Nevada Struggles: Day 12
05/01 (Day 12)
I’ve underestimated Nevada through and through. It is way colder, way more mountainous, and way windier then I was hoping for. I am in my tent right now and a guy in the grocery store told me it’s supposed to get down to 18 degrees tonight. Not cool.
The morning was a cold one. It got down into the mid 20’s last night and Nevada didn’t warm up for me for almost the entire day. I woke up a dozen times during the night in my sleeping bag rated for 40 degrees and the little kids blanket I had wrapped around my feet. I put a bag over the blanket and pulled it tight so that it wouldn’t fall off in the night. The only problem with this though is that my feet and legs were locked together somewhat uncomfortably. A few times I wanted to call out to Brent but was scared I wouldn’t hear back so i didn’t. I actually though the Florida boy might be dead. Around 9:30 when I finally was ready to get out of bed I called his name half expecting to not hear back from him but he responded with a muffled “yeah.” A big relief for me. I know when I sleep in that late it means I missed a lot of sleep during the night. Morning conversation partly revolved around figuring out how to not have another night like this.
It was so cold all morning that I moved very slow. I cooked up a pot of potatoes and took down camp and we were on the road around 11:00. It was just to cold to be biking anyway. The riding started with 6-8 miles of fast freezing down hill cycling. Then the next through hours were agony for me. The goal was Eureka 63 miles east and a cold wind was blowing straight into my face from that direction. I just kept pumping my legs away but much of the time I was only going 6 mph. I was downright miserable from the wind not to mention a lot of climbing. We were between 6,500 and 7,500 feet all day. I thought Nevada was low desert not over a mile high! Without the freezing cold wind it would have been quite nice out. I took refuge a few times from the wind behind rock slides and wished I could hide there all day long in the warmth but I knew I had to move on. The only way out of this torturous place is by pedaling.
The afternoon did get easier. The wind died a bit and we hit a fair amount of downhill. A joyous moment in the day was seeing a small herd of wild horses and a fun moment was playing with a huge cow skeleton which you see pictured. The 63 miles pedaled were with no sight of a single service station or anything of the like but with plenty of dust tornadoes, snowy mountains, and wide open expanses full of shrubs. We arrived in Eureka, a town of 1,500 people at around 7:00 with a solid hour before dark. First sot was the Rainee’s grocery store and the only local food they had was eggs. I stocked up on two dozen. It’s amazing how little local food any small markets or most any markets carry. Our food comes from thousands of miles away. Well not for me. On this trip my food on average has traveled less than 250 miles to reach my stomach with a majority of it coming from within an hours drive. I hope in the near future we will get back to communities that create their own food. It’s looking promising and it does seem to be coming back. I also got Brent and I each a sleeping bag rated for 30 degrees and I think with the combination of that and the sleeping bags we already have we should be much better off. The nice ladies gave me the food they were going to discard which was a loaf of bread, zucchini, tomato, and cucumber and I really had a nice time talking to them for a half hour or so learning about Eureka and their lives in it. I can’t imagine living in this little town in the middle of nowhere.
Just behind the market their is a little park where I am camping. Their is a grill that made it much easier to cook my food and their are tables to put my stuff. The ground is flat and soft. It’s a very nice place and would be even better if it was above freezing. I ate 4 eggs and boiled up a box. I also cooked up about 1/4 pound of local venison that I got the night before. I am completely out of water and very thirsty but their is a spring behind the police station a few blocks away and I’ll fill up in the morning. It’s way to cold to walk over their tonight. It’s now 11:30 and way past time for bed. As if 63 miles of biking wasn’t enough, I still have to set up camp and cook every night, and spend time on my computer writing. Just goes to show how much can be done in 24 hours.
354 miles to Salt Lake City, Utah which is where I’ll take a few days rest. It should take about 5.5 days which will get me there May 6th.
Just a reminder that I am eating local organic unpackaged food and when that is not available I am eating food that was going to go to waste anyway. Local organic unpackaged had the least negative impact on the environment by
-not having to travel which uses fossil fuels
-not using harmful chemicals for the environment and animals
-not creating packaging that takes energy and resources to create and also energy to dispose of. And it clutters up our world.
Eating food that was going to waste anyway has a positive carbon footprint. It keeps it from going to a landfill which takes up space and uses energy to manage and it replaces other food that took resources and energy to create. Be sure to always check up on my Statistics.