Day 34: Austin to Middlegate - Ride And Seek - CycleBlaze

July 13, 2014

Day 34: Austin to Middlegate

SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH...whosh, whosh, whosh, SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS.... whosh, whosh...

That was basically the noise we heard about 4am this morning.

"Is that the sprinklers?" I said in a groggy-like state. And of course it was.

It was not completely unexpected. We had camped in the Austin city park, which I mentioned yesterday, and the three of us had a kind of debate on whether the sprinklers would or would not be coming on in the middle of the night.

I say "three" because an eastbound rider showed up around dusk to camp as well. He seemed a little freaked out about the sprinklers but Leo and I reasoned that our tents were filthy so what would be the harm in them getting a free washing.? And they did, at 4am.

I put on my rain fly just in case and it was getting pretty battered. Actually, I was pleased at how it all held up. The force of the sprinklers was a lot more than any rain storm could have been. The only problem in this whole episode is that, about 20 minutes into it, I really had to pee. But I had to wait for another 20 minutes or so. When I finally did get up I saw the other cyclist had abandoned his tent and was sitting high and dry at a picnic table out of the water's path. He seemed to have abandoned ship at the first sign of water against his tent.

It wasn't long after that, since we were up anyway, that we hit the road, and rolled down hill for breakfast. It was then that Crazy Gal Cathy MacTaggart walked in and introduced herself.

"Are you Leo?" she asked. And of course it was Leo, so she joined us and had a cup of tea. She and her husband were eastbound and she was a bit knackered by yesterdays ride and was hitching a lift while her husband rode to Eureka. We had a nice chat before we were off towards Middlegate.

Leo west of Austin
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That'd be me...
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Oh my god the road is gone!
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Nothing too unusual happened along the way aside from the heat, which was getting more intense as we started dropping in elevation. There is a nice little restaurant at Cold Springs where we stopped for lunch and buckets of pepsi (as Leo would say), and by the time we set off for Middlegate it had to be close to, or at, 100 degrees. Luckily it was only about 14 miles and mostly down hill.

At one point Leo slowed and said he thought his tire was getting soft.

"If you get a flat we are hitching a ride," I said. "It's too hot to change a flat right now." He didn't ague, but in the end didn't get a flat either.

I was pretty happy when Middlegate came in site. And it wasn't long after when the wind started to howl. It was so strong a semi truck was pushed off the road.

Tomorrow is our last day in "The Big Empty" of Nevada. We are both glad that we made it through and that the towns won't be so far apart.

This is what happens when you "text" and drive
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Wild horses?
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The Shoe Tree
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...with a close up of the shoes.
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The International Hotel in Middlegate.
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Today's ride: 64 miles (103 km)
Total: 2,085 miles (3,355 km)

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