Daily mileage: 166
Overall average: 21 mph
Hard to believe 10 years have passed since 9/11. I was witnessing it on the roof of a building in Chelsea on 19th street. Respect to all the victims and those touched by that day.
10 years later, NYC finally has a memorial and I am in battle mountain, nevada getting ready to start my days ride.
I was able to borrow a computer monitor from the manager of the super 8 motel, so spent much of the evening accessing my pictures and uploading a flurry of pictures from the last several days. Unless I find another monitor the pictures, you won't see glorious pictures for at least several days.
Got a late this morning, and rode out feeling good. Today I felt renewed somehow and I didn't feel the need to push. I was content putting about and enjoying the scenery as I realize that I only have 1 and a half states to cross before the trail ended.
The riding was zen today. I didn't take as many photos today. Just wanted to breath it all it.
The ride out of battle mountain took me through some hills and the abandoned mineshaft seen in other reports. The ride down that hill was on a track that was illl defined but perceptible.
The trail after that was when it was straight up chaos if you were looking to ride a defined track. It's a section where the trail just turns off the main road and goes into the sandy fields of low lying desert vegetation you could ride over (for the most part) and taller sagebrushes you had to try and ride around -- these I hated.
From a navigational standpoint it was absolute madness. There were single tracks all over the field giving evidence that TAT riders before were searching for this elusive trail. I would try and follow a single track already blazed only to see another and take that one and then another. It was maddening. Only until I decided to blaze my own trail was when everything settled down. Slowly but surely I navigated around the bushes wary of sinkholes or ditches and ravines and found the trail. There was maybe about a mile or so of flying blind. Without the gps I would have been royally screwed.
The next big obstacle is the big river crossing at around the 485 mile mark. Approaching it I could see the old main line which was steep, and deep from being dug out by so many crossings.
And then there was One Less Harleys line to the left, already nicely trimmed for me.
After surveying a good line across. I just went for it. The nose of the bike dropped in pretty dramatically, but popped back up and out of the water and the tail followed.
Click below for video documentation
After crossing, I stopped and visited the lonely abandoned house. There was a brand new battery terminal sitting inside along with signs that other TAT rider had been through. A yuasa ytz7s was just inside the front entrance.
After taking pictures and signing the wall, I made my way. It was around 4:30.
At one point I went for the shifter and felt nothing. Looked down and saw my the shifter spring had broken so I stopped and did some minor surgery. Using an aaa battery, zipties and silicone rescue tapes I was back I business.
The rest of the ride was just amazing. During the earlier part of the day, I had alway seen these hills that looked pretty smooth and traversable since they weren't so steep. Well I had the opportunity as the trail took me up to the summit of ones of the highest hills which opened up the landscape a full 360 degrees in all directions. It was highlander-epic.
Atop the summit was a pile of rocks suitable for a Visigoth funeral pyre. Nevada is epic!
From atop I could see rain clouds in the north. It was overcast where I was so Nevada felt more like an English countryside. never been there but that's what I imagine it to feel like.
It was getting later and I start to wind and climb mountainsides. The view from those peaks were fantastic, but as light was falling, I just kept plugging along. The trail just kept going and going and going. I go up and down and up and around. At around 7:15 I reach the plateau of another peak and looking around me, I could hills and mountains all around. I was definitely still in the sticks. Albeit beautiful.
I kept my headlight off for as long as possible during dusk so my visible contrast was low and I try my best to avoid the occasional big rock in my path. For the most part it was faith that there was no obstruction.
At 8pm, night fell and I flick my hid lights on. They are superbright and slowly and methodically I push on through several water crossings and a navigation error. Luckily the narrow double track had turned into an open dirt road.
At 8:40 I sputter into a texaco in Mcdermitt, Nevada and fill up. I had gone 166 miles a single tank -- approximately 55 mpg.
Check into the Double A motel and then grab some dinner at the say when casino. Spoke the cashier afterwards and she mentioned a group of 16 older gentlemen passing by going to Denio. Probably trailriders since they had their bikes trailered.
Crash hard after my steak dinner.