Posted by: rustymccain | June 12, 2011


Today was amazing! Have I said that before?? I am just really taken with the beauty of the country here. While it is supposed to be desert, it remains to be green. We have heard that they had snow here as late as last week, so that might be part of the reason.

View from Austin Pass

Today the weather was perfect. We woke up to temps in the 50s and both thought about wearing shirts and jackets. By the time we started at 7:30 the temperature had risen such that we only needed our jerseys. The town of Austin is about halfway up Austin Pass. It was certainly a good wake-up call to start by going uphill for the first hour. For those who have cycled on the Natchez Trace, we started this morning by climbing an incline very similar to the first hill on the Trace. The only difference was that our climb was 3 miles long, followed by a 2 mile fast downhill, then back up for two more miles in a similar climb. Those were two of four summits we had today. The rest of the route gave us broad valleys where you could see for miles in any direction. Ray commented once that he wished he could take a 360 degree picture, for any way we turned, all you could see was one ribbon of highway and nature.

Somewhere in the Middle of Nevada

The route was 70 miles with no services. We had plenty of Gatorade, but were fortunate in that we ran into two different riding groups, one riding our route and another doing their own route that will turn north from here in Eureka. Both groups are riding with a support van. We had run into one of the groups on Carson Pass and learned that Phil was the driver of the support van. They all have become road friends and Phil always offers us support when he passes us! We also rode with members of the other group for a while. Robert is a fit 66-year-old, crossing the country with his daughter Kim and her friend Sarah. Alex was driving the support van for them. Kim had crashed earlier and had some bad road rash, so she was in the support van for a while, though she popped out to ride the last 20 or so miles. She and Alex were very nice to us, offering water and the miracle food….chocolate. We ended up with four new friends. That made the day even better. With basically nothing between Austin and Eureka, all we could do was pedal and enjoy the beauty of nature. It was a good day.

We arrived in Eureka a little after 1:00 and have enjoyed another quaint little Nevada town that also has a past that is filled with silver and gold, complete with a few restaurants, a couple of motels, a gambling casino, and a store that has Gatorade. What else do you need?

Downtown Eureka, NV

By the way, before I forget this, a quick word of thanks Jim at UPS for helping me with getting my bike shipped safely and timely to San Francisco. He took a big load off me as I was preparing to leave and I really appreciate it. Also a huge thanks to Scott and Michelle at Trace Bikes. Scott helped me pick out the bike I wanted for this trip and fit me on it. He also was invaluable with little tips and hints about what I should do to prepare the bike and how to equip it. He then expertly packed the bike for shipment west. That’s why local bike shops are so important and why we need them. So far, the bike and setup have been perfect. The engine is shot, but the bike is holding up!

Tomorrow, probably just another amazing day 🙂



  1. Hi, brother. See any slot machines yet? Why anyone would want to bike through Eureka instead of Las Vegas is beyond me. I’m glad you are having fun.

  2. What an amazing adventure. Always wanted to do a cross-country trip – now doing so vicariously through you.

  3. I am enjoying your trip everyday ! Maybe you just need to “interview” Ray and post it ! Thanks for posting

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