Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 47 - The Last Century to Fallon, Nevada

My morning started out very well. I had a big breakfast at the International Cafe in Austin at 6am. I had scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, hash browns, and a blueberry pancake shaped like Micky Mouse. It even had two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. I sat up at the counter and enjoyed my magical breakfast while listening to country music. My waitress was extremely perky and filled my mug with coffee about 3 or 4 times.

After all that food, we rode out of Austin this morning at 7:45am and biked 112 miles across the Nevada desert to reach Fallon. The first half of the ride was quite cool as we were higher up in elevation. Austin is a little over 6,000 feet and Fallon is over 3,000 feet in elevation. We had 3 small mountain passes to contend with today, but for the most part the roads were fairly flat. However, the afternoon ride was rather hot. The last quarter of the trek had us passing a nearby U.S. naval base air strip. I got to see jets taking off and landing all afternoon. We were passed by a few military vehicles carrying some pretty big missiles as well. The military has a series of bunkers where they test bombs and run training exercises. It is pretty easy to mistake the sound of a bomb for thunder.

Two other interesting sights are shown in the pictures above. One is a shoe tree - literally there was one random tree on the side of the road that was filled with thousands of shoes. People tied a pair of shoes together and threw them up in the tree. At the base of the tree there were also hundreds of shoes just lying on the ground. The other unique sight we saw was a huge mountain of natural sand, the only thing missing was the water. A little water would have been a nice relief from the afternoon heat!

We finished our ride today at about 6pm. I'm pretty tired, but overall I felt great throughout the entire 112 mile ride. It is our day of over 100 miles. Tomorrow is a shorter day, about 60-70 miles. I look forward to sleeping in an extra hour or so. Have a great night!

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