Monday, May 31, 2010

day 17

we awoke and packed up, waiting for evan's aunt and uncle to come pick us up. we'd like to thank the dalton family for taking us in the past couple of days and being so kind. evan finally got a hold of his family that lives here in cedar city and we went back to their place to get settled in. the beaulieu family is great! ron, evan's uncle, has done some bike touring along california's coast when he was younger so we were swapping stories of our adventures. michelle, evan's aunt, is a lot of fun and took us in like we were one of her own. all of evan's 5 cousins are super fun and nice too. they live a little ways out of town on a bunch of land where they have an atv course. we all headed up to three peaks to go hiking and climbing on these rocks. tried to catch lizards, played floor is lava, and just ran amok. after awhile we built up an appetite to dig in to the feast that michelle had for us back home: chicken, steak, pork, biscuits, watermelon, potato salad, corn, and so much more! they are spoiling us with such awesome food. we feasted for awhile then we headed up the mountain to hike along the river at sunset. just a great day. since it is going to take a couple of days to get evan's back wheel ordered and shipped here we decided to try and go camp in zion national park which is south an hour or so for a couple of days. so that is what we are up to; playing the waiting game but luckily with some great people!

day 16

got up this morning to head to the bike shop to get evo's bike looked at. he got his back tire trued but he's going to have this problem over and over because his back rim isn't strong enough to support his weight and the weight of his bags on the back of his bike. so he's going to order a new back tire that is stronger and more suitable for touring but we will have to wait a handful of days because of memorial day. so we rode down the main drag of cedar city and stopped off at a survivalist store that was going out of business that day and had all sorts of knives, swords, nunchucks, brass knuckles, etc. (we didn't get anything). we decided to then head looking for internet and we ended up hanging out at the library. lets just say about 80% of the people using the computers at the library are playing WOW (world of warcraft). kinda sad but who am i to judge how someone spends their whole day? we read, updated the blog, and looked for an alternative route since one of the roads we have to take is still closed due to snow. we then headed out in search of a place to watch the stanley cup game on tv but utah doesn't have any sports bars or bars in general that would have tvs, we found one sort of place in the whole town. to make a long story short we didn't get to watch the game, cause we were told it was on monday but it was actually on. o-well, none of the teams interest us anyway. we then headed over to the park to read and check stuff on the internet. a real chill day and trying to figure out our next move since we have time to kill here in cedar city. we then hit up lins, the grocery store, to get some chips and salsa and we ate them outside just chatting and telling stories to each other. we made it back to iain's house where we went to bed.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bishop, Evo style

well, not having internet since coming back from bishop, i have not put in my update of the trip over to get my bike fixed (and will soon find it to break again 17 miles out of rachel and 180 miles from the next bike shop.

So, day starts off from hawthorne nevada, we get some great tail winds for 70 miles or so. and then bam. 41 miles to tonopah and we got headwinds, rain, sleet, trucks running us off roads, homeless guy with cart in the middle of nowhere, ya we pretty much saw everything most people see in a year in 1 day. anyways, we struggle, and i mean struggle through the heads winds for the next 35 miles, then on the small grade up to tonopah, i start to feel that i am going slower, than i should be. so i peek down at my back wheel, and man is it even wobble, going back and forth, rubbing my brake, then my side of my bottom back of the frame. it was an uttermess. So the next 5 miles i am struggling worse than the straight heads winds from before. and took about an hour instead of 15 mins to get up the 5 mile grade.

arriving into tonopah, we head to a mexican resuturant and chow down on some great chimichangas, and a boat load of chips (i do not think we ate much during lunch since we were expecting to cover those 112 miles pretty fast with the tail wind). during dinner a couple comes in and asks us about our trip, seeing that we are dressed in our biking attire, and we explain what we are doing. we go on chatting and the wife, cindy who we also find out was the ex mayor of the town, hooks us up with a room for the night (i wont go into details of the place since alex pretty much said all that)

ill just skip ahead.

so needing a ride to bishop, we ended up going to different auto body stores and playing a lot of phone tag with the numbers we were provided. finally, out of all the calls, one lands with jack. a jolly man from bishop, who drives to tonopah, to make errands and drop off car parts. After talking with him, he said that he would be more than happy to take me and he'll be there in a few short hours. bam got a ride to bishop. now i need a place to stay in bishop since i am not going to be able to get back the same day since the next ride out would leave around 8:30 am. so i hit up old trusty (couch surfing) and send a few messages out, and about an hour later, rob and josh send me a message back. score, a ride down and a place to stay, things are working out great.

so good ol jack comes and picks me up as promised, we make a few quick stops, before we make the 110 mile trip. man was it a great drive, scenery and talking like we were good friends that just seen each other for the first time in years. he would point out all these great places to hike along the road, and were the wild horses were, all that good stuff. I asked him about moutain goats in the area, and told him alex and i saw some on the way down from hawthorne. he looked at me in astonishment, saying that in all 30 years living here he has only seem them twice, and was even more amazed that we saw a herd of them, near the base of the interstate. man did i feel good about that, it was a good exchange, since i was not able to spot any wild horses in the area.

