Day 68/69: If You Like Bikes, Honk!
(or if you don't like bikes honk too)
Day 68: Milford, UT to Baker, NV: 84 miles, 4000 ft up, 4000 ft down
There are certain key phrases that each of us have on this trip. For Mariela it's piping in with a "Tomato, tomato" at things that are often really not very "Tomato, tomato." Robert will start sentences with "What do we think about...." and then finish the sentence with something very ordinary like "salmon?" or something that none of could have seen coming like "replacing our Chamois Butter with coconut oil?" (We are pro salmon, and anti coconut oil as chamois butter). Maxwell will tell people that he "treats coffee like the mushroom power up in Mario." For me, the equivalent to Maxwell's coffee power up is getting semi trucks to honk at us.
I'm talking about the sweet, encouraging honks that semi trucks will give you every one in a while like "Hey! You tiny little bicyclists! Keep going!" Not the "I am literally about to run you over" honk that semi trucks will often give. Getting one of these honks of encouragement will have me on a bikers high for miles. So, I have started artificially inflating the number of honks from semi trucks we get. And I do this by waving to all the 18 wheelers that drive towards us.
My record for successful honks is around 16 in one ride. This was our first century ride (back in Springfield, MO), and I was fading. On this particular ride, we were biking along a frontage road that ran parallel but in the opposite direction to an Interstate. This is when I got bit by the waving at semi trucks bug.
On this ride into Springfield, I stopped discriminating between semi trucks and other vehicles, and I started waving at everyone who passed us. It is the social interaction wiht the lowest pressure: either the cars wave back (or honk if you're really lucky), or they don't and then you literally never have to see them again.
My most recent victory was getting a massive "OVERSIZE LOAD" truck to honk at us while riding on the loneliest road in America, sweet Highway 50. Another side note, I think its so cute how "oversize load" trucks have cars that ride in front and behind them with the same little banners. Like a parade.
Okay, that is all I have to say about semi trucks for the time being. Now let me tell you about this ride.
* Passed into the Pacific Time Zone!! Welcome to Nevada!
* Finally took a good picture with the Utah sign (as we were leaving it), because our Utah welcome left much to be desired.
* Took pictures of people taking pictures:
* Explored a spooky abandoned cabin in the middle of nowhere.
* Took a break at "Horns-A-Plenty: Antler Art" for a snack.
Day 69: Nice. A Rest Day!
Rest, so elusive on this trip. My sleep schedule has, in all honesty, never been better. Sleeping at 10 pm? Waking up at 7 am!? Who am I?!! Not the girl who has lived on a 2 am to 10 am schedule for most of college.
Generally our rest days are not restful. Things we've done on rest days have included: mountain biking, hiking, crawling through narrow metal structures (thank you St. Louis city museum), swimming, etc. I am thrilled to say I have literally nothing to tell you about this rest day.
We did nothing. It was excellent.
This may have been helped by the fact that Baker, NV has a population of 36 according to the 2020 census. Had we wanted to do anything the options would have been limited.
We were staying in a really sweet hostel, the Stargazer Inn, and we set up our home base in the hostel check in/general store down the road. We ventured in and out of this store all day, talking to the owners, Liz and James, reading, playing Set and Spot it, eating ice cream, etc.