Day Thirteen: Ely, Nevada to The Border Inn Casino - "Vibes" - CycleBlaze

From "Vibes"

By Jeff Lee

June 27, 2024

Day Thirteen: Ely, Nevada to The Border Inn Casino

I coughed some last night, despite the Nyquil. I hope the cold is not getting worse again. I'd felt better the last few days.

Today I was going to ride to the Utah border on US-50. All but a few miles of today's ride are a segment of Adventure Cycling Association's Western Express route, which I did in the opposite direction, east to west, back in 2013. 

I wasn't in any hurry this morning. I turned on the TV while I was getting ready, but found that it received only one channel: "TV Land", which shows ancient shows from my childhood. I watched a few minutes of an episode of The Andy Griffith Show. It was one from the final, inferior years of the show, and featured the ultra-annoying character Howard Sprague, surely one of the most  irritating fictional characters ever. How I hate that guy! I turned the TV off in disgust.

Before I left the parking lot I spent several interesting minutes talking to a glider pilot. Apparently Ely is a hotspot for these glider enthusiasts because of the optimal atmospheric conditions. This guy, a semi-retired software developer  (like myself, I guess), was spending several days at  the Rustic Inn in Ely, waiting for good flying conditions.

It was an easy ride out of Ely. I stopped at a convenience store for snacks, then rode out of town on US-50. Traffic soon thinned out.

Mural in Ely.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Water! It's been a rarity alongside the road for almost all of this trip.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 5 Comment 1
Adam ZamoraThis reminds me of a Jeff Arnim photo.
Reply to this comment
1 week ago
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 3 Comment 0
Heart 3 Comment 0

I was gradually ascending. There was a little traffic, but in general it was well-behaved.

Heart 3 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0

The grade never got very steep up to Connors Pass. I took the obligatory photo of the sign at the top. I've become so attuned to the changes in altitude, that before I saw the sign, I guessed that I was above 7,500 feet.

Heart 3 Comment 0

I didn't like the descent much, but then I usually don't. This one was marred by the presence of the hated guard rails. Fortunately there wasn't much traffic on the way down.

Most  of the way down the hill, I stopped at Majors Station, a bar in the middle of nowhere. Back in 2013, it was open around this time of day, but  today it was closed. Apparently its hours are erratic, like so many small businesses out here.

I sat on the porch for a while and took some photos.

Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 3 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 3 Comment 0
"Respectively" (sic)
Heart 1 Comment 0

I descended some more, and rode past the big windmill farm. I remembered it from 2013.

Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0

I started climbing to the other pass of the day.  This one was much steeper.

Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0

On the way up to the summit, I saw a touring cyclist some distance behind me. I decided I wouldn't let him catch up with me, which probably wasn't a bright idea given my weakened-by-the-cold condition. By the time I reached the summit sign, I had a coughing fit.

Heart 2 Comment 0

I talked to the young cyclist for a while, in between coughs. It sounded like this was the last day of his tour for a while; friends were going to pick him up tomorrow and take him to Salt Lake City. He'd resume the trip after taking trains/buses to Indianapolis later on.

Heart 4 Comment 0

It was a nice, long descent, almost all the way to the Utah border. The Western Express route actually turns off to go to Baker; on this tour I plan to continue on US-50 all the way to Delta, and then to the Provo area.

Heart 4 Comment 0

Yesterday I'd reserved an overpriced room at the Border Inn Casino. The property straddles the Nevada/Utah border - literally. The gas pumps are on the Utah side of the line (presumably because of lower Utah gas taxes), while the casino is, naturally, on the Nevada side.

Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0

As expected, the room was ancient, and decrepit. The biggest surprise: No TV! The motel's website prominently featured photos of rooms with flat screen TVs. I of course do not care about watching TV on bike tours, exception occasionally the local weather report in the morning. But it's an interesting business decision of the motel to remove them. I suppose they want to encourage their guests to patronize the adjoining casino instead.

When I was checking in, the young cyclist from before arrived. He was dismayed to find that he had reserved a "smoking" room. He didn't know there still were such things. I tried not to sound too much like an old know-it-all when I said "Dude - this is a Nevada casino in the middle of nowhere. A lot of these people are gonna smoke!"

I did my usual chores, then walked to the restaurant (through the slightly smoky casino), and ordered a grilled cheese sandwich a two large portions of fries. They were very good.

Then I returned a customer's phone call, wherein I agreed to add a very minor feature to my software for him in the next few days. See: That's how I justify staying in motels all the time, instead of camping. This is a "working" vacation ;)

Tomorrow's route is 88 miles on US-50, with no services whatsoever, to Delta, Utah.

Heart 2 Comment 0

Today's ride: 64 miles (103 km)
Total: 794 miles (1,278 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 13
Comment on this entry Comment 0