Jimmy Byrd and students
This was not to be a fund raiserride, but two things changed that. First, due to drought, we must build a water tower for the school and second, the Richard Mascarello family has offered to match any donations up to the total number miles ridden. So keep the water flowing for the kids and hit the donate button.

Also, instructor Kevin Lee is a auctioning off a 2 week paragliding course in southern Oregon to support the school.

See it here.

TO READ THE FLORIDA TO CALIFORNIA LEG CLICK here or go to lostboater.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

day 5 and 6

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July 27
Big Red and me rolled into Reno's Freedom Motorsports at 9am.  Red needed a new rear tire and this is a great place to do it.  The Yull brothers, Mark and Brad, have a great reputation and so we chose them to do the job.

brad and mark

jason balances the wheel

they gave big red a much enjoyed bath
My old friend Donald Wilson met us there.  He flies for a slot machine maker now, but we have similar back grounds flying outside the U.S. and for the same airline.  A great breakfast was had and we caught up on old times.  Unfortunately, he is still working and was off to Vegas for lunch.

They finished about noon and we headed out of town over the Geiger pass to Virginia City and beyond. We passed through several small towns and the medium sized town of Fallon, home of the Navy's Top Gun program. Then it was open country.

We passed the tennis shoe tree.

The Hells Angels passed us. Seriously.  Wish I could have gotten a picture of the guy with "handicap" tag.

Stopped at an old stage coach station.  It was open a few years and water was brought in for the horses and people from a mile away.

And the pony express even lasted a shorter time.

Temperatures had been as high as 104 on Big Red's temperature gauge and I could feel the heat of the road through my boots.  So, when we rolled into Austin we decided to call it a day.  Glad we did as I got the last room available in town  There are three small motels and since it is the only town within 75 miles all the tower, pipeline and road crews were taking the rooms.

July 28
I did not think I would sleep well in the 1927 original swayback bed, but I slept right through the night. Awoke at 5 bright eyed and ready to go. By 5:30 Big Red and I were climbing the hill out of Austin.  I had hoped to get some great sun rise pictures but it was mostly cloudy.

This is the first person I talked to today.  I had passed his broken 18 wheeler about a half mile back.  He was walking carrying a drive shaft on his shoulder.  Not a puny car type but a heavy truck type. I suspect he is not in the country legally as he was very hesitant to answer my questions and only spoke spanish. I asked where he was coming from and he said back down the road where he had the part repaired. I hit the road again and about 3 miles later down the hill I came to the only repair facility, so I assume that is where he came from.  Legal or illegal he is a hell of a worker.  I don't know anybody that would have been that determined.

These are true travelers.  They were in the middle of nowhere, which is pretty much anywhere out here, camping with a bike garage.

They say Highway 50, the Lincoln Highway, is "the loneliest road in America". They have never been to west Texas for sure. I expected no traffic and though it was only occasionally, it was more than I saw on a lot of roads on the first cross country. I was worried about not being able to get assistance here if something went wrong, but I would have to wait probably only 5-10 minutes for some one to come by if I did. That said there were some interesting signs indicating there was nothing around. One, that did not make a picture, was for a golf course and said to turn right and travel for 2 hrs. The next one was directions to a park. 67 miles of dirt road to get there. I passed.

Outside of Ely, we came to a large tire graveyard.

I rolled into Ely about 9 and time for breakfast.  The first non-casino serving breakfast was the Silver State cafe serving the "best CF steak".  I had nothing to compare it to since I have not had one in many many years, but I ordered it anyway.  After eating, Dan came up in the parking lot to talk about Big Red.  He operates heavy equipment at the huge copper mine outside of town. He was intrigued with my adventure.


At the gas station, Terri came over and we had a long discussion while her truck took on about $60 of diesel. She was quite impressed with my 70+ mileage.

Outside of Ely I came upon two signs.  The Shoshone reservation leaving sign was about 200 yards from the entering sign.

I saw a truck and trailer setting out on the open range all by itself, so I did a U and went back to investigate as I had not seen anyone out on the range.  There I found Jerry Eldridge from S. Dakota.  His dad and 5 brothers had moved to this valley as teenagers from England and Jerry had grown up here.  He was recently retired and was completing all those things he had always wanted to do.  He had just checked one off.  Up on the side of the mountain was a cave he had wanted to investigate since he was a child.  He said there are thousands of bats in the cave and lots of quartz.  He, like myself, is not big on having his picture taken, so I took a picture of his rig.

Since Jerry would not let me take his picture I let the sea urchins get a picture with Big Red.

In Baker, I stopped and talked to Kevin for a while.  He was on his 31st day riding across country. He does about 100 miles a day and is very eger to get to California.  Not because that is the end of the trip, but he because he wants to get back to normal people.  I told him that after having a drink in the bar in Austin last night, I agreed with him. He is a teacher in Philly and we lamented the situation our school systems are in all over the country.

Strange door on gas pump.
The rest of the day to Beaver, UT. These are different road stretches.

the only tree
The end of the day.