Brown, brown, brown. *Poof* Green.

Trip Start Jul 18, 2010
Trip End Aug 16, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, July 31, 2010

Deciding that we had spent enough time on the Freeway, we opted to take a AAA scenic route south and picked up Rt. 50 to continue west in Nevada. Although we enjoyed the ride, there really was absolutely no life other than the rare cow sighting here and there. Normally this would not have been an issue, except for one small need gas, and we had ridden well beyond 150 miles by the time we spotted the first sight of human life, and gasoline.

As we pulled into the parking lot of Old Middlegate Station, we were transported back in time. A rusted carriage, an old car, and a gas pump that actually needed pumping, were among the relics littering the surrounding the area. We filled the tanks, and Donna entered the ancient wooden building to pay the old proprietor for the gas. When she returned, she excitedly insisted that we needed to see the inside of this place, so we parked the bikes along side the old phone booth and went inside. Russ and Fredda Stevenson, the owners of this 1859 founded establishment, have preserved the original antiquity of the building, and run their biker frequented restaurant with firmness mixed with humor and hospitality. Donna was invited to add her NYPD patch to the collection of those clubs, military and law enforcement travelers that had passed by before. We all agreed that the Station was a wonderful find on the Midwest leg of our trip.

Continuing on our journey, we came across the white sandy expanse of the Nevada desert. Names spelled out in dark stones littered the sides of the highway in a strangely intrusive manner. As we rounded one of the many stark rock formations, a state sign announced the recreation area ahead. The “recreation” turned out to be a gigantic sand hill, which we all found to be pretty funny. It is quite possible the oppressive heat was beginning to take its toll on our sanity.

Despite the lengthening shadows, the air was still very hot as we entered Carson City, Nevada and made our last gas stop of the day. Carson City is suppose to have all kinds of cowboy history, but we were too hot and tired to care about that. As we stood in the shade drinking gallons of water and watching the locals interact with the 7-11 clerk, the soft scent of pine could be detected on the wind, a hint of what was to come.

One of the interesting things about the landscape of this fine country, is how abruptly it can change. We left the desert-like terrain quite suddenly as Rt. 50 led us up an out of the valley. The temperature promptly dropped a wonderful 20 degrees as the drab brown dirt changed to a lovely shade of pine. The fresh, cool air matched the stunning sparkles shining off the crisp blue of Lake Tahoe. Nick is a natural at taking awesome photos from the pillion seat as we meander through scenic turns in the road.

We finally stopped for the night in Truckee, California, adding another state to our collection. Nick was so tired that he completely skipped dinner and went right to sleep after his shower. Donna and I enjoyed a fabulous vegetarian tortilla soup at the hotel restaurant. Ok, I enjoyed the soup, Donna ate some burrito filled to capacity with pork strips. Tomorrow, off to the valley…ugh (there is history there).

Riding shiny side up,

M, D, & N
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