The Nevada Desert Pt 1
A perilous place, especially in summer. Relentless sun and baking wind. Craggy and blackened ridges, stark, tortured. One can almost imagine Frodo and Sam, lost. Hills, once verdant seamounts, now crumbling into featureless dunes. Sandy flats, where the heat soars and the vast emptiness stretches on. Awfully awesome, I’m very glad the worst is behind me.
Two days of skirting Death Valley, (a well named place.) I covered over 180 miles in those two days, in temperatures topping 150 degrees.
That’s kinda warm… no haha.
The first day from North Vegas to Beatty was absolutely brutal. Headwinds and narrow shoulders, with a hellish rumble strip.I rode on the road as much as I could, but that can get quite tiresome as I must always be aware of what is in front, and behind, contantly craning my neck for a quick look and snapping back to see I’ve drifted into the rumble strip. Or the traffic coming both ways would see me have to cross the divets to a narrow strip where one wheel of my cart would ride the edge of the desert and the other would chatter through them. Or the final few miles where even narrower sections saw me riding the bike itself through the nightmare. In the bright sun. Being rattled to pieces. And baked…
I can easily see how quickly madness and death could trap a person out there. I would look with longing at some shade on a distant ridge… I saw a little patch of shade from a small sign, barely enough to curl up in, and thought, maybe I should take a rest… NOT!. Get the heck off the road and out of the heat, ASAP… As careful as we were, it was still not the safest thing in the world to be doing…
Here is how I dealt with the heat. Long sleeve white shirt that a supporter from KC helped me get at a GoodWill in MO. White Hat that Dave had bought me, with a thin towel under that I would soak occasionally.
A Mister/Fan in my handlebar bag that I could lean forward and get a blast from.
And lots, and lots, of water. It was amazing feeling the cooling effect of the longsleeve shirt, the moist towel on the head was critical, and the mister heavenly.
One thing about being out in the desert, people are curious and know that I’m serious about my mission. Had a few people stop to give me water and ask about the ride. Can’t find the pic for that at the moment, and have to get on the road. I’ll break this post up into parts so I can keep them coming. The long days make it a bit harder to get the posts out.
Here is the bike, a speck in the empty vastness