The Silver State
The Nevada border was still a day away and it was a very mixed bag of riding. We hit some trees again, and some singletrack I had spied on Google Earth, before covering gravel roads at 65mph up one endless valley to the next. We made it to the Border Inn by mid-afternoon, which proved perfect to fit in some fettling.
Now, it’s called the Border Inn for a good reason. The rustic little motel unit is in Utah yet as I serviced my bike the sun cast its shadow into Nevada. Air filters that were washed in Nevada, dried in Utah. And while we slept in Utah we dined in Nevada. Which is all very well but with a one-hour time difference between the two states (Utah being mountain time, Nevada pacific time) things could get complicated.
We didn’t meet many Americans out on the trail until we circled the wagons for the evening. And when we did we found them friendly and interesting. Over drinks (of course the bar is in Nevada) we struck up conversations with the locals and three Texans working there on construction. I will never forget how one fellow sounded just like Tow-Mater from the movie Cars. This truly was Radiator Springs, Carburettor County…
Poor old Nevada suffers from a touch of nada. At times there’s just nothing, zilch. The countryside is greyed with low sagebrush vegetation and there aren’t many significant features. Still, I was on a motorcycle and gobbling up dirt roads taking in the vastness, so I was happy. Some of the roads were barely two wheel marks through the encroaching sage and there were a few Taranaki gates (a basic wire and batten gate), so it was reassuring having the GPS to follow.
At a small junction in the back of beyond we found a trailer (caravan) parked-up with horses, dogs, and some more friendly Americans. Bearded Bill Massie and his wife Carroll introduced themselves and explained what fun they were having out there in the middle of nowhere. For 20 years the pair had visited this area to be part of the annual re-enactment of the pony express from Missouri to Sacremento. Dating back to 1860, a letter then would cost you $5 - a tankbag full of money at the time, no wonder it was replaced by telegraph, telephone, and internet! When the time came Bill would saddle-up and, in relay with about 100 other horse riders, ensure that the mail got through.