. Got lots of stuff before it was dumpstered–just asked the produce guy for what was under the cart! I met a bevvy of kids from bike and build..they ride across the usa and build low-cost housing. We will meld groups (well, the non-competitive ones of us anyhow) tomorrow and face 45mp\h winds TOGETHER over 4 summits to Eureka!
Must mention the AMAZING “Lectrolux cafe in Baker NV, last night’s stop. Under a rising moon, I got to watch Claude Larouche’s A Man And A Woman. There are maybe 50 residents of Baker, one being Terry Marasco , proprietor of a cafe/hotel/cultural center .He’s a Bay Area defector. His photographs line the walls, along with great movie posters. His refrigerators have at least forty different kinds of beer. There is a big soft sofa, and packed bookshelf. There is everything you need, and once I walked in at fourish with BR and JB for grub, I never left til about eleven, when the mushy French classic was over.
The street (sorry, highway) that gives onto Great Basing National Park’s Lehman Cave was quiet and warm. Crickets sang and the elms at our campsite actually did whisper. I can’t tell you what they said, I only barely speak Tree.