well we finally arrive to the bike shop in bishop (i had called prior to this and told them i would be running late, and they told me they would remain open. yes how nice of them) and go up to the front door to find it closed and looking like it has been for a good 10 mins, and we arrived 2 mins before 6. promising them we would get there before 6:10. well that was a good stiff arm rejection, but i had no choice but to come again tomorrow and miss my ride back. but hey, who says hitch hiking aint an adventure.

well ill fast forward a few, rob and josh were great hosts, and let me crash at their place and i woke up and got on my bike and road to the shop. got there about the time it was opened and told them what was wrong, and they fixed it pretty fast, so fast that they did a poor job on the wheel since it did not hold longer than the 100 miles i went. so yes i would not recommend going to the bike shop, but sadly its the only one in town, you wont have much of an option, just good luck, they dont really care to much about customers.

well i ride out of town a few miles and try to catch a ride. i stood there for about 2 hours and not a single ride was going out to tonopah (its seriously that lame, nobody drives out that far because there is nothing to drive to in the town). so finally i decided to bike 30 miles to the last town, and make sure that if people passed me they would be heading out to tonopah direction. still nothing, i had about 3 cars pass me this time. so i decided to just rough it and ride all the way back. all 110 miles of it. so i take off, and man the winds were not as strong as previous days, but they were still slowing me down. i did happen to pass by this old abandoned hotel and casino (casino was burned down) and sleeping in that hotel was defiantly going through my mind, but it was about 3 and i had enough energy to move on, but if i ever come back i will probably have to camp in one of those rooms hah. so i finally get over the over pass and down the mountain. once i get to the bottom of the hill, there is about a 20 mile stretch to the highway 6 and 95 intersection, were i would still have another 41 miles. so right when i get down there, the wind picks up so hard, that i dropped to about 4-5 miles. it was a very miserable ride. but i finally made it 2 hours later to the intersection, and tried to bike 1 mile to this abandoned shelter knowing that i probably was not going to make it tonight. o yes, i forgot to mention that going down to the intersection of 6 and 95 i had side winds, when i got to the intersection i had full head winds, and probably the worst headwinds on this trip, i dropped to 3 miles and had to get off my bike and hold it against the closest pole since i could not make it any farther due to the wind.

well i decided that i was for sure staying the night and might as well spend the next few hours trying to catch a ride back. so after about 20 mins and two cars passing me, i finally flagged down a ride. for the life of me i cant remember her name, but it was pretty badass like constance or constantine or something like that (if your reading this, i am sorry, i am totally blanking. its not every day you hear a name different than john, jessica, sam, bla bla bla)

finally i arrived in tonopah, george bushed and all, i think it took about 8 hours to do it all. but hey i made it and i have learned a few things.

1. nevada winds suck
2. i will never bike in nevada again
3. nevada winds
4. i am not going to bishop to get my bike repaired
5. i will return to bishop to backpack (heck its between sierras and white mountain?)
6.ill just drive highway 50, just so i can do it.

sorry for the long post, but you wont be getting many of these, or this could be my last.


i took like 5 pictures, sorry i am not alex.

day 15

crazy day 15. we awoke early once again thanks to joe (7:30 instead of our normal 9:30). we packed up camp and headed to the ale-inn to get some of their awesome breakfast! we got 3 huge pancakes each, i mean huge. it was so wonderful. joe and jen were leaving to head to colorado and evo and i were heading to caliente. we said our goodbyes and started off. the wind was with us! we were hauling it up a mountain pass then on the other side was a huge downhill with another valley and we just sped through it going 20-40mph! it was such a great break from the slow days previously. i was ahead of evan and was at the end of the valley getting ready to start climbing the next summit when i stopped to take some pics. after a good 20 minutes i still didn't see him so i looked up and down the road to see if i could see him but the heat waves were very decieving. a car passed and said that he had his bike flipped upside down and fixing a flat, so i rode a little further to take some pics of joshua trees. after another half hour i went back to look for him since i was getting worried. after riding back nearly 7 miles i found evan on the side of the road in frustration, another spoke broke (the same spoke actually). after trying to fix it and having his tire get more and more out of whack we decided to just start walking and try to hitch a ride to caliente which was 60 some miles away and that was the nearest town. after a half hour of walking a nice couple in a gigantic rv picked us up and took us to panaca where we tried to get a ride out of town to cedar city where the nearest bike shop is located. after much walking and making a "bike broke" sign we finally got a ride from an elderly couple transporting a large rock back home to their rock garden. they told us some great history of the area, fed us, and took us all the way to cedar city, utah. sadly this wasn't how we wanted to finish nevada but we have to do what we have to do sometimes.

once in cedar city we grabbed some burgers and fries at a 60's diner and started sending out e-mails for a place to stay the night. after some time of visiting the grocery store and starting to walk around town we got a call from a guy named ian who opened up his families house to us. we got picked up and got to take a hot shower and sleep on a comfy floor for the evening.

