30th June 2018
Well, I’m pleased to say the swelling has gone in my hand so I will try to make sure the wrist strap is not too tight from now on. It’s a lovely morning and I get the bike packed up pretty quickly… am getting into the swing of it now. Once I have given everything a place in the luggage it will become second nature to pack up every morning.
So I am continuing on Highway 50, towards a place called Eureka.. wonderful name isn’t it. It’s a relatively short hop, just 70 miles but it’s almost lunch time so I decide to stop here as the next sizeable town, Ely is a further 70 or so miles and I’m hungry.
I pop in to the local grill, its very duck oriented.. there are lots of duck pictures on the walls. I also notice a couple of blokes all done up in camouflage wear… mmm I wonder if they are duck hunters?? Anyway, Eureka is quite a quirky little place and quiet… it’s so quiet you could hear a mouse fart, the silence only being broken by the occasional vehicle and large rodent botty coughing.
I also take some time to look at the map… there doesn’t seem to be much between here and a place called Delta, which is a further 230 miles away, in Utah. I check out booking.com for accommodation in Ely, nothing… oh dear, am getting a bit worried that I won’t have anywhere to sleep tonight so I look at hotels in Delta and do manage to get a room for the night, but of course I now have to ride there, about 4-5 hours so the total mileage today is going to be about 300. Oh well, better get on with it then.
The journey is pretty uneventful, other than high winds again.. I am making sure I take breaks to give my hands a rest.
I pass through Ely, which turns out to be quite sizeable so I might have been able to find a room here, but never mind, only another 160 miles to go.
Waiting at the traffic lights I spot this…
All smiling, except the American Indian (I think). I also think I should get some water. Just as I’m about to leave I spy an old fashioned water tower, shall I go over and photograph it I wonder, mmmm oh, I see smoke next to it… maybe there’s a fire, but then I hear it, a steam whistle! This I’ve got to see so I race over there…
Oh how I wish I hadn’t missed it in Virginia City.
Apparently I’m now on the scenic route… oh thought I’d been on that for 2 days already.
Everything is going well, still a bit windy but the sun is shining and am enjoying the ride, until I reach the Great Basin; basically it is a ginormous open plain between the mountains and as I drop down into it I see a sea of wind turbines… well you know what that means… yep lots of wind. It is extremely exhausting and might even be the worst I have ridden in.. I am having to battle the wind to keep the bike upright, lucky there isn’t very much traffic to worry about being blown in to. The road crosses the basin and the wind blows down the plain from my left… then the road bends to the left making me think that I will get some respite as we will then be heading into the wind, but no, the wind shifts direction and is now coming in on my right… bloody knackered. At last we are back into the winding mountain roads for a short time and then… oh no, another huge basin and the road cuts across it in a straight line, but no wind turbines in this one so it might not be so bad.
Then I notice my petrol gauge is saying 75 miles to go before I need petrol.. well its about 55 in truth, but I still have another 87 miles before I reach Delta, omg I can’t run out of petrol, there’s just nothing here, not a house, cow, sheep, dog… nothing, only miles and miles of empty sagebrush plains surrounded by mountains. I check the gps for the nearest petrol station and its saying I can turn off in about 6 miles to a petrol station about 10 miles away… whew, that’s a relief. I mean I have ridden miles and miles without one other road to turn on to so its miraculous to me that there is even another road 6 miles away.
The wind continues to blow like hell, but am now focused on getting petrol. About 2 miles before I am due to turn off there is a huge hoarding declaring a Phillips 66 petrol station, lodge and restaurant just 6 miles ahead.. eh? Is this the one the gps is routing me too?? As I approach the turn off I decide to take a chance and carry on to see if this Phillips 66 is there or not, I can always turn round, (trying no to drop the bike of course).
Well, well, there it is and not only is it a petrol station, lodge and restaurant, it’s also the border between Nevada and Utah… yay.. so No No Nevada, Halllooooo Utah.
Of course I also change time zones so jump forward an hour into MDT Mountain Daylight Time 🙁
I fill up with petrol and get something to eat too… I am so grateful for the break from the wind, but I wish I had known about this place as I could have stayed here if they had a room available. Unfortunately the room I have booked in Delta is not refundable so I have to carry on for another 80 miles, bloody shagged!! I now know that the second basin is the great one, the first one with the turbines was just a taster.. the great basin is some 50 miles across.
I cross another set of mountains and then drop down again, but much to my surprise I am faced with a huge lake. It seems to go on for miles and miles, (I check afterwards and it’s called Sevier Lake), and its absolutely glassy, not a ripple.
It’s getting late now, coming up 8pm and the sun is beginning to set behind the mountains, it really is very beautiful.
At last I arrive in Delta and find my hotel. I have to decide where next. I did want to go to Boulder, but I have to stay overnight and ideally want two nights because I need a break. The problem is that booking.com, hotels.com and trivago websites are saying it’s fully booked and the nearest hotels that do have rooms are way out of my budget at $200+ so that’s a no go. I could go and try to find somewhere when I get there, but if I can’t I’m stuck because there are so few towns around.
Next problem is Monument Valley or Grand Canyon? I would love to do both, but don’t think it will be possible. In the end I decide to head for St George and book a night there; I can then make a decision to either head south to GC or east to MV tomorrow night.
I do hope it’s not going to be so windy tomorrow, but apart from that I am really enjoying the trip, the scenery is just so breathtaking and I do like the solitude.