I usually enjoy sleeping-in, but I was already pretty fired up to hit the road shortly after waking at 7am, and I knew I had work to do before that happened, and here's why: I really can't stand a dirty sports car. Oh, I'm fine with getting it bug-spattered, rain-splashed, and otherwise dusted with bits of Mother Earth, but I feel some sort of deep obligation against starting each day like that. Which is why I took up some of our precious cargo area with a small bucket, sponge, brush, chamois, and a spray bottle of Simple Green. It's a good thing we would be traveling in such warm weather all the way across because short pants and t-shirts don't take up much duffel bag space! So, my morning car wash ritual for that week began that morning in Carson City with my bucket. On some of the days to come, I would feel a little like the broom in the "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", carrying bucket after bucket from my water source to the car. Today, however, the bugs and grime were so light after our trip up the hills that only one bucket's worth was required. We got some free "continental" grub in the hotel lobby before topping off with fuel. I also had a 1-gallon fuel container stuffed into the boot, and that received its ration here, as well. This would ultimately prove unnecessary since there ended up being plenty of fuel stops along "The Loneliest Road." However, with my only close experience of the road being discussions with a buddy who did it by motorcycle (where fuel is even more of a concern), I didn't want to be out of fuel somewhere when we had room to carry that one-gallon can. We made a good seal, wrapped it in a trash bag, and tucked it into the corner of the boot. Even with the heat we would later travel through, it never really expanded too much, and we never approached anything close to a low-fuel emergency. Still, it was good peace-of-mind.
We passed signs for Fernley, where we had raced our sidecar several years ago. We moved on into Fallon (where we'd gone for some food during one of those Fernley race weekends), and made a funny decision. We'd mapped out our route (leaving room for some spontaneity), and we had the route written down. What we didn't actually have was a map. Oh, we had a little Garmin GPS that would get us where we needed to go, if we so desired, but both of us wanted a map and realized we'd left our atlases with family back in Wisconsin where we were headed. Having tracked so many of our travels in the two Rand McNally atlases we've had for years, we decided we'd stop for a new atlas in Fallon so we could document the trip with more detail. Lo and behold: Wal-Mart. We found a smaller (although not small) version of our beloved full-size Rand McNally which had a farm image (complete with red barn and tractor) on its green cover. Perfect! Using a highlighter, my wife would trace our route on each state's map as we went.
And we went. It wasn't long before civilization fell behind us, and we began to get an idea of how US 50 in Nevada had earned its sobriquet. The big, blue, western skies squeezed down in the distance to meet the reds, browns, and tans of the desert rocks. Sometimes, as shown in the final photo of this post, the road was only that cliche shred of ribbon in the distance. Then again, one of our favorite photos was one my wife shot out the back of the car, looking again, back from where we'd come. While the straight-line visibility was pretty incredible, there were some surprisingly pleasant sweepers out there in the middle of nowhere. We snapped one of two of those, as well.
Temperatures were high, and there was some wind. Trying to recall (and wishing I had my log of events here with me), I'm confident it was well into the 90s. Neither of us are huge fans of air conditioning (although it has its place), so we were running with the windows down, and despite some wind noise, we found it rather enjoyable, not even bothering to play the radio. Well, it's bone-stock, so we wouldn't have been able to hear it anyway. We broke a few speed limits, but even with that said, we didn't see another car for 10-30 minutes at a time. Epic beginning. More tomorrow. Good night.
Last edited by adracer; 01-06-2011 at 05:36 PM.