Home > Journal, Photos > The Nevada Desert Pt 5

The Nevada Desert Pt 5

July 24th, 2009
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OK, it is time to leave the desert. Mapping my way into SF is taking a long time and cutting into my blogging time.

After the 104 mile day into Hawthorne I had a short (haha) 50 mile pedal to Yerington. It included a long climb, here is the top, with Dave smiling out the window at my comments on this last fairly steep bit

The best part of this day was pedaling through a Paiute Reservation and meeting/chatting with a native artist. I have traveled enough to know that when entering a different country/culture to be very respectful. As I pulled up to a trading post I saw him sitting in the shade, drawing.  I simply nodded a greeting as I pulled up, he answered with a classic native accent, “I don’t know how you cyclists do it”  I smiled and said, “we just keep pedaling”. As I was going into the store I asked if I could buy him a drink. He said, “no beer for me”. I said, “Wasn’t thinking beer, would you like a water, or soda or something?. He said, “I would like a small Pepsi, please”. So I brought him one. We chatted for a while about desert crossing and routing. He was happy to learn that Dave was with me, “very good, very smart. The desert can be very dangerous”  I was not interested in giving him the whole spiel as I did not know how much he felt to be an “American”. So I gave him a card and a short version of my mission. He knew all about Alcatraz and its history. We chatted some more and I started to take my leave. As I was getting the bike ready a car with tourists pulled up, so I gave them the whole spiel. My new friend was obviously listening because as I got ready to go again he said, “Hoy!, come.” I went over and he said, “I would like to give you a gift” He then took off his hat and gave it to me. I can’t tell you how overwhelming this small act was to me.  A hat is a valuable thing in the desert, and this one was hand decorated. He literally gave me the hat off his head. Tears welled up in my heart, (as they are now as I write this.) He looked at me with the kindest eyes and said, “I am a Christian, and I go to church, and I am also a spirit dancer, according to the old ways, I will pray for you. Have a safe journey across our lands, and beyond, any of my people who see your hat will know you have a blessing.”  I don’t know if this simple description can relate how that made me feel…

So, with that, seeing as he had no hat, I offered him mine. He graciously accepted and with smiles on both parts, we parted company. Thank you, my nameless friend. I treasure your gifts…

Pedaling on into Yerington was pretty uneventful. We stayed the night and stopped at the sheriffs leaving town the next AM. The undersheriff was very attentive and appreciatve of the visit. (Dave was funny, as we were going in, “…I speak their language” – haha – and he does 🙂 )  It really was neat visiting Sheriffs with Dave, certainly increased my credibilty…

The receptionist was listening in as well and got up to see the RP book, both were very interested, and thankful. A great stop. And to top it off, I got my 5th star (unsolicited) from him, so I guess the sheriffs I have met have given the ride 5 stars – A 5 star ride – hahhahhahhaha

With that it was off to Carson City. The wind in the afternoon was particulary brutal and I was stoked to reach town where a mysterious donor had gotton us a nice room at a place I would normally not have stayed. Dave had arranged a dinner with a local deputy he knew and we ahd a great meal and time. On the way out I said the line about “how people will wonder why we didn’t do anything, like history looks at the Germans”. That hit home, he looked at me and said, “good point”.

The next day, Dave and I had to part company. While he was hoping to stay with me till at least Sacramento, he had surprise visitors at home and had to go. I can’t say enough about this kind man. Everyone I met who knew him saw it as perfectly normal that he would go out of his way to help someone. It is just his nature. A more honorable, kind and generous man I have rarely (if ever) met. Thanks doesn’t quite do justice for what he did for me. He made a very dangerous section of the road much safer and infinitly more pleasant. God bless you, Sir. Aloha

Then, with a full load, I pedaled into the mountains…


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