For the last four days I’ve been enjoying U.S. Hwy. 50 - The Loneliest Road In America. It’s really not all that lonely. It’s hilly, the views are dramatic (maybe the views are kinda lonely), and it’s a long way between towns, 70-100 miles. After a night and day in the rain, I got a motel in Ely, NV where I was able to dry all my gear. I hung my tent in the shower. Hwy. 50 pretty much follows the original pony express route. Each town on Hwy. 50 was initially a silver town -- some still are. Each town appear to have once had much larger populations and have many closed hotels, restaurants and stores. Ely has several casinos -- which were nearly empty when I visited them at about 9pm. All of these towns make me a little sad to bike through.
Eureka is equally as troubled as Ely. With closed hotels and shops. Eureka does have a very nice grocery, however, which has been in operation for over 100 years. Austin seems to have the most hope, it’s much smaller than the other towns and in nicely squeezed into a rocky valley - trying hard to leverage their large turquoise deposits.
Outside Austin I ran into Michael, who was on a mountain bike. He was on his way to Colorado. Three years ago Michael received a message from god to leave his job as a greyhound trainer in West Virginia. He then hiked to California, spreading the word as he when. After three years of hiking he purchased a bike at the Walmart in Las Vegas. He is travelling lighter than bike tourist out there. In his backpack he has a light blanket (he was not sure if it was wool or acrylic), a bike pump and two packs of cigs. He says he got a little cold in the mountains a few days ago, but is not willing to upgrade his equipment.
Tonight I’m in a campground in Cold Springs, NV. I might try to get to Fallon, and the end of the Loneliest Road, tomorrow.