Days 10 & 11: Into Utah
We survived the ”Loneliest Road in America.” It was nice to have a low-traffic route. We saw some interesting small towns and beautiful terrain going across Nevada. Day 10 was my last day in Nevada, and I stayed that night (near) Baker at the Border Inn—which was on the border between Nevada and Utah. Two different time zones, too. Day 11 was a tough ride, with two long, hard climbs that kept me from getting overconfident about feeling stronger.
Day 10: 63 miles, 3054 elevation (0 wheees, 2 aarrgghhs)
I am starting to feel stronger and more confident in my riding. I still don’t have the endurance to ride hard for 60 miles, but that should come. I know I am getting into shape when I feel good after 60 miles (not true just a month ago). Two longer climbs and longer descents. Today was still chilly, and our descents were especially cold (aarrgghh).
Day 11: 84 miles, 4111 elevation (0 wheees, 2 aarrgghhs)
This was a tough day. There were two long climbs of 5 and 7 miles. You gotta just slog through those. There were three descents, but they were chilly and none earned a wheee! and two earned aarrgghhs—the last one was rated neutral, not good or bad.
As I leave Nevada, I wanted to share some things I learned about the land mass we just crossed. This is from the Adventure Cycling Association map set. You may recall some of the photos from the past few days of our ride. They often showed ”flats” that typically run 10-15 miles wide. The flats are also called ”basins.” Interestingly, unlike most water that eventually flows into rivers and on to the sea the water in basins typically collects into pools and evaporates. Some become salt flats—like what we saw on one of our early days.
We would roll along the basin for a while before coming to a “fault” (think tectonic plates) that leads to a mountain range—and provides a climb for us. We ride up and over the range, and then drop into the next basin. Over and over, that is how we made our way across Nevada and into Utah. At the eastern end of Nevada you find Great Basin National Park, which is really a misnomer as the park is mostly made up of mountains. We rode around this park on our way to and beyond Baker.
Stories and pictures
This part of the ride is getting a bit monotonous. As the maps say: Basin. Fault. Range. Basin. Fault. Range.… You have seen those on previous days. I have only a few pictures and stories to add below.
Day 10: On to Baker
The sky and mountains were just just beautiful today…
Dave, a wind farm, mountains, puffy clouds, what more can you ask for?
A nice view from where we stopped to eat.
Sunset from my hotel parking lot…
Speaking of my hotel, the Border Inn was literally on the border. I slept in Utah and walked over to the hotel restaurant in Nevada, where you could also legally gamble.
Day 11: Baker to Ely
The day started dreary, drizzly, cool…
But ended warm and with some beautiful views.
The hotel in Ely was a La Quinta at the edge of town. We didn‘t do much in this town.
Tomorrow is an easier ride before a big day and on to Bryce Canyon National Park.