Days 81 and 82: Baker to Ely

Two days ago in Baker, I was hanging out in the Whispering Elms motel bar. I met Rick, Delaine, and Steve. They were part of a local organization fighting the government from diverting water away from Baker to Las Vegas. They have won five court cases against the government since the early 2000s. I donated $20 to their effort.

The party to raise money was put on by the owner of the Whispering Elms. His son, Austin, played the guitar very well. He sang some country songs. I tried to play the guitar a bit, but I'm useless without the guitar tabs. In the end, I simply enjoyed the music and had a cheeseburger, two hot dogs, and some salads. I was so full.

Austin playing the guitar

Due to the time zone change, it was only 8 PM local time when I went back to my tent. I slept for ten hours. The next morning, nothing in town was open except for a coffee cart. I bought a cup of coffee there and waited outside of a restaurant called Kerouac's until they opened at 7 AM. I had a really good breakfast even though they didn't give me a lot, but I had enough energy to start my ride.

Small but efficient breakfast

People say the loneliest highway is route 50, which I turned to get to Ely. In actuality, it's a marketing scheme. In my opinion, the loneliest highway is route 21, the one that goes from Milford, Utah, to Baker, Nevada.

So called the loneliest highway in America

While on route 50, just when I was about to reach the first summit at Sacramento Pass, I met David, who was riding his mountain bike for the day. We talked for about half an hour on the side of the road. David repairs and sells ski equipment. He was impressed by my expedition and invited me to stay at his house south of Carson City, which I will pass in about a week. He's another saint who is so kind to me.

David, doing a little mountain riding

While going down the summit, I met an oncoming cyclist. His name is Adam and he's from England, going from San Francisco to Chicago. He might just be the last cyclist I'll see going the opposite direction as me.

Adam, going to Chicago

I had about 40 more miles to go with one more summit to climb. The road was long and mostly straight, I could see for miles ahead. I passed by some wind turbines along the way. Rick and Delaine passed by me in their SUV and asked me if I needed anything, which I didn't.

A wind farm

Riding on a long road can be boring and tough. To alleviate the boredom and to keep myself motivated while riding up a hill, I gave myself victory cheers every time I reached a mile marker that was a tenth of a mile apart. That got me to the middle of the hill, but I had to get off my bike and walk the rest of the way.

It took me a while to walk all the way to the second summit, which is Connors Pass. Then as I came down the hill the rumble strips appeared on the side of the road. I had to ride on the left side of the white line, trying to be very careful of the cars passing by me.

Don't forget to look back

Finally, after 61 miles of riding for the day, I was at Ely. When I saw the McDonald's I was so excited! However, it was the worst McDonald's I've been to. They made me use their kiosk to order, which took a long time. The wait time was long as well. I don't understand why everything took so long. I stayed there for over an hour to cool down and relax before I rode to the Great Basin Inn, where I'll be staying for the night.

The owner at the inn was very nice and told me she'll cook me stir fry for dinner at the bar across the street from the inn. After I settled in my room, I took a shower. I think I might rest in Ely for another day because I'm ahead of my schedule and I haven't taken a rest day since Dove Creek, Colorado.

Around 8 PM, I went across the street to the bar. The owner made me a delicious plate of stir fry. She told me she wants to sell the motel and the bar so she can retire. Then she asked me to help her find a realtor in San Francisco to get the properties listed. I told her I will try my best.


After dinner, I came back to the room and went to bed. This morning, I woke up a little after 6 AM. Since I'll be staying an extra day I decided to take my time in the morning. I ended up riding to Denny's for breakfast. It was the worst breakfast I've had. I could have cooked better.

When I came back to the inn, I went to the office and paid for another night's stay. The owner told me I should come back to the bar for dinner. She'll have kimchi and other dishes prepared that's not on the menu. I can't wait!

Right now, I'm at the library. I don't know what to do around town, so I might just hang out here for the day and see if there's any interesting books.