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Randy and Kerry's 2002 Trip to British Columbia

DAY 2: The Loneliest Highway in America

THURSDAY, 23 May 2002

Randy woke me up at about 6:00 this morning to tell me it was snowing outside. Then we both fell asleep again until about 8:00.


It took us 3 hours (!) to shower, dry out the tent, repack our stuff, talk to a man & woman and their 6-year-old son (in a VW van) and get everything back on the bikes. It took us almost another hour to get out of Ely, because we stopped at a couple places to try and find a balaclava for Randy.

Within minutes of heading out of Ely on Highway 50 ("The Loneliest Highway in the Country") we got snowed on for a few minutes. We just kept going, over the mountain ridge, and found ourselves back under scattered puffy clouds. At that point they were still fairly dark, but as the day progressed the got more "tame", and eventually disappeared altogether.

In Eureka we found and establishment that would stamp Randy's "I survived Highway 50" pamphlet. It was a museum, the curator of which gave us a shortish tour. I wanted to skip it and let her show another couple around, but Randy wanted to go on it. It was interesting, but along with our meal at "D.B.'s Diner" it helped us blow about 2 hours (!) in Eureka. By now I was starting to get impatient. At one point Randy said, "See, Dad just couldn't travel like this. He would always be saying, 'Come on! Let's go!'" After some thought I replied, "I think I'm somewhere in the middle." Randy said, "Well, we have been traveling too slow."

Our next stop was Austin, NV - where Regular Unleaded gas cost $1.91 per gallon. Ouch! Next to the gas station Randy popped out the old spark plugs in the Black motorcycle and put in the new ones from my tool kit. The old ones looked like the fuel/air mixture had been too rich. Maybe things will improve as we get closer to the California coast (and sea level).

On our way to Fallon, NV we got to see Sand Mountain, a large, single sand dune tucked away in the corner of a valley, and also some military fighters flying maneuvers over Fallon Naval Air Station. At the same time we got to sit in one spot on the road in a line, waiting for a string of cars to traverse the single open lane (in a construction zone) from the other direction. We got to Fallon about 45 minutes before sunset. Randy got his Fallon entry in the "Highway 50 Kit" validated, I used the bathroom at the gas station, and for the first time on the trip I removed my insulated overalls!

I put them back on after we continued on to Fernley and got the last stamp in Randy's kit. The sun had gone down, and the air had gotten cooler again. On the other side of Fernley we got on I-80 and headed towards Sparks and Reno. We passed exit signs that I hadn't seen in about 15 years, including ones for Wadsworth, Oasis, Patrick and Mustang.

We stopped at one of the first gas stations in Sparks, to eat at the McDonald's there. We met and spoke with a man riding a nice BMW LT of some kind. He turned out to be an LDS High Council member! We had a good conversation with him, and he pointed us to a couple of Motel 6's. He and I exchanged phone numbers and addresses, so who knows where this could lead?

We stopped at the first Motel 6, but they only had 1 room left - of the Smoking variety. We continued to the 2nd one, and here we are. [The picture was taken the next morning, but I felt kinda bad about only taking 2 pictures for the whole second day (!) so I'm including it here.]

Randy is fast asleep, in his clothes, with his feet on the floor between the two beds. He's on his back with his hands above his head, snoring softly. Wild!

Miles covered today: 330
Total miles covered: 595

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