Road Trip; The Old Man's 90th
We set out for the party for Dad in Seattle.
When it’s going to be a hundred degrees, you better get your stuff packed up the night before and get out of town early. Head north, and to the mountains. We attempted this, and our goal was a four a.m. start. However, the bike was in the shop, we didn’t get it home until 8:30, then started packing. In bed by 11:30. No way we’re setting the alarm for a vacation. So we woke up and blew out by 6:30.
The ride was surprisingly pleasant. The temp remained balmy all morning. We rode through memory lane; so many places I raced in the past. Alamo, where Vegas to Reno started one year, the MRAN site for Alamo to Caliente, Rainbow Canyon, Pioche, Panaca and Ely.
Stopping for fuel in Pioche, I remembered it is a mining town. Mining is rocking right now (gold and silver prices?) and yet the city doesn’t reflect it. I believe people have been through too many busts to go crazy during the boom. Save the money for the bust. What we could have learned from them.
The desert is wide open. Roads extend for miles straight as a string, with vast expanses of desert to either side, extending to the horizon. The sky is blue, extending to the horizons as well. By noon, we saw a dozen cars. Dropping in to Caliente and out of Wells, the desert changes to scrub pine, and temps remain cool.
We arrived at Ely for an early lunch and stopped at the Prospector Casino, and were greeted with the familiar senses of an old school casino; stale cigarette smoke with slot machines making happy noises as people sat at them like zombies. The restaurant struggled for a theme; is it trains, as a few were scattered about, or nature, as pictures of Elk and landscapes hung on the walls, or was it French chefs, the little statues between the booths? Pink light bulbs with sconces dotted the ceiling. The place was kitschy, and coupled with a waitress who lost her enthusiasm during the Carter years, we approached lunch with caution. However, the lunch proved to be excellent, particularly the Little Woman’s French fries. They were seasoned fires, and cooked just right.
And the waitress grew friendly after a bit.
Mr. Sun continued his assault on the planet, and the afternoon grew hot. We soldiered on, but by Jackpot, Nevada, the Little Woman was fading fast.
“Want to stop here?”
Our goal had been Twin Falls Idaho, only forty minutes away, but again, it’s vacation, so why push it?
Okay confession time. Yes, I ride a Gold Wing. This trip I put a cup holder on it. Now it is seriously an old man’s bike. But, after eleven hours on the road in the blazing sun, it is a godsend. Now you know why bikers drink so much. Because they are so thirsty. Right!