The Oregon Trail

Trip Start Jun 04, 2011
Trip End Jul 26, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Friday, June 10, 2011

Anyone remember playing The Oregon Trail? How about when you're crossing the desert with your family in a covered wagon and all of the sudden your ox dies, then your cousin dies, then you die of dysentery and the game's all over?

That's kind of what today felt like. At least... that's what it looked like. It could have gone a lot worse. Today we hopped on the interstate and covered almost all of our 90+ miles on the shoulder of I-80. Fortunately, we had cool(ish) weather and a tailwind most of the day. I even got acclimated to the semi trucks flying by my left shoulder at 80 miles per hour. 

 Looking around, there was honestly nothing to see. There wasn't even any color; everything was brown. Scott and I were hoping to see some tumbleweed blow across the road the entire ride and less then five miles from the end of the ride, we finally saw it. Our ride was relatively flat, although there were brown mountains coming out of the desert floor in all directions. It kind of reminded me of Oaxaca during the dry season. It was pretty, but it was intimidating.

We had a break at a rest stop in the middle of absolute nowhere. Sometime between gorging on fig newtons and holding my breath in the rest stop pit toilet, I came across the placard for the 40 Mile Desert. You can read the whole thing if you find the picture I posted, but in summary, it basically told us we were in the middle of a desolate wasteland that was responsible for many deaths and losses to groups who were emigrating to California.

Our final destination was Lovelock... what a town. It is small, dry, dirty and run down. All people in Nevada seem to do is gamble. Every hotel is a casino, even if it's a town of 2000 people, not Las Vegas. I went into a gas station to use the bathroom just like I would at any other station in the country and the tiny shop had a half a dozen slot machines facing the window, and there were two people sitting at them mindlessly "playing" the games.

We had dinner at the Cowpoke Cafe and it was delicious. The owner served us and made everything from scratch. I could taste the relative freshness, and it was delicious. This is one of the few benefits of spending the night in a small town. The motel on the other hand is nasty and uncomfortable. Honestly, it's kind of what I was expecting when the trip leaders were continually reassuring us last night and this morning that it was the nicest place in Lovelock. Speaking of the pitiful hotel, their internet connection is laughable so I'll be posting pictures from today just as soon as I can get a good connection.

Distance: 93.17 mi - 429.59 total
Time: 5:27:05 - 32:36:34 total
Elevation Gain: 1,839 ft - 23,113 total
Av. Speed: 17.1 mph - 13.2 overall
Av. HR: 128 bpm - 132 overall
Calories: 5,991 - 35,244 total

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martha717 on

The good thing about your day is now history and you have moved east. Still praying for you guys! Love to you each, Aunt M

Aunt Sandy and Uncle Jim on

Thank goodness for a tailwind. Hopefully it will get better as you get closer to the Rockies. We are loving your pictures - keep up the good work! Awesome riders.

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