Day Eleven -Bishop, CA to Eureka, NV; The Loneliest Road in America -279 miles.
I took Hwy 6 out of Bishop and headed toward Ely, NV. The sky was Carolina blue and the mountains tops were iridescent with snow and shadows. I was thankful to be alive and be on the bike again. I stopped in at the Tonopah, NV Brewing Company for some barbecue and a brew. Both were brilliant. Afterwards, I headed out toward Ely when I came upon a sign that said: 163 miles to the next gas station. I have a five-gallon tank that on a good day can do 175 -180 miles. I had already gone 10 miles and the wind was picking up. So, I decided to turn around and take 376 east. I took it to Hwy 50 – nicknamed “the loneliest road in America”. Then I headed toward Eureka and stayed at a lovely hotel: The Eureka Gold Country Inn. I moseyed down to the Owl Club Bar and Steakhouse. I met a guy there who was a few years older than me who was sad and for the next two hours shared his sadness with me. It was an honor. When leaving I said: God bless you. He looked startled: God bless you too, he replied.
We all need to bless each other more.
Day Twelve: Eureka, Ca to Wendover, Ut – 197 miles; How Can You Get Lost if You Don’t Know Where You’re Going? Ely – Nevada Northern Railway Museum; Trusting the Road.
Here I was on The Lincoln Highway, nicknamed The Loneliest Road in the USA, and all I had to do was go straight a couple hundred miles- don’t change roads- and I would be in Colorado. Pending no revelations or nudges from Divine Providence I had decided to head for Durango, Colorado. I wanted to take the road from there up through Silverton to Ouray. It had been labeled: One of the 12th most dangerous roads in the world. Why was it labeled that? Because It winds its way through three 11,000 ft mountain passes, with some 180 degree switchbacks, 500 ft drop offs and has no guard rails. But the route wasn’t meant to be for me this time.
My change in direction started in Ely when someone recommended the Flower Basket for coffee. There I met two gentlemen who told me their histories. As I was leaving one suggested I go to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum which was just down the street. When I’m in the Abandonment to Divine Providence (DP) mood I go where people suggest. Once, someone suggested I go up to Glacier National Park and I did it. It was only 1000 miles away. This suggestion was less than a mile. I got there as a steam engine was pulling into the station. I toured the interesting museum for about an hour and then hopped back on my trusty Harley, Big Red.
Now I was back on Highway 50 and heading for Durango. Except somehow, I got on a different road. Highway 93. I thought about stopping the bike, pulling out the atlas and seeing where I was going but I didn’t. Instead I thought that I’d just trust the road and DP. Next thing I knew I was on Alt 93, fully expecting Alt -Alt 93 to be next. The scenery changed from valleys to areas with bright white hard sand. After a while I realized I was next to the salt flats in Utah. I had missed Colorado! How do you miss Colorado? I mean, it’s a really, big state. Well, you can’t really say that I took the wrong road or that I was lost because those presume a destination I was deviating from. When you are in DP mode you give up choosing your destination. I thought about how in my life I’ve given myself such headaches and heartaches because I thought I was on the wrong road. Somehow, without questioning, I had accepted that there was this right road in life – right job, right salary, right town- right girlfriend- right weight- right whatever and wherever it was, I wasn’t on it. So much unquestioning misery followed. I do better when I challenge my assumptions and my expectations. Even if I can’t find Colorado, it’s better for me to just let go and trust the road.