Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nevada to Moab - Day 4

It's about 9:00 am and I'm stepping out of the hot springs. The bus is already packed, and I decided that a quick splash before I hit the road sounded like a good idea. It was.

Note to self: put a hot tub in the garage so I can always take a nice mellow dip in the hot water before driving. It's better than beer.

I head out on the dirt road and see evidence of the old silver mine before I make it back to Highway 50.

Now begins the long drive to Moab - 528 Miles, several mountain passes, two desserts.
There aren't many signs out there, but when you see them, they have something to say.

I practice my rear-view mirror photography skills, there are no radio stations that I can get, and I have nothing to do other than stare at the horizon and try to remember the words to American Pie.

Mountain pass after mountain pass:
Pinto Summit -7376
Pancake summit -6517
Robinson Pass - 7607
Sacramento Pass - 7154
I'm climbing some of them at 40MPH, some at 20. Grade and momentum matter in this car.

Your imagination can run wild out there. You start remembering books that you read where people were alone and left to survive on their wits. Movies of people climbing from the weapons-tested rocks. I'm starting to think that much of this looks like Red dead Redemption. (Obilgatory video game reference)
After a while, the rocks start having faces.
Fortunately, they are smiling.

I reached the town of Ely NV. It is a small silver mining town with a couple of brothels (look for the rows of trucks with Utah license plates surrounding the buildings) and a few older victorian houses.

A quick note about fellow travellers on this road. There aren't many of them. The last time I took this road, I was travelling much like these two. They were heading from Moab to Reno - opposite of my drive, and twice as fast I'm sure.

I stopped in the middle of a dessert to help a Miata that had a flat tire. He couldn't find his jack and put the spare tire on. It was in the trunk - under the little flap on the right. He offered me a cold soda as thanks, I accepted. I had two grandfathers that taught me a little about self reliance. I'm driving away and thinking that I have never driven a car that hasn't had a jack and spare tire. I'm also thinking that I miss my grandparents.

Just outside of Ely, you head to Hwy 6 - The Grand Army of the Republic Highway. Its a grand name for a long straight a road that looks like this:

The sun starts to set and I use the light to my advantage. Yeah, I like long shadows.

The drive on Hwy 70 is normally beautiful, but I hit the turns too late to see the epic sunsets that light the buttes in Maxfield Parrish style.
It's getting late, so I pull into Moab around 10:45 and get a nice room at the "give them away" price. (About 40% less than the price of the room 30 minutes prior.)

Next: Day 5 - into Ft. Collins.

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