Day 72: Austin, NV to Cold Springs, NV (middle of nowhere)
July 27, 2011

As planned, we left very early to beat the wind (success). From Austin we had about 6 miles of cold downhill before 2 small climbs. After those, it was all downhill or flat, with NO WIND! The next “real” town would have been a 110 mile ride so we were apprehensively planning to camp behind a store halfway there. Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised when we pedaled up to Cold Springs. There are brand new, cheap cabins to stay in and a restaurant with delicious apple pie. It was a wonderful feeling to be finished by noon. After a big lunch and showers, we hung out in the cafe (air conditioned) and read all afternoon.

  • Start: Austin, NV
  • End: Cold Springs, NV (middle of nowhere)
  • Slept: cabin
  • Miles: 49.7
  • Avg.: 10.9
  • Notes: back in business

Day 73: Cold Springs, NV (middle of nowhere) to Fallon, NV
July 28, 2011

We are back in civilization! Today was mostly downhill and flat, with 2 short climbs in the morning. At the top of each climb we looked eagerly over the top for an end to the mountains. Finally, after 40 miles, it came! We spent the last 20 miles riding through an unbelievably bleak flat stretch next to the aptly named Sand Mountain. We got into Fallon a little before noon, ate some tasty Mexican food, found a motel, did some laundry (the laundromat was also a bar), and got some groceries….at a grocery store. Its so nice to shop somewhere other than a gas station. We are below 4,000 feet for the first time since Kansas!

  • Start: Cold Springs, NV (middle of nowhere)
  • End: Fallon, NV
  • Slept: motel
  • Miles: 62.3
  • Avg.: 12.3

Day 74: Fallon, NV to Carson City, NV
July 29, 2011

Another early start, another mostly flat day. We gained about 1,000 feet of elevation but it was over 60+ miles. Today was uneventful, other than the continued improvement in morale. Its great being back in heavily populated areas–no longer necessary to carry 12 liters of water with us or go to the bathroom on the side of the road when there are literally no trees for 50 miles. We stopped for lunch in Dayton (where the first gold was discovered in 1849) where our waitress called us “healthy critters” and tried to hug Hillary. It was weird. From there we rode an unpleasant 11 miles into Carson City on a very busy US 50. At least the shoulder wasn’t entirely filled with the deepest rumble strip known to man. In Carson City, Andrew got a new chain and Hillary gawked at the snow-capped mountains (the Sierras!!) in the distance. We had a nice dinner and then retired to our motel room before the thunderstorms began.

Some thoughts on Nevada: despite negative reports from other cyclists, the towns and people here are quirky and likable. Almost everyone has been very nice and friendly, a welcome change from the near-silent treatment we received in Utah. Another odd thing we’ve noticed is that we can’t tell if we’re going up or downhill on our bikes.

  • Start: Fallon, NV
  • End: Carson City, NV
  • Slept: motel
  • Miles: 62.5
  • Avg.: 10.4

Photos: Andrew’s pose when he tries to distract cars while Hillary relieves herself, the desert, a giant pile of sand (Sand Mountain), fuel for the road