29th June 2018
Soon on the road again and sorry to say goodbye to Carson City, I just really love it.
Anyway, on Lidia’s recommendation I am riding just 10 miles up the road to Virginia City, but first a quick stop in Carson City Harley Davidson… of course.
I just pick up a sticker and a souvenir poker chip. Last time I collected dealer pins and stuck them on my tank bag, but I did lose a couple and I don’t have my tank bag this time so I’m collecting stickers and poker chips.
I am soon in Virginia City and I ride the bike down to the bottom of town
as you can see, it is just as Lidia said, an old west town, but of course it is very touristy. No matter I am going to have a good look around. As I said, I want to take a trip on the steam train, so I have checked it out and the next one is at 1.20, perfecto!
There are a few reminders of the mining history. Nevada is famous for its silver and gold mines.
Back on the bike and into the town. I park up and look for somewhere to get a cup of coffee. Well there is saloon after saloon…
…all old west style, but I want a Starbucks or something similar so I keep looking. I am fascinated to know what this suicide table is all about so do have a look in…
There is also this piece of herstory..
I also browse a few of the shops, but don’t buy anything…. yet.
I reach the other end of the town and no little coffee shops to be had.
I did spot this, however… mmm wonder what that’s about, there’s no one around to ask so we will just have to speculate, or google… let me know if you find anything out.
so I make my way down the opposite side of the street and into one of the ‘saloons’ where I have a toasted cheese sandwich and a coffee. It is difficult to get a connection but eventually I get through to home on FaceTime.
After that I realise I should make a move to get the train, but first I want to move my bike near to the train station so I can get back on the road afterwards. I get the bike but there is nowhere available to park at the station so I have to put it back on Main Street. By the time I’ve done that it’s too late to get the train and the next one isn’t until 3pm… I’m really disappointed to have missed it 😖
I have another quick look in the shops…. oh see what I have found,
Yep, Bonanza was filmed here and Carson City so we were right.. ha!
Another random item for sale is a collection of German beer steins… odd I thought
I must admit I was quietly envious of Sylvie’s leather chaps… I had a pair on my very first HOG tour back in 2006 when I wore them crossing the Pyrenees into Spain and got absolutely drenched, ( a regular occurrence I might add, in case you haven’t read all my blogs… tut! tut!), they were absolutely sodden and even after 2 days trying to dry them out on the top of the luggage they were still wet, so I dumped them swearing never to get another pair. Well, never say never because I just bought a pair… in the sale I might add. The heat coming off of these pipes, and even worse the V-Rod back at home, just burns through everything, so I decided to give chaps another go. Will have to wait and see how long they last.
Rather fetching methinks… don’t say it!! (I think my gut looks big, its all loose skin from the weight loss tho.. that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).
So onwards and upwards… actually no, I decide not to go to Winnemucca after all. The only reason I had for going there was because it features in the Tales of the City books by Armistead Maupin.. a favourite of mine that I have read several times. Nope, that isn’t really on my route so I am going to go down Highway 50 all the way until it’s time to turn off for Monument Valley.
The 50 is also known as the Lincoln Highway and was the first road to cross the whole of the United States from one coast to another, even before the famous Route 66. The 50 is known as America’s loneliest road and they are not wrong.
It is absolutely beautiful, the scenery stunning but the landscape is almost totally empty of life..
For the first 100 miles or so I don’t see many other vehicles, but suddenly they become more frequent, which is lucky because…. just as I see a strange a whitish hill in the distance there is a road and a ‘historic’ marker on my left, ‘Oh! I wonder what that’s about’, thinks I, ‘mmm I’ll turn around and have a look.’ I then drop the bike, well to be more accurate I put the bike on the ground. As I am making the turn I have not allowed enough speed and with the huge pack on the back the bike has started to go over to the left and I cannot hold her so I just put her down onto the ground. Now, of course, I cannot right her so I am stuck in the middle of the road holding the bike, unable to get off. If I could get off I could push the bike back upright using the harley lifting technique, (see You Tube), but if I get off the bike might go over even further and damage the paintwork. I can see a large pick-up truck approaching from behind me.. oh good he will see that I obviously need help.. he slows down… and overtakes me… seriously?? Ah.. he pulls in about 50 feet in front of me so I wave at him frantically, he gets out of his vehicle and stands looking at me, then he waves a bit, I feel like screaming!!! I try and beckon him over and he starts to walk towards me… I beckon and shout ‘help!’ he starts to trot.. Jesus!! He eventually gets near enough to hear me, ‘I can’t pick it up, can you help me please’, he immediately grabs the handlebars; meanwhile, unknown to me, another silver car with a surf board on top coming in the other direction has also stopped and the guy has jumped out and helps guy number one. Phew, I am upright.. thanks fellas. I’m not sure what happened to Guy1 but he disappears and Guy2 helps me get the bike over to the other side of the road by giving me a push. Now I see there a 2 or 3 cars waiting behind me, I haven’t seen this many cars all at once for a 100 miles!
Guy2 explains that he is a motorcycle photographer and has just come back from a photo shoot at Pikes Peak.. mmm I think I have heard of that, now where…* anyway, he tells me I should visit Boulder in Utah as its quite a place, I think he said its an unusual ‘organic’ community and he has two female friends who run a restaurant there… the Backbone Grill and its a fantastic motorcycle ride. He then asks if he can take a photo of me, I am flattered.. yes of course he can, and I can take a photo of you taking a photo of me for my blog. He then proceeds to decide where he wants me and my bike and I get into position while he fetches his camera… After he has finished I say I want a photo of him, he then tells me I have got it all on film, my GoPro is still running, hahahaha…. so here it is:
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As you can hear, he tells me lots of information about Boulder and Monument Valley, all good info. He’s a really nice guy and and I can’t thank him enough for his help…
he sent me this photograph… it’s really fantastic.
You can see the bloody Sand Mountain in the distance behind me…
I really have to find another way to meet people!!
After this I decide I need to find a motel for the night. The next biggish town is Austin so I check it out on ever faithful booking.com and there’s nothing available.. oh no, the next town Ely, (not in Cambridgeshire), is another 70 miles away. Shit, I’m really knackered especially after the ‘accident’. I have to just carry on. As I pull in to Austin it’s a real ‘one horse town’ but the first business is a petrol station so I stop to refuel. Then I notice a couple of motels, right next to the petrol station that weren’t on booking.com.. ahhhh maybe they have a room. The first one doesn’t look very inviting, the next one the same (they look a bit bed buggy… you know why I am wary if you have read my USA trip in 2016, I was bitten to death by bed bugs… and have no wish to ever repeat the experience. Ugh!). There’s another one that looks a bit more modern but, it’s full; I think this is the one on booking.com. I ride through the town to see if there is anywhere else, but nope just those 3. I turn back for another look. Stopping at the middle one I speak to a very nice asian lady who tells me she is full but the one next door might have a vacancy and if not there is a B&B nearby. Right so I try the one next door to the petrol station, the lady in this one is Chinese and yes she has a room available.. thank the goddess!! The room is a bit dated, but clean and tidy.. no bugs, yay!!
I take my gloves off and my right hand has swollen up like a balloon… I have tried to photograph it but it doesn’t really show it that well.
I think it’s because I had the wrist strap done up too tight, (I strap my wrists with soft elastic straps on long trips), or it could be the after effects of trying to get the bike upright, but who knows. I take some ibuprofen, put my night wrist braces on and hope it will be ok in the morning.
*I remember now… I watched a TV programme of Guy Martin attempting to cycle up Pikes Peak, I think, or something like that… anyway heres a link to more info… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikes_Peak_International_Hill_Climb