Sunday, June 20, 2010

Topaz Lake Nevada to Evanston Wyoming

We were up and ready to go at 6:00 AM. There was a sizable group getting ready and we said our goodbyes. Sherm and the faithful truck/Harley combo were off to Yuma Arizona to drop off some things at their winter place. We've been sharing a room for a week and a half and it has been a memorable time. Sherm, as always, is our favourite traveling companion. Thanks for the memories and we'll see you next time around.

In addition to the VROCers, the Arab speaking crowd was up and loading their camo packs and prayer rugs in their vehicles for another day of what the front desk called "war games" in the desert. I know profiling isn't allowed but I hope someone called the FBI to have these guys checked out.

We rolled out of the lot at 6:03 under clear skies and in 7C air. Heading east has the double challenge of fighting the morning sun in your eyes and losing time to the zones. We took Nevada 208 at Holbrook Junction, cruised through Wilson Canyon without seeing any deer and rolled up US 95 through Silver Springs to where we caught I-80 in Fernley.

I swapped Sandy's upper headset cord for the spare in the trunk. Hers is a different type than mine and I wanted to get her fixed for the trip home. To keep from mistaking bad cords for good, I threw all the old cords away. It seems I should have done this sooner because the cord I installed was worse than the one she had before. Unfortunately, I threw the other one away. My bad. I am now going to order her a whole new headset to get things current. Mine, however, is better because I taped the upper cord to the helmet to reduce play in the bad connection.

Headed east on I-80, we stopped for gas and breakfast in Lovelock. I took my sweater off. By 9:30, I was starting to get drowsy so we took our four minute stop in Winnemucca where I had a 5 Hour Energy drink and put my sweater back on. It was staying cool. We kept meeting large numbers of westbound motorcycles I figured were coming from the Elko rally.

Winnemucca Nevada welcomes us

The ride was uneventful until our gas stop in Carlin. We were at a Texaco station and Sandy went in to use the facilities. When she came out, I went in and got a coffee. When I came back out, Sandy was excited and shouting at me about dusters. It seems that a larger one came right over her, with the dust and dirt all over the bike as evidence. I could see where it was continuing on its merry way.

The duster in Carlin Nevada

Hoodoos somewhere in Nevada

As we headed east with a tailwind, there was a large line of cumulus clouds building to the north. No problem for us because we weren't going that way. Once we passed Elko, the motorcycles were going our way. At Wells, an Idaho rider told me they had estimated 30,000 people in Elko for the weekend.

Clouds north of us

I-80 has a few curves over ranges but is mostly straight, like a wider version of US 50.

Looks like an interesting road

Until you see what's on the other side

Between Wells and Wendover, the temperature finally started to climb. We crossed the Utah state line and gave back an hour as we started across the salt flats. The temperature hit 32C as we crossed, a far cry from the 40+ we have seen here in the past. The tailwind, however, became a strong crosswind from the south. We did note that the Tree of Utah has now been fenced in.

Approaching the Salt Flats

The Salt Flats

The Tree of Utah is now fenced in

Across the flats, we stopped at a McDonalds in Lakepoint, Utah. This one had a trash can that opened automatically and thanked you for the deposit. I really wasn't ready for talking trash cans. From there, we rode uneventfully through Salt Lake City and started up the mountains east of town. We reached Parley's Summit at 7,010 feet, before descending a little. The road from there was grades and descents with a lot of 45 MPH curves. We stopped at an overlook beside the Echo Reservoir for our last break of the day.

Great Salt Lake

Mountains behind Salt Lake City

I-80 climbing out of SLC

Still climbing to Parley's Summit

Echo Reservoir

I-80 I-84 junction

The climb up to Evanston, our stop for the evening, was bordered by beautiful red rock formations.

Red rock climbing to Evanston Wyoming

Arriving in Evanston, I fueled before heading for the Comfort Inn. At the pumps, we saw an old Ford Model A fueling up. This was an unusual thing, or so we thought. Imagine our surprise when we pulled into our hotel and found about fifteen of them. It seems the Model A Car Club of California was following the route of the Pony Express eastwards. Another group left St. Joe Missouri heading west and they would meet in Casper Wyoming.

Model A at the gas pumps - how rare is that?

Not really - our hotel lot

We walked to Lotty's Liquor Store, Lounge and Restaurant for supper. It looks like they are remodeling to a 50's theme. The meatballs in our sandwich were OK but the hoagie roll, hand cut fries and home made chips were excellent. Soon after, we turned in.

Today's Ride (650 Miles):

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