day 14

(this is a small section of the valley we were crossing in headwinds)

we awoke early, thanks to joe v, and had some cereal! yes, cereal; we bought some milk that doesn't need to be refrigerated and brought some cereal with us. it was so so good! off to a great start, up early to get miles under us, sunshine, cereal in bellies. so jen and joe drove up to tonopah to check out jim butler days and we set off towards rachel. if yesterday was a bad day, today was the worst day of the trip thus far. many times we wanted to just quit but we stuck it out. can i say it again, nevada winds suck! we were facing headwinds the whole day and were only going 4-7mph instead of our normal which is 16-20mph. after much riding with grimacing pains in our knees, wind burn, sun burn, and frustration we went through the vast valley and up and over the mountain pass to get to a long downhill! no woohoo folks. the wind was still so bad that even on a 5 mile downhill grade we still had to fight that wind. then it was another 5 miles to rachel, that seemed to never come. we only went 30-40 miles i think in almost 7 hrs. a rough day that would get better.

we went in to the ale-inn and got a "burger" and down tons of waters until joe and jen showed up. we then met agent 51 who told us about all his abductions and how he moved to rachel because an indian shamolin told him too. some wild stories but nice to get out of the desert for a bit. the bar/restaurant/town hangout was covered with alien evidence and souvenirs. we then rode across the street to a run down mining structure with bunches of cars and a huge raven's nest. we decided to take some group pictures. some of evan and jen on the jeep, evan and i, jen and us, joe and us, then some soviet style portraits. we had a good time and tons of laughs. joe made some amazing goulash for us and we sat around showing pictures of our bike trip and of their trip through zion and nevada. right before bed joe and i ripped into the mandolin and harmonicas for some classic songs! evan and jen provided percussion and some singing. it was epic, nothing the desert has ever heard and will never hear again. thankful for joe and jen to bring some laughter and joy to a frustrating day.
(soviet style)

day 13

today we left tonopah and headed towards rachel which was 110 miles away, it is mainly flat with a couple of minor passes to climb up so we were trying to make it all the way there. sadly the wind of nevada is the WORST! we were fighting with the wind the whole day and we only really went 40 ish miles. i saw a wild horse which was great and i also saw some deer, but other than that we just saw cows. it was warm out and the wind was cold so an odd combination. we rode through large valleys and passed one lake and the rest was desert flats or mountainous desert. while we were riding we came across a snake (not sure what kind) but it sure scared us cause we weren't sure it was alive or not. we stopped and i tossed some rocks at it to see if it would move. my first throw hit the tail and the rattler shook, it scared me and tossed several other ones but was a horrible aim. finally walked closer to it banging a piece of wood and saw that it had been run over. luckily we've only seen dead snakes and a few lizards. we pulled off the side of the road to throw our tent behind a dirt mound to get out of some of the wind and caught a beautiful sunset in a huge valley with mountains on one side and desert canyons on the other. while i was setting up to boil some water for dinner, a car came whizzing by and it was our friends joe v and jen! they came to meet up with us for a couple of days and they brought snacks and water. sat up and talked with them as we enjoyed some food. a nice way to end a rough day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

day 12

yes, still in tonopah, nevada. evan got his bike fixed (hooray) and is heading back here. last i heard he was riding to the next town to try and hitch a ride. hopefully he doesn't ride the whole way back here since it's long and has a mountain to go over. as for myself, it is a bit boring here in tonopah; i strolled around town several times looking for something to keep me entertained, i ended up taking some pics of rundown buildings and their small town. then kept busy looking at maps and reading in my hotel room at the Ramada.

day 11

today could be considered a rest day since we didn't ride anywhere due to evan's back tire being out of whack. so we talked to some townfolks, got some food from the grocery store, and talked to our good friend, cindy, and lo-and-behold we got evan a ride to bishop, california with a auto parts delivery truck driver but the bike shop was closed when he got there. luckily he has a place to crash for the evening, thanks to a sweet site for people touring on bikes. you can get a warm shower and possibly a place to stay! love it. cindy got me a room at the ramada, which was super great of her since she didn't want me to pitch my tent out in the cold tonight. so today was mainly spent just going around town talking to people and going through evan's gear so he could take the bare essentials with him to bishop, in case he couldn't get a ride and would have to bike back (lets hope not). i roamed around town a bit, but its not that big and there isn't much here so i caught up on some tv shows (Lost!) and just let my body relax and recuperate for the next stretch. so evan is going to get his bike fixed tomorrow morning, but the bike shop opens at 10 am and his ride back to tonopah leaves at 8 he's hoping to hitch a ride or wait the next day for the delivery guy to drive back to tonopah. kind of lame for both of us, but we are where we are and we can't change it. our next stretch is over a 100 miles on the extraterrestrial highway which goes by area 51! but there is really nothing except a couple gas stations along the way so we will be roughing it in the desert. enjoy the pics from today, there aren't that many.