Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 08, 2010 Day 3 – Austin, Goldfield, and Beatty, NV

We had a really good time today, started out in sunshine and ended the same way, not a drop of moisture to be found anywhere outside of our helmets.

Our first stop was for gas about 40 miles east of Winnemucca at Battle Mountain. While there I decided it would be a good use of our time to visit the public library and tourist information center as I’m a cultural sort of guy. We never made it into the library as the gal running the tourist info center was goofy and fun to listen to. Her main area of expertise seemed to be focused on the state’s licensing of prostitution and associated laws, etc. which I found to be particularly interesting. Chuck wandered off reading an historic document explaining the origins of the name Battle Mountain which as it turned out remains a mystery to this day. To each his own, I say.

From there we headed south on 305 towards Austin. Wildlife in Nevada is everywhere and we spooked antelopes when we rode by.
An old abandoned rock house perched just above the highway south of Battle Mountain. The highway continued to be lightly traveled and a delight for bike riders. We saw several groups as we rode south.

In Austin we gassed up and I took in a few of the tourist traps. Chuck waited patiently in the limited shade while I shot more pics.

It took a couple of attempts to leave Austin because I kept spotting more photo ops but eventually we made it to the intersection for highway 376 and started through the Big Smokey Valley.

Leaving Austin was fun; the road was super twisty, maybe even a little dangerous since guard rails seem to have limited status in Nevada. Turning onto 376 caught my attention as the GPS said the next turn was 100 miles away. Uh, did you say…100 miles? They weren’t kidding, 100 miles of nearly straight 2-lane highway guaranteed to put even the most dedicated rider to sleep. We were fortunate there was a construction zone at the 50-mile point where we stopped for water, a pee, and grumbling.

At around 2:30pm we arrived in Tonopah, a little mining town with more than their share of hard cases. We had lunch at “Banc’s” one of the local casinos after which we gassed up again and continued our southerly ride turning onto highway 95.

Cruising at the posted speed of 70 mph ate up the miles and when we came to Goldfield we stopped for a short rest break. There we met two hilarious characters in one of the tourist traps and spent the better part of an hour looking at handmade knives, jewelry, and talking bikes. It was fun and being the cheap guys we are we left with every cent we arrived with.

Eventually we ended up in Beatty-Death Valley at our favorite place, Motel 6, this time with operational air conditioning and much classier than last night’s digs in Winnemucca. There seem to be lots of bikers staying in town so we’re not the only ones who chose this route for a ride.

Long hot days in the saddle can cause a powerful thirst to develop which it did today. Luckily there was the Death Valley Candy Story, a conveniently located source of Tonic water and sandwiches for dinner, and just beyond that one door over was the local casino, a like source of Gin.

Life on the road continues to be Happy happy!

1 comment:

  1. I just found this blog. Nice job. I too have been to Nevada by motorcycle, but drove hwy 50 from Ely to Austin. I stopped in Austin at the Toiyabe Cafe for lunch, then down to Tonopah via 376. Nice lonely road! I ended the day in Caliente.