Tuesday 23 September 2015
Waking up I found a KTM 990 Adventure parked next to the Sprinter van in the hotel parking lot. I had a nice chat with its owner, who was on his way to the IDBDR. At my coffee stop on the way to the highway I ran into another Touratech customer. The waves on the highway, and random conversations like these make road trips more fun. Back on the highway, I set the cruse control and watch the miles click by.
After a few hours on I80 it ventured onto the back highways to start a more direct path down to Yosemite. On one of the two lane highways I spotted an ORV park sign. I turned the Sprinter around and decided some riding was in order. I unloaded my KTM and played in the desert a bit. It was a nice break after a few days of driving.
I was driving through middle-of-nowhere Nevada. There was nothing along the road, just miles of desert. I stopped in Middlegate, which really was just a small gas station with some motel rooms, and old cars rusting away outside. In the parking lot there was a pick-up with a couple of shotguns in the front seat and a dog in the back. This is definitely the country, and I am glad it is still exists.
The miles of long, straight, two-lane highways flanked by brown desert reminded me a bit of the original Mad Max movie. Other than the road, totally disconnected from civilization.
I stopped in Gabbs, a shell of a town, to grab something to drink. The store and a small bar were open, everything else seemed to be boarded up or abandoned. It was weird to see a not quite dead ghost town.
I was getting pretty hungry, as it was well past lunch-time, but I had not really found anyplace to eat in my miles through no-where. Heading into a town I started to notice many earthen magazines off the sides of the road. Turns out I was heading into Hawthorn, and the magazines I saw were part of the huge ammunition storage area the government has there. There were mines and bombs all over the town, dummies of course. The museum had a nice assortment of bombs, torpedoes, and mines outside, and a tank.
I topped off the tank in the Sprinter, grabbed a sandwich, and made for the the California border. I drove through Yosemite National Park. The views were awesome, and the road whould have been a blast on a bike, twisting and winding through the mountains.
It was after dark when I finally pulled into Mariposa, CA where my hotel and the event site was. It was about a 500 mile day. This weekend will be the Horizons Unlimited event, then the final leg of my trip, back to Seattle.