Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Middlegate to Austin

The picture below was the morning scene in Middlegate. We ate a very hearty breakfast at Middlegate Station and packed up. When we left it was sunny with some clouds and about 63 degrees temp. These conditions were not to last.


Soon a large thunderhead sailed overhead going our direction. The rain began and the temperature dropped to 40, and then the hail began to fall. The hail stones approached a half inch in diameter. Large enough to sting and make us glad we had helmets on. It hailed for about a half hour, covering the road and the surrounding desert. After that T-storm passed we had intermittent rain for the rest of the day. We climbed New Pass, a ten mile long grind. Then we dropped a couple hundred feet and ascended another pass, after which we had a glorious ten mile descent.
Afer this long downhill we faced the climb to Austin, but not before Belinda had a flat tire. As it was getting late Bill and John rode ahead to town to secure us motel rooms. Dave and Belinda fixed the flat tire but as we prepared to set out Dave discovered that his rear tire had gone flat. We were fixing that when a woman touring on a Vespa motor scooter stopped to ask if everything was ok. We told her it was and as she was going to stay in Austin we asked that if she saw our friends to tell them we had a second flat and not to worry. Well, at last we were able to get back on the road. We had not gone very far when the angel on the Vespa showed up again this time without her baggage. She had talked to Bill and John, we had rooms, and she took as many of our panniers as she could to lighten our load for the steep climb into town. Our road angel is named Starr. She is from South Carolina. She has toured all the way to California and is now on her way home. After we got established in our room, we all went out to dinner for a very nice evening.


Last, I just want to say that our motel, the Mountain Motel in Austin is very friendly to cyclists and pets. There accomodations are very nice and at a reasonable price.

11 comments:

mas said...

Dave and Belinda, please forgive my ignorant statement about the scenery, your great pictures have proven how foolish I was. I've only flow over that stretch, and from the air it looks somewhat desolate, but cycling completely changes everything. I just LOVED the heartwarming story about Starr. Thank you so much for sharing.

Dave said...

Mark, I am constantly astounded by the kindness people are willing to bestow on traveling bicyclists. This is fast becoming a cliche in my writing but it has been the most singular thing I've taken away from our experience. The Nevada landscape has suprised me as well, so much drama. I am getting a little tired of cycling in rain and cold however and cannot wait for this weather to break. Ok, no more whining, we are having a real adventure that we will never forget.

Anonymous said...

Sorry no comments from me since your depature. Why? Well, I just figured out how to LEAVE one. sigh. I have, however, been following your progress and must say WOW. Don't worry about cold and wet, that will change and you will look fondly back on the snow when slogging through midwest in the heat and humidity. Every day sounds like hell on wheels (couldn't resist) but then ends with smiles on your faces. Keep smiling. I will be flying over you at about 30k feet soon. I'll wave. j2

joel.johnson4 said...

Sorry no comments from me since your depature. Why? Well, I just figured out how to LEAVE one. sigh. I have, however, been following your progress and must say WOW. Don't worry about cold and wet, that will change and you will look fondly back on the snow when slogging through midwest in the heat and humidity. Every day sounds like hell on wheels (couldn't resist) but then ends with smiles on your faces. Keep smiling. I will be flying over you at about 30k feet soon. I'll wave. j2

j2 said...

obviously i'm still learning how to leave a comment. i think it's gin and tonic time.... ttfn j2

Dave said...

Joel, a toast to you my friend. We actually dicussed this very same thing this afternoon, that is to say, that we will look back wistfully at our cool, refreshing, ride through Nevada when we hit the Midwest.

PeterD said...

Wild weather!!! But what kind of adventure would it be without some trial and tribulation? NWS says 50% chance of more thunderstorms Thur then clearing Fri. Following you daily on Google Earth. Really enjoy hearing about the people you meet along the route.

Looking forward to seeing you Friday, early evening, in Eureka.

Peter & Susan

Daniel said...

dad, the photo's are fantastic! as you friend mentioned above, I never really think of Nevada as having particularly dramatic scenery, but I'm awfully wrong!

I gave my presentation on my research project for my Italy trip today, and it went very well. for the past week and and a half i've been so stressed about getting my project done that i haven't had time to get excited about the trip, but now....woohoo!

Diana said...

Your trek through Nevada sounds like interval training, which is hard enough, but you guys add rain and hail to the mix. Is this part of the Crossfit philosophy? Pics are great!

Brenda said...

Just reestablished internet connection after a 4-day blind spot (5/26-29)at Great Sand Dunes NP and picked up your Fallon-Austin account of hail, multiple flats, and angels on scooters. Further convinces me that gripping handle bars engages a wholly different part of the human persona than does spinning steering wheels (not born out by your Carson Pass rescue!). After Sat-Sun engagements in CO Spr and 6/2-10 in PA, we plan several weeks of bumming the eastern slope while you blast through UT and W.CO.
We still anticipate our reunion with you in Denver near the end of June.
We'll write more as internet access appears.
Pedal safely and joyously, even if sometimes rather wetly.
Love,
Brenda and Ray

Anonymous said...

so are we missing something here or is Jack in more of the pictures than Dave is? Come on Belinda make him share the camera.....



Carolee